FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2020
Harris County Confirms Additional Presumptive Positive Case of COVID-19
Houston – Earlier today, Harris County announced two confirmed COVID-19 cases. This evening an additional resident has been identified as a presumptive positive case. The individual is a man between 60 – 70 years-old from the unincorporated area of northwest Harris County, outside the City of Houston. He is currently hospitalized and in stable condition. There are now three confirmed cases in unincorporated Harris County.
This case was also acquired abroad and is related to the cases disclosed earlier today. There is no evidence of community spread.
COVID-19 testing was performed by the City of Houston Laboratory and final confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are pending.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that first emerged in China and has now spread to many countries, including the U.S. While HCPH understands our residents will be concerned, we also know that more than 80% of people who have become infected only experience mild to moderate symptoms and fully recover. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. People at higher risk for serious complications are the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
If you do feel sick and believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your health care provider or a hospital immediately. Describe your symptoms and travel history. If they recommend testing, go as soon as possible to protect yourself and those around you. Testing is confidential. HCPH does not release information about suspected cases to encourage people to get tested and many people test negative.
HCPH is working closely with other area public health departments, including the Houston Health Department, medical experts, providers, hospitals and state and federal health officials. Harris County residents can help prevent the spread of this virus by taking the same preventive measures used to protect against colds and flu:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick. Keeping a sick child at home prevents the spread of illness in the school and community and allows your child an opportunity to rest and recover.
• Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Updates on the COVID-19, including health tips, fact sheets, case counts, and rumor control are available on www.ReadyHarris.org
and the HCPH website.
The Regional Joint Information Center is closed for the evening and will reopen at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, March 5, 2020