Our primary webpage with COVID-19 updates, key messages, protective actions, rumor control, communications resources, emergency preparedness tips, and more is at HoustonEmergency.org (short url: bit.ly/2020Coronavirus). The page is also accessible through the homepages of HoustonHealth.org and HoustonTX.gov.

Here are our key messages:

The Houston Health Department, in conjunction with Harris County Public Health and local, state and federal health officials, continues working to protect our community from this evolving and serious public health threat.

  • There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Houston or Harris County.
  • This is a rapidly evolving situation and additional cases are expected in the U.S. in the coming days and weeks.
  • For the general public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is low. If you have not been around anyone with COVID-19 or have not visited an ongoing outbreak area, you are not at risk.
  • While people need to remain vigilant, there is currently no need for the average person to take out-of-the-ordinary protective actions.
  • People should practice routine healthy hygiene habits to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like COVID-19:
    • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. In addition to proper handwashing, use of hand sanitizer is recommended.
    • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw it away. If a tissue is not available, use the elbow of your sleeve.
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Staying home if sick.
  • It’s good general practice to maintain an emergency kit for situations where typical activity may be interrupted. Visit ready.gov for items needed for an emergency kit.
  • People who have traveled to a country with an active COVID-19 outbreak need to stay home and monitor their health for 14 days. If they feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing within 14 days, they should seek medical care right away. Before doing so, call ahead to tell the healthcare professionals about recent travel and symptoms.
  • The Houston Health Department and Harris County Public Health routinely investigate and contains infectious diseases and are well-prepared to respond to COVID-19 to protect our community.
  • If a case of COVID-19 is confirmed in or community, the Houston Health Department and Harris County Public Health will promptly inform the public.

Currently, our guidance to schools, facilities, events, businesses and venues is to ensure an adequate supply of hand soap and disinfectants, conduct environmental cleaning, provide hand sanitizing stations, place signage to remind people to practice healthy hygiene habits, and review infectious disease protocols. Additionally, we point stakeholders to this new CDC page for more guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html.

Attached you will find our primary flyers for anyone to use, which are also on the website. Additionally, we have the following video animation anyone can download for use on facility TV screens: https://we.tl/t-S2mAKvmiHN .

Thank you,

Scott Packard
Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer
Houston Health Department