Harris County lowers COVID-19 threat level

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo has lowered the COVID-19 threat level to Level 2: Orange. (Courtesy Harris County Public Health)
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo has lowered the COVID-19 threat level to Level 2: Orange. (Courtesy Harris County Public Health)

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo has lowered the COVID-19 threat level to Level 2: Orange. (Courtesy Harris County Public Health)

Harris County has lowered its COVID-19 threat level from Level 1: Red to Level 2: Orange, the system’s second-highest threat level, Judge Lina Hidalgo announced Nov. 3.

The move comes as a variety of indicators have demonstrated a decrease in cases, hospitalizations and positivity rates for COVID-19, according to the announcement.

“Over the past several weeks, we’ve seen an encouraging drop in the number of new COVID-19 cases and our hospital population,” Hidalgo said in the announcement. “This didn’t happen by coincidence—it happened because of our community's hard work to step up and increase our vaccination rates. That said, we’re not out of the woods. The decreases in our trends are slowing down while other communities are starting to see spikes, and as we learn to coexist with this virus over the long term, we can’t grow complacent.”

The announcement comes as Harris County reported over 13,400 active coronavirus cases Nov. 3, according to data tracked by Harris County Public Health and the city of Houston. However, there were 148 new cases in Harris County on Nov. 2, according to that data, down from a high of 3,900 new cases reported Aug. 18.

Current coronavirus patients at Texas Medical Center institutions, meanwhile, were at 518 on Oct. 31, down over 15% from the week prior, at 613, according to Texas Medical Center data. For comparison, that number eclipsed 1,000 when the number of coronavirus patients was 1,081 just three weeks ago.


However, a Level 2: Orange threat level still signifies an ongoing, uncontrolled level of COVID-19 transmission in Harris County, according to the announcement. At this level, unvaccinated residents should continue to wear masks, minimize contact with others, avoid any medium or large gatherings and only visit permissible businesses that follow public health guidance, according to the announcement.
By Hunter Marrow
Hunter Marrow came to Community Impact Newspaper in January 2020. Before that, Hunter covered local news in Ontario, OR for three years, covering municipal issues, crime, and education across Malheur County and across the border into Idaho.