Fort Bend Co. Has Moved From High to Moderate COVID-19 Risk Level. As of Tuesday, September 1, Fort Bend Co. has moved from high COVID-19 risk to a moderate one. The county judge, however, still urges residents to keep their guards up and maintain COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
NBC News reports that a massive recovery effort has begun for the areas affected by Hurricane Laura. The tropical storm was deemed a Category 4 by weather experts before it made landfall 2 days ago. The Texas-Louisiana border was expecting winds up to 140 mph and devestating storm damage. Reports of massive power outages, property damage, and personal damage have started to surface as the area is in recovery.
According to the US National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Laura has been upgraded to a Category 4 storm. Looking back for comparison, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that hit Louisiana and Mississippi was a Category 3 storm. Laura's winds are expected to reach 140 mph as it makes landfall at the Texas-Louisiana border by tonight. Officials expect the storm to cause "unsurvivable storm surges."
Tropical Storm Laura has been categorized as a category 3 hurricane as it heads towards the city of Houston. The storm continues to head for the Gulf Coast, and officials have started issuing evacuation orders.
In Houston, Texas, grocery stores have started preparing for the 2 tropical storms expected to hit the Gulf--Hurrican Marco and Hurricane Laura. H-E-B and Kroger, so far, have announced their purchasing limits for specific products. If you plan to stock up over the weekend, here are the stores' purchasing limit plans:
Houston Officials Urge for Hurricane Preperation in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The city of Houston will soon face another crisis as Tropical Disaster 14 officially formed on Friday afternoon. Houston officials and law enforcement in the city, alongside emergency officials, urge the Houston citizens to be prepared. Houston has faced devestating storms before, but none in the midst of another pandemic.
The Yale University School of Public Health has created a brand new saliva-based labratory diagnostic test for the novel COVID-19 virus. The researchers at Yale's School of Public Health was granted an emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration [FOX26.]
President Trump has signed 4 executive orders since Saturday detailing relief for Americans amid economic fallout from COVID-19. Trump announced that there will be a supplemental unemployment payement of $400 per week for unemployed Americans, just short of the prior $600 weekly benefit that ended on July 31. He also revealed student loan reliefs and protections from evictions for homeowners and renters are to come.
School districts in the greater Houston area have started developing back-to-school plans for the coming fall. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, much has to change. The newest guidelines for reopening have come from the Texas Education Agency. A majority of schools will be starting with virtual and remote learning only, while some others are simply pushing start dates back.
Hurricane Hanna Updates: Disaster Declaration Issued for Fort Bend County, Galveston County, and More.
Governor Greg Abbott held a press conferenc on July 25, detailing the state's response to Hurricane Hanna, which just made landfall today. Gov. Abbott had a weather briefing with the Texas Division of Emergency Mangement's meterologist about Hurrican Hanna and it's oncoming effects. Gov. Abbott announced the Disaster Declaration and requested an Emergency Decleration from the Trump Administration, FEMA for Public Assistance, Hazard Mitigation, and Direct Federal Assistance.
Austin, Texas reporters have catalogued another daily high of deaths related to the coronavirus illness. The state has even reported a small decrease in COVID-19 positive cases, but those who test positive do not always carry symptoms, and may not be testing themselves even as they infect other people.
With COVID-19 worldwide deaths topping 600,000, Houston Has Over 87,000 Positive COVID-19 Cases. Officials are urging Houston citizens to be cautious as the city opens back up. New numbers indicate a need for new COVID-19 treatment centers at NRG Stadium in the fourth-largest city. New free testing centers are being opened around Houston, with more info here.
COVID-19 Positive Cases Surge and City Officials Push for Another Lockdown. The top offiicials of Houston are urging the city to go into another lock down given the high rise of COVID-19 cases in the past months. Hospitals have undergone a large increase in sick patients bringing them to the point of capacity.
"A Houston research firm has been selected for COVID-19 vaccine trials." [FOX26 Houston]. The Texas Center for Drug Development has started searching for volunteers to participate in its COVID-19 vaccine trials. The trial is in conjunction with DM Clinical Research, which is one of the largest non-institutional clinical research networks in Houston, according to FOX 26. The trial will be conducted under ccareful oversight from research physicians.
According to CNN, "The order will affect Texans in any county reporting 20 or more coronavirus cases." Governor Greg Abbott has issued a statewide executive order that requires all Texans to wear face coverings or masks in public spaces. This order applies to all counties with more than 20 positive COVID-19 cases. According to Click2Houston, "the Governor also issued a proclamation giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of over 10 people, making it mandatory that [...] people cannot be in groups larger than ten and must maintain six feet of social distancing from others."
Hospitilization Surges with over 6,000 new patients after COVID-19 Spreads through Texas. ABC 13 is reporting that 6,975 new cases have been reported in Texas on Tuesday June 30. After Gov. Abbott closed bars last week and decreased restaurant capacity back to 50%, the efforts have not slowed the spread of the novel coronavirus. Masks have not been mandated in Texas, like in other states with lower cases such as New York, Conneticut, and New Jersey who have also imposed travel bans. Individual stores require masks, but the state as a whole has take abysmal prevention steps.
"Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that the state is facing a “massive outbreak” in the coronavirus pandemic as the numbers of new cases and hospitalizations hit record highs, and that some new local restrictions may be needed to protect hospital space for new patients." [FOX26]