Houston now has 377 cases of COVID-19 and four deaths, with number still expected to rise.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an extension of the stay at home order today. The Governor extended the stay at home order until April 30. Schools will remain closed until May 4th.
Now Houston and Harris County officials are acceding the order city and county wide.
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Mayor Sylvestor Turner confirmed today around 3p.m. that 68 more people in Houston have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total for the City of Houston, bringing to 377 cases of coronavirus within our city limits.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo has spearheaded the focus unto the Harris County jail, which has one confirmed case of COVID-19, with “more to come” Hidalgo said. Two dozen more local inmates have COVID-19 symptoms.
It’s a dangerous situation with 8,000 inmates in our jail; where it’s impossible to maintain social distancing, and proper healthcare. Every one of our responders, like police and fire personnel who go in and out of these facilities put their family at risk.
Medical bed capacity throughout the state has about 4,000 beds available. However, many are occupied by other patients. With 8,000 inmates in our county jail, coming out to take a bed would overwhelm these resources.
Hidalgo says “the situation is quite challenging and dangerous. A case in the jail will spread like wildfire if we don’t take drastic measures.”
Hidalgo will soon finalize an order with certain exceptions. Some inmates with non-violent charges and history will be put through a release process within sheriff pretrial services. If not found guilty in connection to a violent crime, they will be released with obligation to work through their case within the proper channels, but not from behind bars. This would apply to around 1,000-1,200 inmates.
However, they are not being absolved of their crime.
Hidalgo assures that crime victims will be safe and that every case will be handles individually.