A fourth presumptive positive case of the coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, was identified in Montgomery County on March 14, according to a release from the Montgomery County Public Health District and Office of Emergency Management. The individual is a woman in her 40s and a resident of northwest Montgomery County who is currently in isolation at her home, according to the release. This case is believed to be connected to the county's third case—a man in his 40s identified March 12 who recently traveled to Florida, officials said in the release.
The county's four cases are presumptive positive cases, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not yet confirmed any of the cases as of March 14.
County officials also said two of the four individuals in Montgomery County have declined to critical condition while a third is in good condition in a hospital in the county.
Updated 4:59 p.m. March 13:
The Houston Health Department said it had identified the city's fourth presumptive positive case of coronavirus disease, or COVID-19.
The individual is a 70- to 80-year-old female and is experiencing mild symptoms and quarantined at home. She recently traveled to Egypt, according to the health department, and an effort is underway to identify potential contacts exposed to the virus.
Fort Bend County officials also announced they had three additional positive cases, bringing the total for the county to nine. The cases are: a man in his 40s, a woman in her 50s, and a man in his 70s. They all had a history of international travel, and all were in isolation at home as of March 13.
Earlier today, Galveston County confirmed it had its first presumptive positive case.
Updated 2:33 p.m. March 12
The Montgomery County Public Health District and Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management reported the county's third presumptive positive case of COVID-19, the infectious disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in a March 12 release. The county is still awaiting confirmation on the presumptive positive cases from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the release.
The third case is a man in his 40s who resides in northwest Montgomery County and has traveled only to Florida.
The presumptive case announcement follows a disaster declaration signed by County Judge Mark Keough earlier March 12.
Harris County also announced an additional presumptive positive case of the virus in a March 12 release, bringing the county's total to six cases. The individual is a man between the ages of 40-50 who resides in northwest Harris County and is in isolation at his home.
Updated 10:21 a.m. March 12
The Montgomery Public Health District in conjunction with the Office of Emergency Management is reporting a second presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in the southern portion of the county.
The woman, who is in her 40s, is being treated at a hospital in Montgomery County. The MCPHD is awaiting confirmation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that it is a positive case, according to a release.
MCPHD has confirmed the patient recently traveled to New Orleans, but she has not traveled internationally.
The district is also continuously monitoring the first presumptive positive case of a man in his 40s. He is still hospitalized in Montgomery County, and the district is awaiting confirmation from the CDC.
Updated 8:48 p.m. March 11
The Houston Health Department has announced another presumptive positive case of coronavirus found in a female patient in the 15-25-year-old age range.
The patient recently traveled to New York state and is experiencing mild symptoms. She is quarantined in her home.
Tonight we announced a new positive case of #COVID19 in #Houston, bringing the city’s case total to three. The case, a female in the 15 to 25 age range, is experiencing mild symptoms and quarantined in her home. She recently traveled to New York state. @HoustonTX @HoustonOEM pic.twitter.com/aCMBHI79jJ
— Houston Health Dept (@HoustonHealth) March 12, 2020
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner earlier March 11 signed a proclamation declaring a local state of disaster due to a public health emergency in an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, all city-sponsored events are canceled through March. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was also canceled.
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Updated 9:39 a.m. March 11
Harris County Public Health officials reported another presumptive positive case of coronavirus the evening of March 10. This brings the total count in Harris County up to five positive cases and three presumptive positive cases, according to a release.
Officials said the individual was temporarily living abroad in Italy and contacted her health care provider when she exhibited flu-like symptoms. She was tested for COVID-19, and when processed by the Houston Health Department, it was considered a presumptive positive. The department is awaiting confirmation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
The individual is between 20-30 years old and is from the southwest quadrant of Harris County, outside of the city of Houston, the release said. She did not require hospitalization and is quarantined at home.
HCPH officials are asking passengers who sat in business or first class on the same flights as the woman to self-isolate and call their health care provider for additional guidance. Those flights were from Florence to Frankfurt on March 3 from 10:05-11:45 a.m. and from Frankfurt to Houston on March 3 from 1:50-6:10 p.m.
This case brings the total of confirmed and presumptive positive cases up to 14 across the Greater Houston area. So far cases have been reported in Harris, Montgomery and Fort Bend counties. No reports have been made in Galveston County. However, the county has set up an informational call center for residents who have questions. The line will be staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and can be reached at 409-938-7221.
Updated 4:42 p.m. March 10
The Montgomery County Public Health District and Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management announced the county's first presumptive positive case of coronavirus in a March 10 news release. Officials said the patient, a man in his 40s, is being treated in isolation at a local hospital but did not release the hospital's name. Public health officials are looking into the patient's travel history, according to the release.
Montgomery County's first case brings the total number of presumptive positive or confirmed coronavirus cases to 13 between the city of Houston and Harris, Montgomery and Fort Bend counties. A presumptive positive case means a patient has tested positive by a public health laboratory but results are pending confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Fort Bend County Health and Human Services.
Find out how local health care providers are trying to prevent the spread of the virus here.
Published March 9
The Houston Health Department launched a call center March 9 for Houstonians to speak to staff about coronavirus, the Houston Health Department announced on Twitter. The center will be open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Voice messages left after hours will be returned the following day on a first-call, first-served basis, according to a March 9 news release from the city of Houston.
"While we are all bombarded with a huge amount of information about COVID-19, some people may find certain details confusing or even worrisome," said Dr. David Persse, local health authority for the Houston Health Department, in the release. "Our aim is to make sure the public has the facts on how to best protect themselves and allay any fears."
NEW: We're opening a #COVID19 call center today. Houstonians can call 832-393-4220 to speak to our staff.
Mon-Fri: 9 AM-7 PM
Sat: 9 AM-3 PMhttps://t.co/pLPQqzoDnD @HoustonTX @HoustonOEM @TexasDSHS @ReadyHarris @HarrisCoJudge @houstonpolice @houstonfire @COHEmployeeNews pic.twitter.com/hnno7KsQ0e
— Houston Health Dept (@HoustonHealth) March 9, 2020
Health department officials launched the call center as the number of confirmed or presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in the Greater Houston area has risen to 12, according to county and city officials. The first two confirmed cases were identified in Harris County on March 5 with a third presumptive positive case identified in the unincorporated area of the county that evening, Community Impact Newspaper previously reported.
Harris County Public Health officials announced an additional presumptive positive case in a news release March 8, bringing the county's total to four identified cases. All of the identified Harris County cases are related to a group traveling to and from Aswan, Egypt, on the M.S. A'sara cruise, HCPH officials announced March 8; there is no evidence of community spread in the county, according to the release.
Fort Bend County has also identified six presumptive positive travel-related cases of the virus, according to Fort Bend County Health and Human Services. According to the department, a presumptive positive case means a patient has tested positive by a public health laboratory but results are pending confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fort Bend County's first presumptive positive case was identified March 4, according to the county health department.
In Fort Bend County, residents can contact a call center weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with questions about the virus.
Two additional presumptive positive cases were identified March 6 in Fort Bend County with an additional three presumptive positive cases reported March 8 in the county, bringing the county's total to six cases, according to county information.
The Houston Health Department confirmed two travel-related cases of the virus March 6.
As all cases are travel related and there is no evidence of community spread, Harris County Public Health, Houston Health Department and Fort Bend County Health and Human Services officials issued a news release March 8 asking all residents who traveled to Egypt and took a Nile River cruise to immediately self-quarantine for 14 days and contact their local health department because they may have been exposed to the virus. The M.S. A'sara cruise was quarantined March 5 due to exposure to the virus; passengers traveling on that cruise line from Feb. 12-March 5 may have been exposed to the virus, the news release states.
Recent passengers experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath must stay home, away from other people and contact their health care provider, who will work with local public health departments to determine if testing for the virus is necessary, according to the release.
Harris County Public Health,@HoustonHealth& @FortBendHealth ask local residents recently traveled to Egypt& took a Nile River cruise to immediately self-quarantine for 14 days & contact local health department.
832-393-4220 M.S. A'sara cruise passengers ONLY &staffed 9AM-7PM. pic.twitter.com/roeNEjKqKK
— Harris County Public Health #PublicHealth (@hcphtx) March 8, 2020
In addition, HCPH is also recommending residents who attended the 5:30 p.m. mass Feb. 26 at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in west Houston and sat in the last three rows on the left side to contact the department and their health care providers if any symptoms of the virus arise. Symptoms should be monitored until March 11. One of the four individuals testing positive for the virus—among the group of those traveling in Egypt—attended the Feb. 26 mass, according to HCPH information.
"I know Houstonians are concerned about [the coronavirus] especially with the recent positive cases identified in our area. It’s important to note that all cases in our area thus far are linked by international travel, and there is no evidence of community spread. For the general public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 remains low," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a March 7 statement. "While I understand the concern expressed by some, based on the current situation, public health experts indicate there is no need for the general public to avoid large gatherings in Houston."
According to a March 7 update from the Montgomery County Hospital District, the county has no confirmed cases of coronavirus.