Thursday, March 12, 2020

HCPH | Harris County Reports Additional Presumptive Positive Case of COVID-19

Harris County Public Health (HCPH) is reporting an additional presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in Harris County. This is the 6th case of COVID-19 and the 4th presumptive positive within Harris County, outside City of Houston. This individual was in contact with a person who was COVID-19 positive while traveling. This individual is a man, between the age of 40 to 50 and lives in the Northwest quadrant of Harris County. HCPH epidemiologists are investigating other details including travel history. The test was processed by the Houston Health Department and is considered presumptive positive for COVID-19. When the test is officially confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, it will be a confirmed positive.

The individual has been discharged and is in isolation at home, where he is recovering. HCPH epidemiologists have been and will continue to monitor this individual while he is in isolation. HCPH is working with the Jesus Christ Church of Latter-day Saints (16833 Jester Blvd. Spring, TX 77379) to identify those who potentially were exposed to COVID-19. (The church is aware and HCPH is contacting those individuals who potentially could be at risk).

Public health and the community must work as partners to slow down the spread of COVID-19 and protect those who are most vulnerable. Individuals can lower their risk of contracting coronavirus disease by taking the same measures that are recommended to prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory illness:
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick. Keep a sick child home from school to prevent spreading illness in the school and the community

If you feel sick and believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider (call before going), describe your symptoms, and travel history or contact with an individual who testing positive for COVID-19.

HCPH strongly recommends that people at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 should practice social distancing by staying home and away from large group settings and social gatherings where there will be close contact with others.
People at higher risk include people:
  • Over 60 years of age. The risk and severity increase significantly with age. Persons over age 80 are in the highest risk category
  • With underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
  • With weakened immune systems

Caregivers of children with underlying health conditions should consult with healthcare providers about whether their children should stay home. HCPH understands that public health actions may disrupt individuals’ lives and we are asking for the public’s understanding and support of practicing social distancing to slow community spread.

HCPH advises the public to call their local health department for questions as information and guidance may vary. Regional resources for both clinical-related questions and general questions about the virus are available below:
For Harris County Residents:
Harris County Public Health (HCPH)
www.hcphtx.org\COVID-19
www.ReadyHarris.org
832-927-7575* This number is 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., everyday

Harris Health System
Ask-My-Nurse
713-634-1110* This number is 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., everyday clinical-related questions 

For City of Houston Residents:
Houston Health Department
832-393-4220* This number is staffed 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. M-F, 9a.m - 3 p.m. on Sat. 

For Fort Bend County Residents:
Fort Bend County Health & Human Services
281-633-7795* This number is Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

For updates on COVID-19, including health tips, fact sheets, case counts, and other community resources, visit www.ReadyHarris.org and the www.hcphtx.org.