County Judge Lina Hidalgo raised the threat to red during the summer when the Delta variant began to spread across the county seeing COVID cases spike to high levels not seen since November of 2020.
Orange means that there is a significant risk of community spread with the virus, while red means severe risk of community spread.
“Over the past several weeks, we’ve seen an encouraging drop in the number of new COVID-19 cases and our hospital population,” Hidalgo said in a statement. “This didn’t happen by coincidence – it happened because of our community’s hard work to step up and increase our vaccination rates.
“That said, we’re not out of the woods. The decreases in our trends are slowing down while other communities are starting to see spikes, and as we learn to coexist with this virus over the long term, we can’t grow complacent.
“As the holidays begin to approach, we must stay vigilant to avoid another spike. The only way to do that is to get vaccinated.”
Level 2 signifies that there is still an ongoing, uncontrolled level of COVID-19 transmission in Harris County. At this level, unvaccinated residents should continue to wear masks, minimize contact with others, avoid any medium or large gatherings, and only visit permissible businesses that follow public health guidance.
Unvaccinated individuals should also continue to mask, physical distance, and avoid all medium and large gatherings. During this period of high COVID-19 transmission, vaccinated individuals should wear a mask while indoors in public places, in crowded outdoor settings, and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
To date, 9,119 people in Harris County have died from COVID-19.