'Stay Home, Stay Safe': Fort Bend Co. COVID-19 risk increased to highest level

Fort Bend County's COVID-19 risk level was increased to "red" on July 14. (Fort Bend County)

Fort Bend County’s COVID-19 risk category was increased to the highest level on Tuesday.

County Judge KP George says positive cases in the county and region are increasing at “alarming rates” and local hospitals are preparing for additional capacity as the Texas Medical Center in Houston enacts their surge plans.

He says regional demand on COVID-19 testing “has grown exponentially due to uncontrolled community spread of this virus.”

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

On Tuesday, Judge George announced that the county is now at the red “high risk” category, the highest possible level of risk”.

According to guidance from the county on the COVID-19 community risk levels, the “red” level means there is a high potential for exposure to known or suspected sources of COVID-19.

The public is encouraged to “Stay Home, Stay Safe”, minimize contact with others wherever possible and avoid leaving home except for essential needs.

The county also shared the following guidance:

· Avoid all gatherings of any size.

· Avoid non-essential business and personal travel.

· Avoid public transportation where possible.

· Practice good hygiene and social distancing.

· Cancel social visits to nursing homes, long term care facilities, and hospitals.

· Schools and after-school activities for youth close, as directed by educational authorities & advised by local health authorities.

Fort Bend County reported 216 new cases and 36 additional recoveries on Monday for a total of 5,015 cases, 1,835 recoveries and 63 deaths.

On Monday, Fort Bend ISD announced that the 2020-21 school year will begin 100 percent online.

MORE: Fort Bend ISD will begin school year all online