Cy-Fair Edition | November 2020


Harris County keeps bars closed after Abbott drops statewide ban

Texas Medical Center is changing how it shows some of its data on COVID19. (Courtesy Texas Medical Center)



Texas Gov. Greg Abbott dropped a statewide order forcing bars to stay closed Oct. 14, but Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said she plans to keep bars closed within the county for now. Abbott’s order, announced at an Oct. 7 press conference, gave leaders in certain counties discretion on to what extent bars could reopen. “The data guiding county deci- sion-making tells us we are doing much better than we were a few months ago, but we are still at the highest level: red,” Hidalgo said in a statement. “Indoor, maskless gatherings should not be taking place right now, and this applies to bars, as well.” Bars are allowed to operate at 50% capacity under Abbott’s new order. Facial coverings must be worn by bar employees and bar patrons when

Medical center streamlines COVID19data

• minimize contacts with others • avoid leaving home except for essential needs • practice social distancing and frequent hand-washing • wear face coverings in public places As of Oct. 26, Harris County remained at its highest threat level , which County Judge Lina Hidalgo said means bars will remain closed. Under the top threat level, residents should:


crammed onto a single slide, said Isaac Middleton, the TMC’s chief operating ocer. Instead, new daily cases will be color-coded by month with a zoom-in window on the daily counts for the last 30 days. A similar format will be used on testing metrics. The data dashboard update was capped o by cautionary statements from TMC leadership, who advised though case numbers are at, the medical center is in a “rough steady state.” “Let’s not give up on the things that got us to where we are today,” said Dr. Mark Boom, the president and CEO of Houston Methodist. “We have to be vigilant.”

The Texas Medical Center updated its daily COVID-19

dashboard in October with more streamlined information designed to clarify trends and present a clear picture to the public as to the state of the coronavirus pandemic in the Greater Houston area. The medical center has been collecting data since early April on metrics such as the reproduction rate, testing trends and the number of overall cases. The update seeks to remedy the unwieldy size of some of the aggregated data, where daily case counts have grown dicult to read because of over four months of data


6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained or when seated to eat or drink. Outdoor bars will not be subject to an occupancy limit. Hidalgo said the county is monitoring key metrics, and bars would be allowed to reopen when the county hits certain targets.

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