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Township COVID-19 Weekend Updates – March 29

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On Saturday, March 28 and Sunday, March 29, 2020, The Woodlands Township shared the following updates regarding the COVID-19 crisis.

Hotlines for health questions and COVID-19

Montgomery County: 936-523-5040

Harris County: 713-634-1110

County News

Montgomery County COVID-19 Case Count (as of March 29, 2020)

Montgomery County Public Health District, in conjunction with Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management, can confirm Montgomery County now has 65positive cases of COVID-19, an increase of 2 from yesterday. The County office also announces another recovery — Case # 3 has fully recovered from COVID-19.

This is just a reminder that moving forward, Montgomery County will update cases here: https://mcphd-tx.org/coronavirus-covid-19/confirmed-cases/.

The chart will be updated daily by 3:00 p.m. Right now, there are 376 negative results and 135 pending tests.

Harris County COVID-19 Case Count (as of March 29, 2020)

As of March 29, 2020 (3:00 p.m.), Harris County Public Health (HCPH) has 27 new cases of COVID-19, which brings the total to 240 positive cases, including the second COVID-19 related death. HCPH is also confirming that 34 of the patients have recovered. These new cases do not include those within the City of Houston. Harris County Public Health updates case counts daily at 3:00 p.m. and keeps an ongoing list of case statuses on its website. For the complete list of Harris County confirmed case information with status details, please visit https://www.hcphtx.org/Resources/2019-Novel-Coronavirus/Harris-County-COVID-19-Confirmed-Cases.

State News

Governor Abbott held a press conference on March 29, at 2:30 p.m. in Austin regarding the state response to COVID-19. He stressed that  the state has sufficient hospital beds at this time and is proactive in planning for the next 2-3 weeks. Also, the Governor strengthened his executive order on travel to include all travel from Louisiana and air travel from California, Washington and additional cities (see below). Governor Abbott also issued an executive order to prohibit the release of dangerous criminals from jails and prisons.

Testing and Case Numbers

As a reminder, testing occurs in real time. These numbers may vary from other reports.

  • Texas has 2,552 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases. Positive tests have occurred in 118 counties.
  • There have been 34 deaths connected to COVID-19.
  • Texas has tested 25,482 individuals. More than 90% of tests are negative. Of those testing positive, roughly 90% do not require hospitalization.

Hospital Capacity

  • Hospitals remain the primary care for those needing COVID-19 related hospitalization. Less than 2% of available bed capacity is currently being used.
  • Texas has done an analysis of hospital bed capacity statewide. More than 16,000 beds are available for COVID-19 patients should they be needed.
  • Texas, working with the Texas National Guard and US Army Corps of Engineers, have now made the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center in Dallas available for additional patients should the capacity be needed in the next few weeks. The center is currently ready to host 250 beds and has a total capacity of 1400 beds.

Newest Executive Orders

The Governor expanded his executive order related to travel into Texas:

  • Travelers entering Texas by air or roadway from Louisiana are mandated to self-quarantine for 14 days. The Department of Public Safety will be posted at points of entry.
  • Travel related to commerce, critical infrastructure, military service, or healthcare are exempt)
  • Air travel into Texas from Miami (FL), Atlanta (GA), Detroit (MI), Chicago (IL) and from any location in California or Washington state requires a 14 day self-quarantine. Again, the Department of Public Safety will be enforcing the quarantine.
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Township News

As of March 29, 2020:

The Township Board of Directors urges residents to continue social distancing and proper hygiene and cleaning with diligence in the both Montgomery and Harris County orders of Stay at Home. “While Sunday’s numbers showed good signs, we need to continue to be diligent in taking these measures seriously,” said Township Chairman Gordy Bunch.

As of March 28, 2020:

According to Township Chairman Gordy Bunch in conversations with Montgomery County health officials, Montgomery County potentially will see a larger jump in confirmed COVID-19 cases the next several days based on the significant increase in testing kits now available.

“We do expect to see a rise in confirmed cases countywide as there has been a lot more tests available and administered from public and private sources,” Chairman Bunch said.

He added that Montgomery County has said 85% of tests continue to come back negative for COVID-19.

“It is also important to point out the total number of confirmed cases 63 relative to the 9 cases (15%) require hospitalization,” he said. “As more people are tested, it will become apparent there is a lag from initial confirmation until those cases show up on the official daily update lists. Those that test positive will receive an e-mail or phone call advising them of their positive results. The public health department does not add these cases until they receive an official copy of the labs which depending on timing can be 2-3 days after the patient received their notice.”

Test results have increased from 1-2 days to 3-7 days depending on where tests are sent. This is due to the increased volume of testing. “We’re hoping the quick response (25 minute result) tests are available in our region this week,” Chairman Bunch said. “With the combination of the back logged and new faster testing results, it is expected that there will be several days with significant increases on the daily updates. Once those testing inflections points pass we will be able to see a more accurate trend line.”

The Township Board urges residents to continue with diligence in the both Montgomery and Harris County orders of Stay at Home.

Help Keep Our Garbage and Recycling Truck Drivers Safe

The Woodlands Township asks for your assistance in helping to keep our garbage and recycling truck drivers safe. Please help prevent truck fires and protect the environment by not placing hazardous waste in your garbage or recycling. Waste Management has reported an increase in truck fires due to hazardous waste being put into trash carts. Batteries, chemicals, motor oils, and propane tanks should be kept out of your recycle, trash, and green waste. These items require special handling at a household hazardous waste facility. Currently those facilities are closed. Please hold onto these items until they reopen.

If you need to report a missed pick up, schedule a bulk pickup or submit another request, please contact Waste Management at 1-800-800-5804 or email cssatex@wm.com.

Waste Management continues to provide weekly curbside services according to your designated service day. Due to an increase in volume, pick up times may vary from your previous pick up time, however, trucks are operating from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. We anticipate that disruptions in service may be inevitable if and when local, state or federal declarations mandate additional operational restrictions.

Simple Recycling (textile recycling using an orange bag) has been suspended until further notice. Please hold onto items you may have used for this service until a later date.

Food and Shopping

Grocery Store Special Hours

  • ALDI:      9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Costco: Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.        
  • Fiesta Mart: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.         
  • HEB:  8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Delivery to seniors (60+) is available through partner, Favor Delivery. Phone orders are accepted 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., seven days a week by calling 1-833-397-0080. This service is free until April 19, 2020 but will include a $10 tip to the Favor Runner who will shop for and deliver the items.       
  • Kroger: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Sam’s Club: Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Open Tuesday and Thursday 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and concierge curbside service available for seniors 65+.
  • Target: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. priority is given to 65+, pregnant and those in at-risk conditions.      
  • Trader Joe’s:    9 a.m. to 7 p.m.           
  • Wal-Mart:    7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Open Tuesdays from 6 to 7 a.m. for seniors 65+.           
  • Whole Foods:  8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Shoppers 60+ can begin shopping at 7 a.m.

The Woodlands Mall is closed due to COVID-19

As a result of County Judge of Montgomery Order, The Woodlands Mall’s interior common areas will cease operations, but food-use tenants may continue to operate for pick-up and delivery service. Businesses with external entrances will be permitted to operate within the occupancy guidelines. The Mall Walker Program is suspended until further notice. Read the entire update at https://www.thewoodlandsmall.com/en/visit/covid-19-update.html.

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County, State and National Information

Montgomery County Judge Keough Issues Stay Home, Stop the Spread

Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough issued a stay home order on Friday, March 27, 2020. The order will take effect for residents of Montgomery County at 11:59 p.m. and expire on April 12, 2020. The order stipulates that most businesses cease operations, aside from those on an essential list including grocery stores, pharmacies, healthcare providers, government agencies, gas stations and more. The order also instructs residents of Montgomery County to stay home except for essential errands. A curfew will be in place throughout all of Montgomery County, starting at 11:59 p.m. every night and ending at 6 a.m. Read the complete Montgomery County order.

FEMA Offers Ways for Private Sector to Help Fight COVID-19

 To sell medical supplies or equipment to the federal government, please submit a price quote under the COVID-19 PPE and Medical Supplies Request for Quotation. Full details can be found in the solicitation (Updated Notice ID 70FA2020R00000011). This solicitation requires registration with the System for Award Management (SAM) in order to be considered for award, pursuant to applicable regulations and guidelines. Registration information can be found at www.sam.gov. Registration must be “ACTIVE” at the time of award. 

If you have medical supplies or equipment to donate, please provide details on what you are offering through our online medical supplies and equipment form at https://www.fema.gov/covid19offers.

If you are interested in doing business with FEMA and supporting the response to COVID-19 with your company’s non-medical goods and/or services, please submit your inquiry to the Department of Homeland Security’s Procurement Action Innovative Response (PAIR) team at DHSIndustryLiaison@hq.dhs.gov

In addition to these avenues to help, licensed healthcare professionals that want to volunteer can get information on eligibility, view credential levels by clinical competency and register with the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals in their state. 

If you are a hospital or healthcare provider in need of medical supplies, please contact your state, local, tribal or territory department of public health and/or emergency management agency. Any needs that cannot be met by the state or tribe are then sent to the respective FEMA regional office who are coordinating requirements through the FEMA National Response Coordination Center. FEMA is working with the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies to fulfill requests and ship supplies as quickly as possible. 

Additional ways to help can be found at www.fema.gov/coronavirus/how-to-help

If you have any questions, please contact the National Business Emergency Operations Center at NBEOC@max.gov.

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Community Resource Information

The following items were received from the agencies noted.

Food Banks
Local food banks are inventorying their resources to ascertain what will be needed in the days to come. Many Township residents have expressed a desire to volunteer or donate; please see the information below regarding those needs.

Visit The Woodlands Township COVID-19 information page for more updates from partner agencies, social distancing strategies, important links, frequently asked questions, live Twitter feeds and more at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/covid19. 

Read the full March 29 update by The Woodlands Township at https://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/civicalerts.aspx?AID=2980

Source: The Woodlands Township

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