Why a Harris County judge says he is not yet ready to reduce the COVID-19 threat level, but may soon do so


HOUSTON – Major metrics trend like declining infection rates and ICU hospitalizations for the first time in months, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo says there is not yet time to reduce the county’s COVID-19 threat level.

Currently, Harris County is at the highest threat level: Red Level 1.

Hidalgo told KPRC 2 on Monday that the COVID-19 is scaling back to orange on the Threat Level System.

Harris County COVID-19 Threat Level System (KPRC)

“We can go orange in a few days, you know, a week or two. We could keep it. If those trends continue to decline, but it is up to all of us. We are not enough, we are very close, ”she said.

Hidalgo pointed to positive signs such that the number of COVID-19 patients being treated in ICUs at the hospital is decreasing.

“The second indicator we have for going to orange is the percentage of ICUs that are COVID positive below 15% and we have crossed today,” he said.

But other numbers are not where they need to be, Hidalgo said.

“The positivity rate in Harris County is around 8% which we should be at five. Another one matters. We are looking at an average of 450 cases a day or we need to be at 400.

Doctors believe the current story of Harris County’s current coronavirus data is positive, but warns residents not to pay attention to health and safety practices.

“The only reason we are doing better is because we avoid masking, distancing, managing behavior, aggregation of people in small places, avoiding public gatherings, all of this good and hard work that really paid off. And so we have the virus under control and still need to continue, ”said Dr. James McDevitt of the Boiler College of Medicine.

Experts have warned that the number of possible new cases and in-person learning students may rise again in the next week.

On Monday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner also said the area is on the right track. Turner said the city’s positivity rate is going to 6.1% and below. Although the positivity rate is decreasing, it has not reached the target of 5% and below.

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