HOUSTON – HOUSTON – Coronavirus cases in the Houston area:
- 2 confirmed cases and 2 presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in Harris County
- 1 confirmed case and 1 presumptive positive case of coronavirus in Houston
- 6 presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in Fort Bend County
- 1 possible case “under investigation” in Montgomery County
- 8 people being investigated as possible coronavirus cases in Harris County, according to KPRC 2 source
- Over 100 people being monitored who might be relatives, friends, coworkers or others who might have been in close contact with those on the Egypt trip
- Memorial Hermann asked 11 healthcare workers who were in direct contact with one of the confirmed patients to self-quarantine for 14 days
- An active retirement community in Fort Bend County has confirmed one of their residents claims to have tested positive for COVID-19.
- Rice University cancels all classes this week due to coronavirus concerns.
Harris County Public Health is reporting Sunday night one additional presumptive positive case of coronavirus in Harris County. The travel-related exposure is related to the known group from the M.S. A’sara cruise traveling to and from Aswan, Egpyt.
Fort Bend County officials announced Sunday morning three additional travel-related, presumptive positive cases of COVID-19.
One of the three individuals among the additional presumptive positive cases announced Sunday was not part of the group involved in the other Houston-area cases but was on the same cruise in Egypt at a later date, officials said in a release. All three people are in isolation at home, according to officials.
Here is a breakdown of each case by location:
On Sunday night, Harris County Public Health announced an additional presumptive positive case of coronavirus in Harris County. This brings the total to four coronavirus cases in Harris County: two confirmed cases and 2 presumptive positive cases.
The individual, described as a female between 60-70 years old from unincorporated northwest Harris County, is in stable condition, has been quarantined and is continuously being monitored by the HCPH, per the release. Her test results were processed at the Houston Health Department and are considered presumptive positive until it is re-tested and confirmed by the CDC in Atlanta.
This travel-related exposure is related to the known group from the M.S. A’sara cruise traveling to and from Aswan, Egpyt. All of the coronavirus cases in the Greater Houston area are related to the cruise.
“The immediate risk to Harris County residents remain low as cases in Harris County are all travel-related and there is no evidence of community spread at this time,” per the release.
Thursday afternoon, Harris County officials announced that a man and a woman were confirmed to have coronavirus. They are currently hospitalized. The female patient is a staff member of Rice University, officials said.
By nightfall, the county announced that another man, between the ages of 60 and 70, was considered to be a presumptive positive case of coronavirus. He was also hospitalized and is in stable condition.
All three patients live in an unincorporated part of northwest Harris County.
A source told KPRC 2 Investigates said Friday there are eight other people across Harris County who are being investigated as possible coronavirus cases, and that just over 100 people who may have come in contact with those people are being monitored.
A man in Houston between the age of 60 and 70 is considered to have a presumptive positive case of coronavirus. The man is experiencing mild symptoms and is in self-quarantine at home.
On Friday, city officials said the second case of coronavirus was identified in a 60- to 70-year-old woman. The woman is hospitalized and is listed in stable condition, officials said.
Officials said there is no evidence that coronavirus is being spread throughout the community. They said an investigation is underway to identify anyone who may have come in contact with the two coronavirus patients.
Fort Bend County
Sunday morning, Fort Bend County officials announced three additional presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. Officials said the cases are travel-related. All three people are in isolation at home, according to officials.
An active retirement community in Fort Bend County has confirmed Saturday one of their residents claims to have tested positive for COVID-19.
Del Webb Sweetgrass, the active retirement community, has two residents in self-quarantine, according to a statement.
Part of the statement reads, “The Community HOA has alerted the community about the situation and is asking residents to take appropriate precautions to restrict the spread of the disease.”
A man in his 70s in Fort Bend County was announced to have a presumptive positive case of coronavirus Wednesday. He is currently hospitalized and is in stable condition.
On Friday, Fort Bend County officials announced that there were two more presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in the county. Both patients are women in their 60s who traveled abroad where it is believed they contracted the virus. Both patients were under self-quarantine at home and while one woman’s symptoms “have resolved,” the other woman is exhibiting “mild symptoms,” officials said.
Friday evening, the Montgomery County Public Health District said there was one case of possible coronavirus case “under investigation” in the county.
“We are not releasing the numbers of those under testing as they rapidly change from day to day,” officials wrote. “If we have a positive result, and therefore have a presumptive confirmed case, we will send out a press release immediately.”
Memorial Hermann announced Saturday they asked 11 healthcare workers who were in direct contact with one of the confirmed patients to self-quarantine for 14 days.
The healthcare workers were notified of the possible exposure for coronavirus Friday, officials said at a press conference Saturday. Some of the workers are exhibiting minor symptoms, but all have been or will be tested for COVID-19, officials said. All are being monitored and asked to self-quarantine at home.
Rice University cancels all classes this week due to coronavirus concerns.
Out of an abundance of caution and to allow faculty and staff time to prepare for possible remote instruction this semester, in-person classroom instruction and undergrad teaching labs for the week of March 9 are canceled. During the week of March 9-13, faculty can provide material that can be completed remotely and does not require group interaction.
Rice University officials said they were notified that their employee tested positive for coronavirus by the Harris County Public Health department Thursday.
“The other Rice doctoral students, faculty and staff who are currently in self-quarantine have been notified,” university officials wrote in a statement to KPRC 2. “They remain in self-quarantine and none has reported symptoms to date.”
School officials said the Rice University employee was on campus on Feb. 24-25 and Rice public safety officers learned of the case on Feb. 29.
“The affected employee’s presence on campus was limited to one building, which has been extensively and continuously sanitized along with the rest of the campus,” school officials wrote. “Based on our investigation, the staff member had no direct contact with our undergraduate population and has not been in any residential colleges or classrooms since returning to Houston Feb. 20.”
As a result of the woman’s contact with the Rice University community, 17 people are in self-quarantine and are being monitored by health officials.
“The faculty, doctoral students and staff at Rice who had brief contact with the employee remain under self-quarantine, and it’s reassuring to know that they are reporting no symptoms of the virus. We are doing everything we can to support them while they remain in quarantine, which should end next week if no symptoms develop,” Rice University President David Leebron wrote in an email to the school community Thursday evening.
“Our campus custodians have thoroughly sanitized the area that the affected staff member came in contact with and have extended those extra measures to major touchpoints throughout the campus,” Leebron wrote.
Officials take action
The patients who traveled to Egypt in February did not show symptoms immediately and so they went about their business as usual for a few days, officials said.
The presumptive positive cases are all considered actionable, officials say. This means the patients’ tests were conducted and confirmed as coronavirus by a local lab but officials are waiting for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab in Atlanta to confirm the test results.
Officials are working to determine who else was on the trip with the five patients. As of now, 17 members of the Rice University community are under self-quarantine and 10 people who came in direct contact with the patient from Fort Bend County are also under self-quarantine.
“We have been mapping their networks, where they’ve been, and reaching out to the folks they may have come into contact with,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo in a press conference.
"These cases are travel-related and, at this time, there is no evidence of community spread,” officials wrote in a press release.
“That we do everything we can to determine who else may have potentially been exposed to these individuals... that’s our number one priority,” said Dr. Umair Shah with the Harris County Public Health Authority.
What should I do?
Officials ask that if you feel sick and think you might have coronavirus, to contact your health care provider or a hospital and describe your symptoms and travel history.
“If they recommend testing, go as soon as possible to protect yourself and those around you,” officials wrote. “Testing is confidential. HCPH does not release information about suspected cases to encourage people to get tested and many people test negative.”
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick. Keeping a sick child at home prevents the spread of illness in the school and community and allows your child an opportunity to rest and recover.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.