Harris County’s COVID-19 threat level to severe red; Plans for rapid tests at schools will be announced

SPRING, Texas (KTRK) – Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is expected to raise the county’s COVID-19 threat level to “severe” red, the top spot on the scale, as she spoke from Spring ISD campus on Monday.

As part of a 2 p.m. event at Carolee Booker Elementary School, Hidalgo is also mapping out the efforts the county is making to provide school districts with rapid COVID-19 antigen tests.

Officials including County Commissioner Rodney Ellis and Dr. Ericka Brown, deputy local health officer at Harris County Public Health, are expected to join Hidalgo on Monday.

ABC13 is streaming the event in the video player above.

Hidalgo’s action comes as cases of the virus are on the rise in southeastern Texas due to the highly contagious omicron variant, which has put pressure on local hospitals.

SEE MORE: The powers of Harris Co.

According to the county’s threat scale, the red “severe” order represents a “stay home, work safe” order, which has been in place since the early stages of the pandemic, unless you’ve been vaccinated.

“Level 1 denotes the severity and uncontrollability of COVID-19 in Harris County, which means that outbreaks are growing and getting worse and public health capacity is strained. straight or beyond”, State county website. “At this level, unvaccinated residents should take action to minimize contact with others wherever possible and avoid leaving their homes except for the most essential needs like going to the grocery store. to buy food and medicine.”

The move also comes days after overturning a state appeals court ruling that upheld the county’s mask authorization because Texas Governor Abbott continued to oppose the order.

SEE MORE: ABC13 City Hall to explore the impact of omicron variation in the Houston area

This is an evolving story. All updates can be found in this article.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. Copyright Registered. Harris County’s COVID-19 threat level to severe red; Plans for rapid tests at schools will be announced

Dais Johnston

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