Harris County confirms presumptive positive COVID-19 case, area cases total 12

Harris County Public Health is reporting an additional presumptive positive case of coronavirus, bringing the total cases in the greater Houston area to 12 confirmed and presumptive cases.

The case is a woman between 60 and 70 years old and is associated with the trip to Egypt linked to other Houston area COVID-19 cases.

Fort Bend County Health & Human Services confirmed three additional travel-related cases of COVID-19 on Sunday morning. 

Houston ISD released the following statement: 

The Houston Independent School District has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. However, acting out of an abundance of caution, several individuals have been placed on a 14-day self-quarantine. All self-quarantine individuals recently returned from a country on the CDC travel warning list or are closely related to someone who did. Schools will be identified specifically if cases are positively confirmed.

In any situation involving the assessment of students and staff, the HISD Health and Medical Services Department closely consults with the City of Houston Health Department or the Harris County Public Health Department, as well as the CDC, and follows guidelines established by these agencies.

As a precautionary measure, impacted schools will undergo a deep cleaning and sanitization. This includes fogging all rooms with CDC-recommended disinfectant and cleaning all air ducts, a common practice for potential cases of airborne viruses.

For all other schools, HISD is continuing to follow its standard procedure for routine cleaning and disinfection of schools, with special emphasis placed on disinfection of door handles, desks, and other frequently touched areas, as suggested by local and state health officials and the Texas Education Agency.

Custodial teams also are making sure all schools and buildings are properly stocked with needed supplies, including soap, paper towels, and toilet paper. Surplus supplies also have been ordered and are on-hand, should schools need to be quickly restocked. Campus custodial staff should continue to follow the standard process for re-ordering supplies if needed.

All routine school cleaning is done by in-house and contract custodial crews. Any additional cleaning and disinfecting supplies for teachers to have on hand in their classrooms must be ordered at the campus level. Bus sanitization is also taking place.

As Spring Break approaches, the district is asking all HISD students, families, and staff to take extra precautions when traveling. Follow all CDC travel guidelines, which provide country-specific information.

While COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus, daily precautions recommended to prevent respiratory illnesses are the same:

•  Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when you can't wash your hands.

•  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

•  Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, use the elbow of your sleeve. Don’t use your hands to cover coughs and sneezes.

•  Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

•  Stay home when you are sick and keep children home when they are sick.

•  Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

•  Get a flu shot. (Although the flu shot does not protect against COVID-19, it is flu season.)