15 Harris County Sheriff’s Office Employees Positive for COVID-19

April 3, 2020 – Two more Harris Count Sheriff’s Office employees – one deputy and one detention officer -- have received positive COVID-19 test results, bringing the agency’s total number of confirmed cases among staff to 15. Both employees are assigned to work in the Harris County Jail 1200 Baker Street facility.

The detention officer is a female in her late 30s. The deputy is a female in her late 40s. Five employees assigned to the 1200 Baker Street jail have now tested positive for the virus.

There are currently 178 Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputies, detention officers and support staff on quarantine for possible COVID-19 exposure. One of these employees is currently in the hospital. Sixty-one previously quarantined employees have now been cleared to return to duty. Seventy-three Sheriff’s Office employees have been tested, but are still awaiting results. Twenty-three employees have received negative test results.

The Sheriff’s Office is working with Harris County Public Health to identify co-workers, inmates, and members of the public who may have had close contact with the diagnosed employees so they can take necessary precautions, including quarantine and testing for those with symptoms.

At this time, three inmates in the Harris County Jail have tested positive for COVID-19. An additional 33 inmates are in quarantine with symptoms indicative of the virus and are awaiting test results.

As of April 3, 2020 (4:00 p.m.), Harris County Public Health (HCPH) has 70 new cases of COVID-19, which brings the total to 519 positive cases. HCPH is also confirming that 118 of our patients have recovered. These new cases do not include those within the City of Houston.

HCPH Reports our 5th COVID-19 Related Death

It was with great sadness that HCPH is reporting an additional death, bringing the total to 5 COVID-19 related deaths. The woman, between the ages of 80-90 years old, lived in the northwest quadrant of Harris County. She had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case and was later admitted to the hospital after developing symptoms. Additionally, she had underlying health conditions.

“We at Harris County Public Health send our heartfelt condolences to the patients' family and friends,” said Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, HCPH Executive Director. “COVID-19 does not discriminate and we want our residents in Harris County to stay home and practice social distancing as much as possible. It is our responsibility as a community to do this for one another so we can protect ourselves and loved ones.”

Dashboard Integration with HHD

HCPH and the Houston Health Department are working together and uploading our COVID-19 case data to the Harris County dashboard. The COVID-19 dashboard will update daily at 4:00 p.m. and moving forward it will provide users easy access to data from residents in the City of Houston as well as resident of unincorporated Harris County.

For information regarding case counts, quadrant data across Harris County and the latest COVID-19 information, please visithttp://hcphtx.org/covid-19.

Harris County now has community spread. Community spread refers to cases without travel history and we do not know the source of transmission which makes it harder to identify and contain the virus. We need the public’s help to prevent further community spread. Public health officials urge our residents to strictly follow the guidance provided March 24, 2020 by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner which was extended until April 30, 2020. For the complete guidance order from Harris County Judge, please visithttps://www.readyharris.org/Stay-Home.

Harris County Public Health and the Houston Health Department have opened testing sites to the general public. For more information and to see whether you may need further assessment or need to be test for COVID-19, please visithttps://covcheck.hctx.net/.

Visit www.readyharris.organdhttp://hcphtx.org/covid-19 to learn more about Coronavirus, its symptoms, and how you can help stop the spread.

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