UPDATE: Officials cite community spread as positive Greater Houston-area coronavirus cases hit 151

Local officials are also encouraging residents to stay calm and exercise as much caution as possible during this time. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Local officials are also encouraging residents to stay calm and exercise as much caution as possible during this time. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Local officials are also encouraging residents to stay calm and exercise as much caution as possible during this time. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Updated 1:40 p.m. March 23

New positive cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in several Houston-area counties as well as within the city of Houston, including five new cases announced in unincorporated Harris County on March 22 and nine new cases in Galveston County that were announced March 22 and March 23. The total number of cases in the Greater Houston area has risen by 19 since 10:50 a.m. March 22. The total number of cases in Galveston County has more than doubled since that time.


  • Harris County: 51

  • Fort Bend County: 29

  • City of Houston: 23

  • Brazoria County: 16

  • Montgomery County: 15

  • Galveston County: 17


Four of the five new cases in Harris County are believed to have developed from community spread, meaning the source of the illness is unknown. The fifth person, a man in his 50s, is reported to have had contact with another infected individual.

In a press release, the Harris County Public Health Department urged the public to stay home if possible, avoid making unnecessary trips and practice social distancing.

"
Harris County now has multiple cases without travel history and we do not know the source of transmission," according to the release. "This implies that COVID-19 is spreading in our community. Community spread makes it harder to identify and contain the virus since anyone can become infected."

Updated 10:50 a.m. March 22


Multiple cases were confirmed across every county in the Greater Houston area March 21, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases to 132.

Between the city of Houston and Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Brazoria and Galveston counties, 32 more cases were confirmed the evening of March 20 through March 21. That included three more in Houston, 13 more in Harris County, five in Fort Bend County, three more in Montgomery County, four more in Brazoria County and four in Galveston County, according to city and county press releases.

The total number of cases in each county as of March 21 are:



  • Harris County: 46

  • Fort Bend County: 29

  • City of Houston: 22

  • Brazoria County: 14

  • Montgomery County: 13

  • Galveston County: 8


Updated 6:40 p.m. March 20

The number of overall positive coronavirus cases in the Greater Houston area surpassed 100 on March 20 with 18 new cases confirmed late March 20.

According to a press release from the Houston Health Department, eight new positive coronavirus cases were confirmed March 20, bringing the total number within the city of Houston to 19. Of the eight new cases, six were home recovering while the other two have been hospitalized.

One of the new confirmed cases, a woman age 60-70, has not recently traveled. Of the other seven cases, five had traveled to other states, while one had traveled to Spain and another to the UK, according to the release.

The number of Brazoria County cases confirmed doubled from five to 10 on March 20, according to a Brazoria County press release. Of the five new cases confirmed, four live in Pearland and the fifth resides in Alvin. According to the press release, all five cases are at least 40 years old, are travel related and are currently in isolation.

The cases are under investigation by the Brazoria County Health Department.

Five additional cases were also confirmed in Fort Bend County on March 20. According to the Fort Bend County Health & Human Services Department website, the five additional cases brings the county's total confirmed cases to 24. Of the five cases, three had mild to moderate symptoms and are recovering at home. One case, a man in his 60s, was hospitalized and discharged, while another—a woman in her 60s—has been hospitalized.

The investigations are ongoing, according to the website.

“Community spread is occurring throughout the Houston region. Community members need to follow the social distancing ordinances issued by local, regional and state leaders seriously. They are in place to help keep our most vulnerable residents safe and to minimize the impact on our health care system,” said Dr. Jacquelyn Johnson Minter, director of Fort Bend County Health & Human Services, in a statement on the website. “If you are not sick, you do not need to be tested. If you are sick and your symptoms are mild, please stay home and manage your symptoms as if you would for the flu.”

Updated 3:39 p.m. March 20

The Montgomery County Public Health District reported its 10th positive coronavirus case March 20. The woman, who is in her 50s and resides in southeast Montgomery County, is in isolation at home. According to the MCPHD, she has not traveled but was at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on March 8.

Of the other nine cases that have been reported in Montgomery County, three people are hospitalized in critical condition, and six people are in isolation recovering at home.

Harris County Public Health has also reported nine new cases March 20, bringing the total to 33 positive cases, including one coronavirus-related death reported March 19. These cases are all outside the city of Houston. Of the nine new cases in the county, three are travel-related; four are the result of community spread; and two are still being investigated.

According to a March 20 release from HCPH, there are multiple new cases without travel history, and the source of the transmission is unknown, implying that coronavirus is spreading in the community.

As testing capacity increases in Harris County, daily counts are expected to increase as well, the release from HCPH said. While 80% of those who contract the coronavirus might only have mild to moderate symptoms, they might spread the disease to people at a high risk.

Brazoria County Health Department also identified its fifth case of coronavirus March 20. The individual is male, between the ages of 40-50, and resides in the Rosharon area, according to a release from the county. The individual is not hospitalized and is recovering at a private residence, the release states.


In total, 11 new cases were reported across Montgomery County, Harris County outside the city of Houston and Brazoria County. The other 84 identified cases span across these counties as well as the city of Houston, Fort Bend County and Galveston County.

Updated 9:54 p.m. March 19

Harris County Public Health reported the first COVID-19-related death in Harris County on March 19, according to a release. County officials noted as of 6:30 p.m. March 19, three patients had also recovered after testing positive for the virus earlier in the month.

The man who died, identified as a positive coronavirus case March 18, was between age 80 and 90 and believed to be at high risk for serious coronavirus complications, officials said. He was a resident at a nursing home in northwest Harris County. Health officials said they are actively investigating to identify any close contact he had with other individuals.

"Our hearts go out to the patient's family, and we extend our deepest sympathies," HCPH Executive Director Dr. Umair Shah said in the release. "This is a reminder of the severity of COVID-19, especially to those at an increased risk of developing serious complications, including death."

HCPH confirmed six additional positive cases of the virus outside the city of Houston March 19, bringing the county's total to 24 cases as of March 19. According to county information, the new cases include a woman age 40-50 from northwest Harris County who had contact with another positive case; a man age 50-60 who lives in northwest Harris County and has a travel history; a woman age 40-50 from southeast Harris County with a travel history; a woman age 60-70 in northwest Harris County who has a travel history; a woman age 20-30 from northwest Harris County who has a travel history; and a man age 40-50 from northwest Harris County who is believed to have contracted the virus through community spread.

According to county information, a man and two women who recovered from northwest Harris County are between the ages of 60 and 70 and contracted the virus through travel.

Fort Bend county officials also announced seven new cases of the coronavirus March 19, totaling 19 positive cases in the county. However, Fort Bend County Health & Human Services announced late March 19 that four people who previously testing positive have recovered.

The new cases identified March 19 include: a woman in her 40s who has traveled internationally and is now in isolation at her home; a woman in her 50s with a domestic travel history who is in isolation at her home; a man in his 40s with a domestic travel history who is in isolation at home; a child with a domestic travel history who is in isolation at home; a man in his 40s with a domestic travel history who is in isolation at home; a woman in her 30s with a domestic travel history who is in isolation at home; and a man in his 30s who is recovering in isolation at home, according to county information.

Also identified March 19, Montgomery County announced two new positive cases of the coronavirus totaling nine cases in the county, including a woman in her 40s from southeast Montgomery County who is in isolation at home and recently traveled to Germany as well as a man in his 50s from southwest Montgomery County with an unknown travel history. The man is hospitalized in critical but stable condition, according to a March 19 release from Montgomery County Public Health. Montgomery County also launched a website March 19 providing residents with information, maps and resources about the coronavirus response across the county.

On March 18, Galveston County Health District announced two additional positive cases of the coronavirus, totaling four cases in the county. The new cases include a male in his 50s who is currently in isolation at his home and recently traveled within the U.S. and a woman in her 40s who is also in isolation at home and recently traveled within the U.S.

The Houston Health Department announced five new positive cases of the virus March 18 as well with one more announced March 19. The city of Houston reports its total positive cases as of March 19 at 11 with one patient recovering and five more patients listed as "home recovering," according to city information. The cases announced March 18-19 include: a man age 50-60 who is hospitalized and has no known travel history; a man age 70-80 with recent travel to New York who is home recovering; a man age 50-60 who recently traveled to Spain and is home recovering; a woman age 20-30 who recently traveled to Mexico and is hospitalized; a man age 60-70 who is hospitalized and has no known travel history; and a woman age 50-60 who is hospitalized and has no known travel history.

Updated 9:12 a.m. March 19


The Brazoria County Health Department reported its fourth case of the coronavirus March 18. The individual is a male age of 55-65 and lives in the Manvel area. He is being hospitalized and is in stable condition. Local officials are still asking residents to stay home if they are sick, practice social distancing and take preventive actions to help stop the spread of this virus.

Updated 6:43 p.m. March 18

Harris County Public Health has identified five new positive cases of COVID-19 on March 18, according to a press release. The new cases include: a woman age 30-40 who is a resident of northeast Harris County and has had contact with a positive COVID-19 case; a man age 30-40 who lives in northwest Harris County; a man age 80-90 who is a resident of northwest Harris County and contracted the virus through community spread; a man age 20-30 who also is a resident of northwest Harris County and contracted the virus through community spread; and a woman age 40-50 who lives in southwest Harris County and contracted the virus through community spread. Community spread means the patients have no known travel history and the source of the virus has not been identified.

Updated 4:40 p.m. March 18


The Brazoria County Health Department has reported its third case of coronavirus in Brazoria County March 18. The individual is a female between the age of 50-60 and is a Pearland resident. The case is travel-related, and she was tested in the Houston Medical Center.

Updated 2:35 p.m. March 18

A seventh positive case of coronavirus has been identified in Montgomery County, according to a March 18 release from the Montgomery County Public Health District. The positive case is a woman in her 60s who is a resident of northwest Montgomery County and has no recent travel history or known contact with other positive cases, according to the release. The woman is in isolation in her home.

Updated 2:15 p.m. March 18

Harris County Public Health has reported two additional positive cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to 13 positive cases outside the city of Houston, according to a March 18 release. The two additional cases are a man age 60-70 who lives in northeast Harris County and a man age 30-40 who lives in southwest Harris County. The two individuals have no recent travel history, according to the release.

Updated 1:59 p.m. March 18

Fort Bend Health & Human Services reported two additional positive cases of the coronavirus in Fort Bend County residents March 18. This brings the case count in Fort Bend County up to 12.

One woman, in her 70s, has a history of international travel and is experiencing mild symptoms. She is in isolation at home. The other case, a man in his 60s, is hospitalized and in stable condition.


Updated 10:53 a.m. March 18

Harris County Public Health and the city of Houston are not opening COVID-19 testing sites March 18.

While the entities are working to establish testing sites, locations and procedures have not yet been finalized, according to a March 17 press release from Harris County Public Health.

The department is urging residents not to show up to any sites rumored to have testing available March 18 as no one will be tested, it could put others at risk, cause delays and interrupt health care professionals working to open the sites.

Anyone who is experiencing any symptoms associated with the coronavirus should contact their health care provider.


Updated 10:42 a.m. March 18

A sixth positive case of coronavirus has been identified in Montgomery County, officials with Montgomery County Public Health District and Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management said March 18 in a release. The new case is a man in his 40s who recently traveled to California and is a resident of south Montgomery County, according to the release. He is in isolation at his home.

According to MCPHD internal numbers—which do not include all numbers from private labs—there are 102 pending tests for coronavirus, the release said.

The county's sixth case follows a fifth positive case identified March 17, a man who also recently traveled to California.

In addition, Fort Bend County Health and Human Services reported one new positive coronavirus case March 17, bringing the county's total to 10 positive cases. The patient is a women in her 20s with a history of international travel, according to a March 17 release from the county. She is in isolation at home, the release said.

Updated 10:03 p.m. March 17

Montgomery County officials announced an additional positive coronavirus case March 17, upping the county's total to five cases of the virus. In a March 17 release, the Montgomery County Public Health District and Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management said the new case is a man in his 50s who recently traveled to California and is a resident of south Montgomery County. He is in isolation at his home, according to the release.

Updated 1:28 p.m. March 17

Harris County is up to 11 cases outside of Houston city limits, as of March 17. The cases include five females and six males, according to Harris County Public Health.

Seven cases are believed to be travel related, and four cases are pending investigation. Of the 11 cases, five patients are in the 40-50 age range, and four patients are 60-70 years old. One person is in the 40-50 age bracket, and one person is between the age of 20-30 years old.

Updated 11:55 a.m. March 17

The Galveston County Health District confirmed March 17 its second presumptive positive case of COVID-19 coronavirus in a Galveston County resident. The individual is a male age 45-50. His symptoms included fever, dry cough, sore throat, headache and body aches. Test results from UTMB Health show he is positive for COVID-19, and results from the Houston Health Department Laboratory are pending, according to a release from the GCHD.


The case is not linked to travel or contact with another infected person, suggesting first signs of community spread in Galveston County.

One other Galveston County resident is being quarantined in Austin after being linked directly to one of the Montgomery County cases involving a man in his 40s. The Galveston County female resident was tested by Austin Public Health and is awaiting results, according to the Galveston County Health District.

As of 12:05 p.m. March 16

Entities throughout the Greater Houston area are reporting 29 total cases of COVID-19 coronavirus cases as of Monday, March 16. Local officials are still encouraging residents to practice social distancing, wash hands thoroughly and call ahead of going to a doctor's office or hospital. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised the cancellation of meetings or gatherings of more than 50 people. Local officials are also encouraging residents to stay calm and exercise as much caution as possible during this time.

Harris County




The Houston Health Department announced March 15 two additional positive cases of coronavirus in Harris County, outside the city of Houston. This brings the total in Harris County outside Houston city limits up to eight cases.



Inside Houston city limits, five cases have been reported as of March 14.


Fort Bend County




Fort Bend County Health & Human Services has reported nine COVID-19 coronavirus cases within the county as of Friday, March 13. Three of the nine cases were reported Friday.



Montgomery County



The Montgomery County Public Health District is reporting four cases of coronavirus as of March 14, according to a release from MCPHD. The county's first case was a man who attended the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Barbecue Cookoff event March 28. No cases in Montgomery County have been a result of international travel.



Galveston County




Although no confirmed cases have been reported within Galveston County so far, one Galveston County resident is being quarantined in Austin after being linked directly to one of the Montgomery County cases involving a man in his 40s. The Galveston County female resident is was tested by Austin Public Health, according to the Galveston County Health District.

Brazoria County




There have been two cases reported in Brazoria County as of March 14.




Waller County




No cases have been confirmed in Waller County. However, as of March 15, two residents have been hospitalized and are being tested and monitored, according to an announcement from Waller County Judge Trey Duhon.

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