Wed. AM update: Houston virus numbers up; Mayor says distancing is working


The stay at home orders haven't been easy for anyone in the Houston area. But, despite rising COVID-19 numbers, those orders may be working.

Even as the COVID-19 numbers keep going up, the measures city and county officials want you to know that social distancing is having a positive impact.

"By April 22nd, we could save 13,220 lives right here in the Houston and Harris County area. The message is very clear. Social distancing works," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

That said, the city now has 1,320 cases of the virus with 11 deaths. Harris County has 826 cases with 12 people losing their lives. The Houston area with 3,382 cases and 50 deaths while the state has 9,196 cases while losing 176 people. The new projected 'peak date' for coronavirus in Texas is April 19th, and that coincides with Montgomery County saying they expect a big increase in cases in the middle of the month.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says 20 county jail staff and three inmates tested positive for COVID-19. 52 inmates are under self-quarantine. Those numbers come out as area law enforcement railed against the decision to release prisoners, and in some cases, violent criminals, from the Harris County jail. HPD Chief Art Acevedo says the judges are at fault more than anyone else.

"These judges at the court, some of them, don't want the public to know how they are coddling violent criminals. This group will make sure that we shed light," Acevedo stated.

Elsewhere:

  • The first Houston fire fighter to be hospitalized for COVID-19 is in ICU, but Captain Al Capistran is not on a ventilator.
  • One unidentified HPD officer is also in ICU.
  • A nurse at the DeBakey VA Medical Center has died from virus complications.
  • Harris County has started building a $60 million medical shelter at NRG park.
  • Southwest Airlines says it has hunabout 600 employees that have tested COVID-19 positive. American Airlines says its number is around 100.
  • And The Lakewood Church Easter service is going to be star studded with Kanye West, Mariah Carey and Tyler Perry all appearing remotely.

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