Fort Bend County increases COVID-19 threat level from moderate to high risk

covid face mask
Fort Bend County announced it has increased its COVID-19 threat level from moderate to high risk at a July 14 press conference. (Courtesy Canva)

Fort Bend County announced it has increased its COVID-19 threat level from moderate to high risk at a July 14 press conference. (Courtesy Canva)

Fort Bend County is now at a high level of community risk for coronavirus exposure, County Judge KP George announced at a 9:30 a.m. July 14 press conference.

This is the highest threat level for the county for COVID-19, according to a July 13 press release. The other levels include moderate-significant, low and new normal. Previously, Fort Bend County was at the moderate-significant community risk level, the judge’s office confirmed via email July 14.

George and Jacquelyn Minter, Fort Bend County Health and Human Services Department director and local health authority, said at the conference that the decision to increase the COVID-19 threat level to high community risk comes after looking at monthly trends in coronavirus-related data.

“[We've seen] an over doubling of our cases from 2,400 last month to over 5,000 today,” Minter said. “We’ve added 14 deaths in that same period of time. .... We’ve had an increase in the positive rate. We know that we have increased testing, but we've also increased the people in our community who are symptomatic and in need of testing, and so that positivity rate has gone up.”

County residents are encouraged to do the following—in addition to practicing good hygiene and social distancing as well as wearing face masks—under the high community risk:

  • Avoid in-person gatherings, such as dining in at restaurants and attending events, movie theaters, zoos and religious services;

  • Avoid nonessential travel;

  • Avoid public transportation; and

  • Cancel social visits to nursing homes, long-term care facilities and hospitals.


Additionally, they said, schools and after-school youth activities should close under the direction of educational and local health authorities. Additional information about the four risk levels is available here.


George said he does not plan to shut down businesses and other activities, though if the governor issues a stay-at-home order, Fort Bend County will have to follow it.

“If you don’t need to go out, please don’t go out,” George said. “We cannot afford to increase these numbers.”

COVID-19 data


There are a total of 5,015 confirmed cases in Fort Bend County, according to data available on the county’s COVID-19 dashboard as of 10:30 a.m. July 14.

Of those, 1,835 are known to have recovered from the virus, and 63 have died from it, leaving 3,117 assumed active cases.

Fort Bend County hospitals’ intensive care unit beds are 92.6% occupied: Out of an estimated 122 operational ICU beds, 113 are in use by a patient. Of those 113 ICU patients, 64 have a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case.

This data—accessed at 10:40 a.m. July 14—comes from the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council.

Out of a total of 730 patients in the ICU and general beds, SERTAC counts 263 as being treated for suspected and confirmed coronavirus cases at Fort Bend County hospitals.
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.


MOST RECENT

Katy ISD to return to standard operations in June

As of June 1, Katy ISD students and staff will no longer be requiring face masks or offering virtual school, Superintendent Ken Gregorski said in an email on April 16.

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations. (Courtesy Amazon)
Amazon begins rollout of statewide vaccination clinics for employees

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

(Courtesy Great American Cookies and Marble Slab Creamery)
Hybrid Marble Slab Creamery, Great American Cookies location coming to Katy

A new Marble Slab Creamery and Great American Cookies hybrid location will be opening July 1 at Grand Morton Town Center.

Memorial Hermann is hosting a drive-thru vaccine clinic at the Smart Financial Center in Sugar Land April 15-16. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Walk-ins welcome at COVID-19 vaccine clinic April 15-16 at Smart Financial Center

Haven't recieved the COVID-19 vaccine yet? Memorial Hermann is hosting a drive-thru clinic from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. in Sugar Land. No appointment necessary.

Population and Survey Analysts, which predicted KISD would grow by approximately 2,400 new students per year for the next decade, made the recommendation to build additional elementary, junior high and high schools, especially in the north and far west areas of the district. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)
Katy ISD officials talk budget deficit, bond

"Where is the new money coming from?”

Federal funding is set aside for public schools to address effects of the pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Why Texas has not yet distributed $18 billion in federal funds intended for public schools

As budget decisions loom for school districts across Texas, state leaders are holding on to federal funds intended for public schools to use in addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Homes priced above $750,000, such as this one in the Heights, saw a surge in sales in March, with almost twice as many properties sold. (Courtesy Houston Association of Realtors)
Average Houston single-family home price jumps 20% in March

The average sale price for a home in March was $370,847.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said power outages are not expected April 13, while requesting energy conservation. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
UPDATE: ERCOT call for energy conservation ends April 13 without need for power outages

An ERCOT official said "tight" supply and demand conditions arose on the state's electric grid April 13 due to forecasting issues amid planned, seasonal maintenance outages by some power generators.

Spearheaded by state Rep. Gene Wu, D-Houston, the new court, if established, would expand the capacity of the county's criminal court system in hopes of reducing its backlog, which stood at 70,951 total cases pending before criminal district courts in Harris County as of April 8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Harris County supports creation of new criminal district court to tackle case backlog

If the efforts are successful, this would be Harris County's first new criminal district court since 1984 when the 351st District Court was created.

Newk's Eatery has closed its location in the Katy area. (Courtesy Newk's Eatery)
Newk's Eatery closes Katy-area location

While the Katy location may have closed, Newk's continues to serve diners at its Bunker Hill restaurant.

Fort Bend County's Mobile Health Unit will administer vaccinations in portions of the county that are economically disadvantaged or lack access to transportation, said County Judge KP George. (Screenshot courtesy Fort Bend County)
Fort Bend County to administer COVID-19 vaccinations from new Mobile Health Unit

Fort Bend County's Mobile Health Unit will administer vaccinations in portions of the county that are economically disadvantaged or lack access to transportation, County Judge KP George said.