UPDATED: 8 total cases of coronavirus identified in Greater Houston area

The first two cases of the new coronavirus have been confirmed in Harris County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
The first two cases of the new coronavirus have been confirmed in Harris County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The first two cases of the new coronavirus have been confirmed in Harris County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Updated 7:15 p.m. March 6

The Fort Bend County Health and Human Services department reported two additional presumptive positive cases of the coronavirus Friday evening. Both individuals are part of the same group of travelers also associated with the recent cases in Harris County, according to a press release.

Both patients are women in their 60s with a history of international travel. Both are in mandatory quarantine at home; symptoms in one of the cases have resolved while the other patient is experiencing mild symptoms.



Updated 4:48 p.m. March 6


Officials with Harris County and the city of Houston said March 6 newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus bring the Greater Houston area's total to six confirmed or presumptive positive cases. Houston Health Department officials announced on Twitter on March 6 that cases include three in unincorporated Harris County, one in Fort Bend County and two in the city of Houston.




After announcing the county's first two confirmed cases March 5, the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management announced later that evening an additional resident in the unincorporated area of northwest Harris County was identified as a presumptive positive case. The resident, a man age 60-70 years old, is also believed to have acquired the virus abroad on the same trip as the other two Harris County residents, according to the late March 5 statement from the office.

Find more resources regarding the virus as well as the number of global cases on Harris County Public Health's website.

Published March 5

The Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management announced the county's first two confirmed cases of COVID-19, also known as the new coronavirus, in a March 5 press release. The tests were verified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the release.

A man and a woman from unincorporated northwest Harris County have tested positive for the virus; however the cases are travel related and not evidence of community spread, officials said in the release.

“Since January, we have been at an elevated level of readiness to prepare for and respond to a positive case here in Harris County,” Executive Director Dr. Umair Shah said in the release. “We will continue to take action by identifying potential contacts and monitoring them closely.”

According to Harris County Public Health, the virus is a respiratory disease first emerging in China with symptoms including a fever, cough and shortness of breath. The elderly and those with underlying health conditions are those at higher risk for serious complications; however, most people who have become infected with the virus only experience mild to moderate symptoms and fully recover, according to the release.

"The best tools to fight the spread of this illness are facts, not fear," Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said in the release. "Residents should know that we have been leaning forward to make sure our response to this illness continues to be proactive and coordinated with a wide array of local, state and federal officials."

County officials encourage residents to help prevent the spread of the virus by washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Residents are also encouraged to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands as well as avoiding contact with people who are sick. Additional preventive measures include staying home when sick, covering nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Residents who feel sick or believe they may have been exposed to the virus should contact their health care providers or a hospital immediately, county officials said in the release.

As of noon March 5, the CDC has tracked 99 total cases of the virus and 10 deaths in the U.S. among 13 states. Thirty of these cases have been travel related, according to the CDC.

Harris County officials will host a press conference at 4:45 p.m. March 5 with more details.
By Anna Lotz

Editor, Tomball/Magnolia & Conroe/Montgomery

Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor for the Tomball/Magnolia edition. She began covering the communities of Conroe and Montgomery as well in 2020. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in these communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.