Harris County Judge believes scaling back reopening inevitable amid COVID-19 surge

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo addressed the state of county in a discussion with HEB President, Scott McClelland. The annual event by the Greater Houston Partnership was virtual and most of the conversation was focused on the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I believe we'd be doing better if we'd gotten this under control when we almost did back in April before things reopened," Hidalgo stated.

Hidalgo pointed to what she called "half measures" by the state and federal government for why the county and state are, again, seeing in increase in COVID-19 cases.

"We are headed in the wrong direction," she noted.

Harris County's positivity rate reached a low of almost five percent last month. Now, it's nearing eight percent. Hospitalizations are also increasing.

RELATED: The number of Coronavirus COVID-19 cases, deaths, recoveries in greater Houston area

Hidalgo noted that more than 200,000 jobs lost in the Houston area since January, but said as long as the virus is not under control the economy will continue to suffer.

"When folks know that it's safer out there, they'll have the confidence to go out and engage in the activities that are going to boost our economy," she said.

She believes another economic "pullback" is inevitable.

On Wednesday, the Texas Supreme Court denied a motion for temporary relief for businesses in El Paso County impacted by the county's lockdown order. A group of businesses, along with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, filed a lawsuit against the county.


FOX 26 reached out to Hidalgo's office to see it is considering restrictions on businesses given the court's decision.

We were told the office "won't speculate on any potential action but are closely monitoring the litigation."