For schools and businesses to safely reopen, a coordinated effort across local government, public health experts, and business and community leaders will be paramount. A commitment to making decisions based on a common set of measurements will reduce the likelihood of see-sawing between opening and closing, which harms our economy and exhausts our community.
We are committed to safely moving forward together, but that commitment must coexist with awareness that reopening too quickly may pose health risks and economic setbacks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that reopening be dependent on a downward trajectory of hospitalizations and infections over a 14-day period. Additionally, we are tracking our ability to treat the sickest patients and our ability to test, track, and contain spread in the community. The County will use key health indicators in four categories to assess the threat level of COVID-19 and our ability to respond to it:
- Hospital System
- Contact Tracing
If any one of these indicators are not at a satisfactory level, it is a sign that our ability to manage the virus’s impact on our community is diminished. If cases and contact tracing indicators are at manageable levels, but our hospital population is high, we must continue to maintain preventative measures to ensure that we have the ability to treat the sickest patients. If our hospital population is low, but cases are increasing, we must continue preventative measures to control the spread. To move down the ladder of the threat level system, all of the thresholds for the below indicators must be met:
||Contact Tracing Capacity
14-day flat or decreasing trend in daily COVID-19 hospital population in Harris County.
14-day flat or decreasing trend in daily COVID-19 ICU population in Harris County.
14-day average of the general population and ICU beds in use by COVID-19 patients in Harris County:
- Greater than 15% = red
- Greater than 10% = orange
- Greater than 5% = yellow
14-day flat or decreasing trend in new COVID-19 cases in Harris County
14-day average of Positivity Rate less than 5%
14-day average of new cases reported in Harris County, outside the city of Houston:
- Greater than 400 = Red
- Greater than 200 = Orange
- Greater than 100 = Yellow