Houston Mayor fears July 4th holiday will increase spread of COVID-19

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Today, Houston added 832 additional cases of COVID-19. That brings our increasing total to 21,123. The City is also adding four more deaths to the fatality count, now at 228.

One woman in her 20’s with no underlying health issues is included among the four new local COVID-19 deaths.

Mayor Turner says numbers are now higher than they’ve been. Testing, contact tracing and hospitalization is at capacity, with hospitals on the brink of becoming overwhelmed as numbers continue to surge in Houston.

Tuesday, Texas saw the highest increase at under 7,000 new cases across the state. Texas saw another record increase of over 8,000 new cases across the state.

The Mayor along with local emergency responder officials expressed concern for the approaching holiday weekend.

The Mayor says that “unless the behavior changes, there could reach a point where they are at their limit,” about hospitals.

Wearing a mask is a must.

Houston Mayor Turner

If we stay on the current path, then we are going to be running into trouble. This week, the numbers are far worse than our first impact. Over the next couple of weeks starting yesterday, we need to stay mindful and wear masks.

The weekend will be critical for the amount of spread that occurs over the next two weeks. The Mayor advises everyone to avoid parties and celebration gatherings.

The city’s official 4th will be virtual for the City of Houston and television because there won’t be any gatherings in the traditional setting at Eleanor Tinsley Park. Sam Houston Park will be closed.

HFD is reporting new numbers for 260 firefighters in quarantine with a 200% increase in cases among HFD emergency personnel compared to numbers a few weeks ago. Sixty-six firefighters are currently ‘positive.’ Overall, 127 have contracted COVID-19 and have since returned to work.

Houston firefighters are being severely impacted. The pandemic has put our Houston Fire Department in a vulnerable position to be attacked by the virus on several fronts. At this point with the spread, ambulance holds are often over an hour. Response has been at capacity for community hospitals like BenTaub and LBJ. They are now at capacity and are moving patients to other areas.

With 4th of July coming up, we’re going to be stretched extremely thin.

HFD Chief Pena

Steve Wright, Head of Houston Parks and Recreation for the city announced the closure of Sam Houston Parks and Sam Houston Parks downtown.

Being the holiday is on a Saturday this year, we’re going to keep the parks and trails open for active recreational activity. That means “keep moving,” along the trail. No social gathering, congregating or stopping at picnic tables.

Steve Wright, Head of Houston Parks and Recreation

Down in Galveston, officials announced the beaches will be closed for the July 4th holiday.

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