Houston coronavirus updates: Positivity rate inches toward 5%; restaurant workers get new training

Houston's coronavirus test positivity rate continues to trend downward. (Courtesy Houston Health Department).
Houston's coronavirus test positivity rate continues to trend downward. (Courtesy Houston Health Department).

Houston's coronavirus test positivity rate continues to trend downward. (Courtesy Houston Health Department).

Houston continues to see promising trends as its coronavirus test positivity rate inches toward 5%, the Houston Health Department reported Oct. 5.

However, the virus still remains active in the city, with the health department reporting 319 new cases in test results received over the weekend as well as 8 newly reported deaths, bringing the total death toll in Houston to 1,199.

Positivity rate on the decline

Houston’s test positivity rate was reported at 5.3% on Oct. 5, although a lag in test result reporting typically means the rate is slightly higher than first reported, health department officials said. In the previous week, Houston’s positivity rate was first reported at 5.6%, but updated calculations show it was closer to 5.8%.

The downward trend, however, has remained consistent since the region’s summer spike, Houston Emergency Medical Director Dr. David Persse has told reporters repeatedly. New data collected through the city’s sewage system also confirms the downward trend.

Mayor Sylvester Turner has said his goal for the city is to maintain a positivity rate below 5%.

Restaurant workers get new training

The Houston Health Department now offers a free training course for food service industry managers developed in collaboration with the Greater Houston Restaurant Association.

The training course, published Oct. 5, provides specific advice from the health department to keep diners and food service workers safe from the spread of the coronavirus. Restaurants that successfully complete the training will receive a decal to display, according to the health department.

“Seeing our decals on display will let the public know they are dining in a place that went the extra mile to protect their workers and guests,” said Naomi Macias, chief of the Houston Health Department Bureau of Consumer Health Services, in a news release.
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


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