The Woodlands Township COVID-19 Update, March 24, 2020
Harris County Issues Stay Home, Work Safe Order
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo issued a stay-at-home order on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. The order will take effect for residents of Harris County at 11:59 p.m. and expire on April 3, 2020. The order stipulates that most businesses cease operations, aside from those on an essential list including grocery stores, pharmacies, healthcare providers, government agencies, gas stations and more. The order also instructs residents of Harris County to stay home except for essential errands. Workers in the energy, transportation, construction and food service industries will be among those allowed to remain on the job during this time. Read the complete Harris County order.
Montgomery County Judge Keough message after Commissioner’s Court
Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough reiterated today that Montgomery County is not under a Shelter in Place order currently, but residents are asked to continue abiding by the existing orders set forth last week. Residents are asked to limit person-to-person interaction and to continue practicing social distancing. Restaurants remain limited to take-out/delivery/catering operations and bars, clubs, theaters and gyms remain closed. The public is asked to continue to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people.
Judge Keough encouraged Montgomery County residents to remain caring of their neighbor and to maintain optimism that the community will get through this difficult time together.
Board Meeting Reminder
The Woodlands Township Board of Directors will hold its first ever public meeting via videoconference tomorrow, Wednesday, March 25, 2020 to begin at 6 p.m. Central Daylight Time. The Board will be discussing matters related to COVID-19. The meeting can be viewed online at http://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/778/Meeting-Videos.
Message from The Woodlands Fire Department Chief Palmer Buck
The Woodlands Fire Department has elevated its readiness level in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is being staffed 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. to coordinate information flow from both Harris and Montgomery County, as well as the State EOC.
We are working closely with our EMS partners at Montgomery County Hospital District and Cypress Creek EMS to coordinate response guidelines and provide the best care possible to our citizens while simultaneously making sure the exposure risks to our first responders and the general public are minimized.
The Fire Department has staffed 3 medical response units in addition to our normal on-duty resources to increase response capabilities and coverage. Our firefighter/medics have gone through several “just in time” training sessions to cover the latest assessment and treatment guidelines for possible COVID -19 patients, and the latest CDC guidelines for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and decontamination procedures.
As part of social distancing to decrease the spread of COVID-19, our fire stations are not currently accepting visitors. We look forward to resuming normal operations and engaging with the community when together, we defeat COVID-19.
Harris County Coronavirus Response Hub
In response to this ongoing public health emergency, an interactive web-based dashboard has been developed, hosted by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, to visualize and track reported cases in real-time. The dashboard illustrates the location and number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, deaths, and recoveries for all affected countries.
This page also provides additional information including, testing, confirmed cases, call centers, and other community resources.
Montgomery County Coronavirus Response Hub
Montgomery County has created a Coronavirus Response Hub which includes a Community Impact Dashboard and provides information, maps and resources about the coronavirus response in Montgomery County Texas. Find out the community impact of COVID-19 including current case count, status, and which public facilities have been infected.
In addition to the Community Impact Dashboard, this page provides an abundance of helpful information including call centers, emergency declarations, information for small businesses, symptoms of COVID-19, precautionary steps, local updates and additional national and global resources.
The Hub is maintained by the Montgomery County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and Montgomery County GIS with cooperation from Montgomery County Public Health.
Harris County COVID-19 Case Count
Harris County Public Health (HCPH) has confirmed, as of 3 p.m. today, 25 new cases of COVID-19, which brings the total to 79 positive cases, including one COVID-19 related death, reported on March 19, 2020. HCPH is also confirming that 12 of our patients have recovered. These new cases do not include those within the City of Houston. View Harris County release .
Montgomery County COVID-19 Case Count
Montgomery County Public Health District (MCPHD), in conjunction with Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management, can confirm Montgomery County now has 23 positive cases of COVID-19. As of 3 p.m. today, MCPHD has been notified of 224 negative and 23 positive test results of county residents. Results are pending for another 128 residents. Please read the release for more information on these specific cases.
Governor Abbott Update
Governor Abbott concluded a press conference providing an update on the state’s response to Covid-19.
The Texas State Health Services has 715 confirmed positive cases. There are other sources reporting higher numbers that include cases (e.g. people being brought off cruise ships) not considered by the state.
Texas has reported 11 deaths.
65 counties currently have residents with confirmed positive tests.
More than 11,000 tests have been conducted statewide.
The state continues to see high demand for supplies of PPE. The Governor’s designated supply chain strike force has ordered $80 million in supplies. By the end Of week TX Division of Emergency Management expects to receive 100,000 masks per day. Next week the governor’s strike force also expects 100,000 masks per day. As supplies ramp up Texas expects to see 1 million masks a week.
The state is accepting donations of PPE and medical supplies. Go to: www.texas.gov.
The state continues to follow the governor’s last executive order which mirrors CDC and Presidential guidelines.
In response to press questions, the Governor indicated based on his travels that citizens may not be following the requests to limit travel and activities to the degree necessary. As such, he indicated he remains flexible in considering whatever future actions may be necessary to help stop the spread of the virus.
Simple Recycling (textile recycling service that uses orange bags) has stopped service across the state as of today, March 24, 2020. Residents who have collected textiles are encouraged to hold on to these items. Many local donation centers are currently not accepting donations for safety reasons, but will be in need of your materials more than ever once they are operating again. All Waste Management trash, recycling and yard waste pickups are running their regular schedules.
The Great American Takeout
Lunch today, dinner tonight? Join the large-scale campaign, The Great American Takeout, today, Tuesday, March 24, 2020, and promoted heavily by Visit The Woodlands. Order food for delivery or pick-up and display continuing support of local restaurants during this time of staying-at-home and social distancing. Be sure to share your food photo on social media along with #sowoodlands #thegreatamericantakeout and #SaferatHome.
Dining at a Distance: Dine out without dining in!
Visit The Woodlands, the destination marketing organization for The Woodlands, is actively working with The Woodlands restaurants, compiling and updating a list of local restaurants offering delivery or curbside pick-up. View and share the growing list of restaurants here: www.visitthewoodlands.com/eatlocal. If you aren’t currently listed and would like to be, fill out the form here and we’ll add it! If you’re already listed on this page and need it to be updated or have a menu changed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have lost your job due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Texas Workforce Commission has waived the waiting period to apply for unemployment benefits. A link to the Texas Workforce Commission application is here: https://twc.texas.gov/news/covid-19-resources-job-seekers
Local food banks are inventorying their resources to ascertain what will be needed in the days to come. Many Township residents have expressed a desire to volunteer or donate; please see the information below regarding those needs.
• Interfaith of The Woodlands is continuing to provide Senior Grocery Delivery, Crisis Assistance Services and Food Pantry Assistance. Please read on to learn how you can lend support to Interfaith.
• Montgomery County Food Bank is conducting a virtual food drive. Please read on to learn how you can help.
• In addition, free groceries will be distributed, while supplies last, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, and Wednesday, April 1, 2020, at the Community Assistance Center parking lot at 1022 McCall Street in Conroe. For more information, please call 936-539-9211 to see if you qualify for this service.
Township Emphasizes the Importance of Social Distancing
Social distancing is a set of actions intended to stop or slow down the spread of a contagious disease. The objective of social distancing is to reduce the probability of contact between persons carrying an infection, and others who are not infected, so as to minimize disease transmission, morbidity and ultimately, mortality.
The Township Board of Directors has closed the Township parks system and the placement of signage at all parks as a precaution to the coronavirus outbreak. Township law enforcement resources will only be used to enforce park closure rules for large groups that are blatantly in violation of the most recent Montgomery County and Harris County Orders regarding gatherings at public facilities. We strongly encourage residents to abide by CDC guidance during this crisis.
The Township’s Coronavirus page
The Woodlands Township has launched a special COVID-19 information page that can be found at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/covid19. This page includes the latest news from The Township, updates from partner agencies, social distancing strategies, important links, frequently asked questions, live Twitter feeds and more and is being updated frequently. Please check back often.
Please stay connected to The Woodlands Township through our many communications channels. Learn more and sign up at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/stayinformed.