Katy-area April 17 updates on the coronavirus

Katy ISD's Legacy Stadium is a drive-thru coronavirus testing site. Patients can only get tested if they are screened first and receive a code with instructions to go to the location. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)
Katy ISD's Legacy Stadium is a drive-thru coronavirus testing site. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)

Katy ISD's Legacy Stadium is a drive-thru coronavirus testing site. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)


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Update 5:02 p.m. April 17




  • Harris County reported 1,890 confirmed positive cases outside the city of Houston as of 4 p.m. April 17. At least 242 of the cases are within Katy-area ZIP codes, per April 16 data.

  • Fort Bend County reported 695 confirmed positive cases for April 16. Approximately 75 of these cases are in the Katy- and Fulshear-area ZIP codes.

  • Waller County reported 22 confirmed positive cases as of 6:55 p.m. April 16. Two of these cases are in a Katy-area ZIP code.



Katy area

In Katy's three counties, there were 61,706 unemployment claims filed the week of April 4, 2020. A year ago, there were 2,940 unemployment claims.

Fort Bend County

Tax appraisal notices were mailed, and residents are not happy about the spike in values. County commissioners and the county judge are working to reduce this taxpayer financial burden during the coroanvirus pandemic.

Also, Fort Bend Seniors Meals on Wheels is still delivering meals and has experienced an uptick in new clients.



Houston area

Texas Medical Center reports a week-over-week 7% drop in COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized.

State

Gov. Greg Abbott announced his plan to reopen Texas economy: Parks will reopen as of April 20, surgery restrictions will also be lifted as of April 22, but Texas schools are closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

Waller County Judge Trey Duhon also pointed out all stores can operate as retail-to-go with delivery and curbside pickup options by April 17.

More information on the plan will be revealed April 27.

Also, A sales tax holiday for emergency supplies will take place April 25-27, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced.





Update 5:45 p.m. April 16




  • Harris County reported 1,850 confirmed positive cases, including 34 deaths, outside the city of Houston as of 4 p.m. April 16. At least 242 of the cases are within Katy-area ZIP codes, per April 16 data.

  • Fort Bend County reported 656 confirmed positive cases, including 16 deaths for April 15. Approximately 66 of these cases are in the Katy- and Fulshear-area ZIP codes.

  • Waller County reported 19 confirmed positive cases as of 1:37 p.m. April 16. Three of these cases are in Katy.



Katy area

Although times are tough, Katy-area small businesses still find ways to give back to community during coronavirus pandemic. Read their stories here.

Fort Bend County

The county judge has launched a coronavirus mental health task force. A town hall meeting will be held in the afternoon of April 17.

Harris County

With a partnership with Walgreens, the county will open two new coronavirus testing sites at 14531 Westheimer Road, Houston, and 101 W. Southmore Ave., Pasadena.

Houston area

Worried about getting tested for COVID-19? Here’s what to expect.

The CARES Act includes $10 billion in funds for U.S. airports affected by the pandemic. Of that, about $201 million is heading to Greater Houston-area airports.

Texas Roadhouse and Brother's Produce are partnering to host drive-thru farmers markets, offering fresh produce and ready-to-grill steaks. Texas Roadhouse has a Katy-area location at 20840 Katy Freeway, Katy.

State

A state district judge said April 15 that he will move forward with an order easing restrictions for voting by mail in Texas in light of the new coronavirus pandemic.

Worried about renewing your driver’s license or attending jury duty? Here’s how the government is dealing with these issues.





Update 6:25 p.m. April 15




  • Harris County reported 1,766 confirmed positive cases, including 32 deaths, outside the city of Houston as of 4 p.m. April 15. Up to 280 cases are within Katy-area ZIP codes, per April 13 data.

  • Fort Bend County reported 627 confirmed positive cases, including 15 deaths for April 14. Approximately 66 of these cases are in the Katy and Fulshear area ZIP codes.

  • Waller County reported 17 confirmed positive cases as of 6:48 p.m. April 14. Three of these cases are in Katy.



City of Katy

The city of Katy has provided a roundup of virtual and physical things to do while abiding by stay-at-home orders. Check out the list here.

Katy area

Between 221-349 people out of 472,461 residing in seven Katy-area ZIP codes have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to county data and the 2014-2018 American Community Survey five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. The case data comes from Katy’s three counties and included all cases through April 13.

Fort Bend County

Residents without symptoms of the coronavirus can now be tested at the county’s free, drive-thru testing site. Previously, the county had prescreening requirements for COVID-19 testings. However, county residents must first call 281-238-2363 to get an identification code and to schedule date and time for a test.

Harris County

A federal judge rejected a petition for the emergency release of up to 4,000 inmates in Harris County, according to a press release.

Three bus operators with the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County have tested positive for the coronavirus. This brings the total number of positive cases to 10 METRO employees and one contractor since March 29, out of a total workforce of more than 4,200.

Houston area

As the state considers how to reopen the economy, a Baylor University disease expert is urging careful planning.





Update 6:16 p.m. April 14




  • Harris County reported 1,628 confirmed positive cases, including 29 deaths, outside the city of Houston as of 4 p.m. April 14. Approximately 154-280 cases are within Katy-area ZIP codes, per April 11 data.

  • Fort Bend County reported 577 confirmed positive cases, including 14 deaths for April 13. Approximately 66 of these cases are in the Katy and Fulshear area ZIP codes.

  • Waller County reported 17 confirmed positive cases as of 11:08 a.m. April 14. Three of these cases are in Katy.



Katy

Katy City Council is still hashing out details regarding the appointment of a local health authority for the city. Council also voted to postpone several projects until more information is known about its sales tax collection to the general fund.

Fulshear

Curbside recycling will resume April 22. The service had been temporarily suspended in Fulshear since April 3 because a waste collection driver tested positive for the coronavirus.

Fort Bend County

The county-run testing site may soon “loosen” its screening criteria. This follows the city of Houston’s initiative with its testing sites.

Also, the Commissioners Court approved the Fort Bend County Public Transportation Department’s action to waive pubic transit fares during COVID-19.

Houston area

Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund raised over $5 million in about two weeks. It plans to disperse the funds to those in need this week.

A local economist has upped his job loss projections in the Greater Houston area to 250,000 from 150,000. For those looking for a job, here are a few companies in the region that are hiring.

State

Gov. Greg Abbott provided updates April 13 on the impact the coronavirus has had across the state of Texas. Data shared included a total of 146,467 residents who have tested for the coronavirus and 14,624 confirmed cases of COVID-19.





Update 6 p.m. April 13




  • Harris County reported 1,508 confirmed positive cases, including 28 deaths, outside the city of Houston as of 4 p.m. April 12. Approximately 155-260 cases are within Katy-area ZIP codes, per April 11 data.

  • Fort Bend County reported 543 confirmed positive cases, including 12 deaths for April 12. Approximately 66 of these cases are in the Katy and Fulshear area.

  • Waller County reported 15 confirmed positive cases as of 4:35 p.m. p.m. April 13. Three of these cases are in Katy.


Katy area

Katy Area Economic Development Council is seeking information about the unemployment rate for the Katy-area but has not yet received it, said Lance LaCour, the organization's CEO. But the region has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and the the fall of crude oil prices. Click here to learn how local chambers and the Katy Area EDC is working through the tough times.

City of Katy

Katy City Council may consider live streaming public meetings indefinitely after the coronavirus pandemic.

Harris County

The county’s expected coronavirus peak is estimated to occur in early May.

State

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Goldman Sachs in a partnership with Texas-based LiftFund is providing $50 million in loans to small businesses across Texas. Applications for these small-business loans are now available on the LiftFund website, found here.

Looking for April 6-9 updates about the coronavirus? Find them here.

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. She covers education, transportation, local government, business and development in the Katy area.


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