On Tuesday, Harris County unveiled a plan to protect residents from the spread of COVID-19 as Texas begins to re-open portions of the economy on Friday, May 1. The three steps are test, trace and treat.
The county will increase its testing capabilities and get testing materials to facilities that need them the most. Starting next week, the county will be able to test 1,600 residents a day.
The county is in the process of hiring a team of 300 contact tracers who will reach out to people who have come into contact with someone infected with COVID-19 to ensure those individuals get tested and isolate for two weeks to prevent further spread of the virus.
The Houston-area hospital systems are taking about 200 admissions a day, but the curve has flattened. Harris County is working on a back-up shelter in case the hospital systems become overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. Officials will continue to work to ensure that healthcare capacity is in place if needed, as part of planning for another wave of infections.