Coronavirus Disease 2019
For the latest information regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), visit the Houston Emergency website.
The message below from Mayor Turner to Houstonians and visitors was issued on Feb. 18, 2020.
February 18, 2020
Dear Houstonians and visitors,
I continue to closely monitor the threat of novel coronavirus, now officially known as COVID-19. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city of Houston and the threat in our city remains low.
Public health officials indicate there will likely be more U.S. cases in the days and weeks to come. If a case is confirmed in Houston, we are ready to respond. The Houston Health Department routinely investigates and contains infectious diseases and is well-prepared to handle a case of COVID-19.
On Feb. 13, a person under quarantine at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio became the first confirmed case of NOVID-19 in Texas. It’s important to know this individual has been in quarantine since arriving to the base and poses no increased risk to the public.
While COVID-19 is an evolving public health threat, based on current information, the risk to Americans remains low and there is no need for people to take out-of-the-ordinary preventative actions.
According to Dr. David Persse, local health authority for the Houston Health Department, the more serious viral threat to Houstonians right now is the flu. Every year, there are upwards of 40,000 preventable flu-associated deaths in the United States. While COVID-19 is a new respiratory disease, ways to prevent it mirror flu prevention:
- Wash your hands frequently
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Get a flu shot. Although the flu vaccine does not offer protection from novel coronavirus, this situation is a good reminder to get your seasonal flu shot if you have not already done so.
I’m aware of false rumors regarding businesses in Houston’s Asian community. Dr. David Persse reiterates there is currently no reason for people to avoid any Houston business due to concerns about COVID-19. I encourage you to support the businesses in our Asian community as many have been negatively impacted by false rumors.
Mayor Sylvester Turner