Coronavirus: Roundup of April 9 Katy-area updates, case counts

The Katy Fire Department urges residents to follow stay-home orders. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Katy Fire Department urges residents to follow stay-home orders. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Katy Fire Department urges residents to follow stay-home orders. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)


Looking for April 13-17 updates? Find them here.

Update 6 p.m. April 9




  • Harris County reported 1,052 confirmed positive cases, including 20 deaths, outside the city of Houston as of 4 p.m. April 9.

  • Fort Bend County reported 437 confirmed positive cases, including seven deaths, as of 8 a.m. April 9. Approximately 20% of these cases are in Precinct 3, which includes Fulshear and a portion of Katy.

  • Waller County reported 13 confirmed positive cases as of 5:08 p.m. April 9. Three of these cases are in Katy.



Katy area

Here are five local churches offering virtual—and even drive-in—services for the Easter holiday.

Katy ISD

The district announced new dates for high school proms but plans to keep its graduation ceremonies in May. Just in case, though, it has secured backup dates for the ceremonies in June.

City of Katy



Mayor Bill Hastings published an Easter video message for residents urging social distancing practices.

Additionally, he said the city’s 42 employees that usually work in City Hall have been relocated throughout five other city buildings to keep them safe and practice social distancing.

Fort Bend County

The county has experienced a 25% increase in domestic violence cases from February to March, but there is concern that child abuse is still being underreported.

Waller County

The county’s 12th confirmed positive case—reported on April 8—is a Katy-area man in his 70s. Three of the county’s cases are in the Katy area, though two have recovered.

Harris County

The Harris County Homeless Outreach Team is working hard to spread awareness and provide essential supplies to the homeless populations during the coronavirus pandemic. However, many homeless individuals continue to congregate in encampments.

State

More Texans have filed for unemployment in the past three weeks than did in all of 2019. Data shows 313,832 Texans filed unemployment claims the week ending April 4.





Update 5:40 p.m. April 8




  • Harris County reported 961 confirmed positive cases, including 19 deaths, outside the city of Houston as of 3:32 p.m. April 8.

  • Fort Bend County reported 417 confirmed positive cases, including seven deaths, as of 5 p.m. April 7. Approximately 20% of these cases are in Precinct 3, which includes Fulshear and a portion of Katy.

  • Waller County reported 11 confirmed positive cases as of 7:50 p.m. April 7. Two of these cases are in Katy.



City of Katy

The city announced it will not provide tree limb pickup during the month of April due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a April 7 Facebook post.

“Republic Services will pick up brush less than 2 inches in diameter if it is tied in bundles, is no longer than 4 feet in length and must be less than 40 pounds in weight, provided they are placed at the residence curb on heavy trash collection day,” the post reads.

More information is available here.

Also, council will meet for its second special meeting of the week at 4 p.m. April 9. The agenda includes an item for designating a local health authority.

Residents can attend the meeting via teleconference by calling 888-475-4499 and enter the meeting ID 179 585 779. Alternatively, residents can attend the meeting via livestream by going to www.zoom.com, clicking “join a meeting” at the top right corner and putting in the following meeting ID: 179 585 779.

Fort Bend County

Commissioners court approved several grant applications at the April 7 meeting. If approved, the funds will help veterans pay bills and help households under quarantine and the elderly have enough toiletries.

Harris County

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo signed an order April 8 to temporarily close all parks countywide throughout the upcoming Easter weekend, April 10-13, in hopes of discouraging social gatherings. This closure includes roughly 16 in the Katy-area.

Additionally, Harris County launched a $10 million Small Business Economic Assistance Loan Program on April 7 to help small businesses on the road to recovery. Learn more about the program here.

Harris County is also in a "standoff" over proposed inmate release to curb coronavirus spread. Read about the standoff here.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County has begun taking more aggressive measures to halt the spread of COVID-19. These new measures come after METRO has announced seven employees and one contractor have tested positive for COVID-19 since March 29.

Houston area

Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi—associate dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and co-director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development— spoke with Community Impact Newspaper about vaccine development and the medical community's response to the coronavirus outbreak. Read the Q&A here.

Also, several entities—including Houston Community College and the Fort Bend County Judge’s Office—have collaborated into an organization called H-force to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Existing projects include producing face shield components from 3D printing machines.





Update 6:45 p.m. April 7




  • Harris County reported 826 confirmed positive cases, including 12 deaths, outside the city of Houston as of 3:45 p.m. April 7.

  • Fort Bend County reported 318 confirmed positive cases, including six deaths, as of 5 p.m. April 6. Approximately 20% of these cases are in Precinct 3, which includes Fulshear and a portion of Katy.

  • Waller County reported 10 confirmed positive cases as of 7:05 p.m. April 6. Two of these cases are in Katy.


Katy ISD

Katy ISD has served 259,685 free meals to children between March 16-April 3, according to data from the district. It is still providing free meals at 12 campuses between April 6-10.

Katy area

Employees at all Texas Children’s Hospital locations, including the West Campus in the Katy area, will receive a stipend to support their household during the coronavirus pandemic.

Fort Bend County

A new modeling estimate shows that the coronavirus peak may occur around April 23. This is good news, the local health authority said, because it means that it will give hospitals more time to treat current patients and not experience a surge just yet.

Waller County

Waller County Clerk’s Office will no longer help in-person customers beginning April 7, according to a Facebook post from Waller County Judge Trey Duhon. The office will still operate, but it will interact with the public via phone, emails, e-recordings and e-filings.

Harris County

Musicians in Harris County who have lost work because of the coronavirus outbreak have a new venue for support: the Houston Music Foundation. The fund has an initial goal to raise $500,000 from the community, enabling it to support as many as 1,000 artists.

Houston area

Gov. Greg Abbott announced via a news release April 7 that state parks and historic sites should be temporarily closed to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. This includes 11 parks in the Greater Houston area.

Minute Maid Park will accept personal protective supplies for first responders and municipal workers on April 8 from noon-3 p.m. Accepted items include face masks, gloves, gowns, goggles, hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol and thermometers.



Update 8:20 a.m. April 7




  • Harris County reported 664 confirmed positive cases, including 12 deaths, outside the city of Houston as of 3 p.m. April 6.

  • Fort Bend County reported 318 confirmed positive cases, including 6 deaths, as of 5 p.m. April 6. Approximately 20% of these cases are in Precinct 3, which includes Fulshear and a portion of Katy.

  • Waller County reported 10 confirmed positive cases as of 7:05 p.m. April 6. Two of these cases are in Katy.





Update 6:40 p.m. April 6




  • Harris County reported 664 confirmed positive cases, including 12 deaths, outside the city of Houston as of 3 p.m. April 6.

  • Fort Bend County reported 318 confirmed positive cases, including 6 deaths, as of 5 p.m. April 6. Approximately 20% of these cases are in Precinct 3, which includes Fulshear and a portion of Katy.

  • Waller County reported nine confirmed positive cases as of 8:49 p.m. April 5. Two of these cases are in Katy.


Katy area

Want to attend a public meeting virtually or sign up for public comment? Check out this week’s guide to local government’s meetings.

Or find a list of fun virtual activities to do here.

City of Katy

Mayor Bill Hastings signed a proclamation making a disaster declaration in response to COVID-19 pandemic at the April 6 special City Council meeting.

Additionally, Katy City Council approved a resolution to extend the disaster declaration until the end of the event.

City of Fulshear

The city of Fulshear announced additional changes to its recycling procedures. It had previously changed these procedures due to an employee of its waste services provider who tested positive for the coronavirus.

Starting April 6, three recycling receptacles will be available at one location for residents to drop off items. The receptacles will be on Plymouth Lane near the Cross Creek Ranch Welcome Center, which is at 6450 Cross Creek Bend Lane. Residents can no longer dump their recycling at the Irene Stern Community Center.

Harris County

A new study from the Rice University Kinder Institute of Urban Research suggests the stay-home order may have saved over 4,500 lives in Harris County. Learn more about the study here.

Fort Bend County

The Fort Bend County Office of Elections Administration is encouraging mail-in ballots, especially for residents age 65 and older, for upcoming elections. Learn how to send in an application for a mail-in ballot here.

Greater Houston area

Construction crews began work April 6 on a medical shelter at NRG Stadium that will assist the Houston area’s hospital system should any hospitals surpass capacity during a surge of COVID-19 cases.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said the hospitals in the Greater Houston area are operating at 70% capacity collectively.

Additionally, essential workers struggling to find child care amid coronavirus shutdowns can now find a provider and potentially receive financial assistance through a new Southeast Texas support system. Those interested in finding available child care can search the database at https://findchildcare.collabforchildren.org or by calling 713-334-5980.

Looking for March 30-April 3 updates about the coronavirus? Find them here.

Looking for March 23-27 updates about the coronavirus? Find them here.

Looking for March 16-20 updates about the coronavirus? Find them here.
By Jen Para
Jen joined Community Impact Newspaper in fall 2018 as the editor of the Katy edition. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Jen has written about business, politics and education. Prior to CI, Jen was the web producer at Houston Business Journal.


MOST RECENT

Total cases have risen to 13,268 in Harris County, 7,812 of which are considered active while 5,215 are confirmed to have recovered. A total of 241 people are confirmed to have died from the coronavirus in the county.(Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 241 new cases, 5 deaths confirmed June 3

Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said 45% of new cases statewide between May 26 and June 2 can be tied to prisons, jails, meat packing plants or nursing homes.

Here are the latest coronavirus updates for Katy-area readers. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Phase 3 of his Open Texas plan June 3. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Houston Food Bank is looking for more volunteers as it handles increased food distribution during COVID-19. (Courtesy Houston Food Bank)
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Franz Donuts makes doughnuts and kolaches from scratch, and it serves Columbian coffee. (Susan Rovegno/Community Impact Newspaper)
Katy area's Franz Donuts opens under new ownership in March

The cafe makes doughnuts and kolaches from scratch.

Across seven Katy-area ZIP codes, the total number of confirmed positive coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic increased to 1,084 on June 2. (Courtesy Flourish)
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(Adriana Rezal/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Harris County coronavirus count: County tops 350 new cases for second straight day

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Nola Z. Valente/Community Impact Newspaper
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Among a series of marches across the U.S. to honor George Floyd, his hometown of Houston turned out in the thousands June 2.