'Please get tested': Houston mayor calls for COVID-19 testing, caution ahead of Labor Day weekend

Houston officials expressed concern that a drop-off in testing is leading to COVID-19 data that does not reflect true conditions. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Houston officials expressed concern that a drop-off in testing is leading to COVID-19 data that does not reflect true conditions. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Houston officials expressed concern that a drop-off in testing is leading to COVID-19 data that does not reflect true conditions. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Amid declining COVID-19 positivity rates, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner advised residents to continue to be on guard going into the Labor Day weekend.

"You know what happened with Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekend: People came together, and the virus took off," Turner said at an Aug. 31 press conference.

The word of caution came with signs of progress for the area, but another 158 cases and eight deaths were also reported. To date, Houston has had 63,834 total cases and 820 deaths.

Turner especially called on Black and Hispanic residents to continue to get tested.

"Please get tested; it is important for you to get tested and know your status," he said.


The city's seven-day positivity rate—the percentage of positive cases out of all tests—is at 7.8%, Turner said.

"It is moving in the right direction," he said. "But as people return to schools and other events, the goal really is to get at 5% ... get below 5% and to stay there."

City officials attributed the drop in positivity to widespread mask-wearing as well as a decline in testing, which was a source of concern for Director of Emergency Medicine David Persse.

"We still need to have folks to go and get tested. ... If people stop going to get tested, we won't be able to calculate a positivity rate, and we won't know what’s going on," he said. "People will get a false sense of confidence."
By Matt Dulin
Matt joined Community Impact Newspaper in January 2018 and is the City Editor for Houston's Inner Loop editions.


MOST RECENT

Voters wait in line at a Cy-Fair polling location Oct. 16. (Danica Lloyd/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County ballot totals approach 630,000 in first six days of early voting

Ballot counts have averaged about 100,000 daily. Twelve days of early voting remain before the Nov. 3 general election.

Mayor Sylvester Turner and faith leaders
Houston coronavirus updates: Positivity rate hits 5%, places of worship get guidance for reopening

Churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship are recommend to limit gatherings to 25%.

Amazon's new sorting center is now open at 22525 Clay Road, Katy. The 800,000-square-foot building opened Oct. 9. (Courtesy Amazon.com Inc.)
Amazon center in Katy to bring 3K jobs and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

An election official directs a car to a spot at the Humble Civic Center's drive-thru voting location. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Drive-thru voting locations in Harris County see greater numbers than in-person, despite challenges

More than 42,000 residents in Harris County have used the drive-thru centers so far in early voting.

The outlet mall is located in Cypress. (Courtesy Houston Premium Outlets)
Outlet mall in Cy-Fair opens 3 new stores and more top Houston-area news

Read the most popular news form the past week from our Houston coverage area.

Houston road closures
Houston traffic alert: I-10 shutdown planned inside the Loop for bridge work

The closure will allow for repairs on the Houston Avenue bridge and work on the Elysian Viaduct.

Oct. 15 is the last day to complete the Census. (Chance Flowers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Deadline to fill out Census set for end of day Oct. 15

Officials in Harris County and Houston are encouraging residents who have not filled out the Census to do so before the deadline.

Houston real estate market
Houston-area home sales up 29% year over year in September

The streak could soon end, as the supply of available homes is now at its lowest level since December 2014.

Crafty Crab opened on Hwy. 290 near Jones Road near Jersey Village in late September. (Courtesy Facebook)
Crafty Crab now open in Cy-Fair and more Houston-area business news

Read the latest business and community news from the Greater Houston area.

Houston drivers now a face a fine for parking in bike lanes. (Courtesy Pexel)
Houston drivers now face fine for parking in bike lanes

Council members worked out details on how to enforce the measure that advocates said keeps bicyclists safe.

Voters line up outside Juergens Hall Community Center in Cypress on Oct. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
105,000 Harris County voters cast ballots in-person on third day of early voting

On the third day of early voting in Harris County, in-person voting was up by about 38% over the third day of early voting during the 2016 presidential election.