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Posted on: April 7, 2020

The Woodlands Township COVID-19 Update, Tuesday, April 7, 2020

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Today’s County News

Montgomery County COVID-19 Case Count
Montgomery County Public Health District, in conjunction with Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management, is saddened to confirm a 4th death in Montgomery County related to COVID-19. He was a man in his 80s, who resided in The Woodlands, but died outside of the State of Texas. This is the first Montgomery County death of a resident who did NOT live in The Conservatory at Alden Bridge. We offer our condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.

We can also confirm there are now 197 positive cases of COVID-19, up 36 cases from yesterday. We are happy to say 33 of our cases have fully recovered.

We have had a lot of questions surrounding CDC guidelines when it comes to family members of those who are having symptoms and/or those who have been tested. If someone in your household is having symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, fever and/or shortness of breath, your entire household should self-quarantine for 14 days. You should also monitor symptoms of everyone in the household, including twice-daily temperature checks – once in the morning and once in the evening. You can find more details here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/public-health-recommendations.html.

If you and your entire household are well with no symptoms, you should still be staying home and only leaving your home if necessary.

Details on Montgomery County cases can be found here: https://mcphd-tx.org/coronavirus-covid-19/confirmed-cases/.

Harris County COVID-19 Case Count
As of Tuesday, April 7, 2020 (3:45 p.m.), Harris County Public Health (HCPH) has 162 new cases of COVID-19, which brings the total to 826 positive cases. HCPH is also confirming that 204 of its patients have recovered. There have been 12 total deaths of COVID-19 in Harris County and 11 in the city limits of Houston. 

There have been 8 deaths in the NW Quadrant of Harris County. The Village of Creekside Park is located in the NW Quadrant of Harris County. A full description of the numbers can be found here: https://harriscounty.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/cd54e50984b94690b1d6093e0df651c5

State and National News

State Parks and Historic Sites Closing
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced all state parks and historic sites will close starting today in the name of promoting social distancing and keeping people home.

"Social distancing is our best tool to curb the spread of COVID-19 and save lives," said Gov. Abbott. "The temporary closure of our state parks and historic sites will help us achieve this goal by preventing the gathering of large groups of people.”

Make Your Own Mask
With the CDC now encouraging people to wear masks for essential errands/grocery trips without buying up any of the remaining PPEs in the free market, a helpful video has been created to make your own at home. Watch the video here.

Need some help thinking about all of this? COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has launched a statewide mental health support line to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress or other emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This resource offers support for all Texans and can be reached any time day or night at 833-986-1919.

The line is operated by the Harris Center for Mental Health and IDDand offers trauma-informed support and psychological first aid to those experiencing mental health symptoms related to COVID-19. Counseling services are confidential and free of charge.

More information on mental health resources and your local mental health authority can be found on HHSC’s websiteView the full release. 

View additional state and national mental health resources and contact information.

Township News

Help Our Heroes
The Woodlands Township launched Help Our Heroes, a program to collect Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and essential supplies needed for first responders and medical service providers in the community. Please consider donating these materials if you have them on-hand. Your help is greatly appreciated! Collection Days and Locations are Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Central Fire Station, located at 9951 Grogan’s Mill Rd., The Woodlands, TX 77380. Please email pbuck@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov  if you can help.

  • Supplies Needed
    Isolation gowns
    Gloves
    Masks – N95s, surgical, procedure, etc.
    Hair Covers
    Full Face Shields
    PAPR Hoods – Typically only used when doing an aerosolizing procedure.
    Eyewear – Face shields, reusable goggles or disposable glasses
    Boot Covers / Shoe Covers
    Germicidal Wipes
    Disinfectant Spray / Paper Towels

The Township kicked off the program Monday April 5, 2020 and received a great response.  
        Gloves – 1,100
        Masks – 180
        Face shields – 8
        Isolation gowns – 15
        Shoe/Hair covers – 350
        Packages of disinfectant wipes – 4
        Sanitizer bottles – 2
        Large liquid hand soap bottle – 1
        Paper towels – 6

We would love to increase these numbers each deliver day on Mondays and Thursdays.

Special Board of Directors meeting 
The Woodlands Township Board of Directors will hold a special meeting via videoconference at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 9, 2020, to discuss the Township’s response to COVID-19. Visit the Township website to tune in.

Do Good. Feel Good: A Guide to Community Service While Social Distancing
Looking to make a positive impact during this unprecedented event in our community? Take a look at how you can help while adhering to CDC guidelines for social distancing.

Easter Specials: Dine Out without Dining In
Social distancing may be keeping us apart from loved ones this Easter Sunday but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some of your favorite food and beverages. Many restaurants in The Woodlands have designed special family-sized meal packages that include multiple courses and beverages. All restaurants require advance orders so check out a full list of Easter specials here. Happy Easter from your friends at Visit The Woodlands, the official destination marketing organization of The Woodlands.

The Woodlands Express Park and Ride Service Changes
Effective April 6, 2020: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, The Woodlands Express Park and Ride schedule has been revised. The revisions are in response to continuing reductions seen in ridership levels to the Downtown and Greenway Plaza locations. This reduced schedule will help to manage the cost of service while still providing adequate space for social distancing and seat spacing on board the buses. Please view the revised schedule here.

Guidelines for Social Distancing on the Pathways--Please Stay Safe!
For pedestrians using the pathways, please remain a minimum of 6 feet apart. Be sure to stay to the right, watch for other pathway users, be especially alert when running, and listen for audible signals and allow faster pathway users to pass freely.

For bicyclists using the pathways, please give audible warnings when passing pathway users, ride at a safe speed, helmets are recommended and be sure to ride straight ahead.

For rollerbladers on pathways, blade at a safe speed, helmets and protective gear are recommended, blade straight ahead and listen for audible warnings and allow faster pathway users to pass freely.

Shopping and Business News

Business Assistance Resources Available
The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce lists a variety of resources available to local businesses affected by the pandemic, including CARES Act Funding Options. Complete details can be found at https://www.woodlandschamber.org/coronavirus-resources.

Beware of Stimulus Check Scams
As you may know, the government is preparing to distribute stimulus checks to help provide relief to households due to the COVID 19 crises. Scammers use public health emergencies as opportunities for new fraud schemes.  In fact, The Federal Trade Commission has already received complaints about stimulus checks scams.  Learn how to protect yourself from these scams.

Grocery Store Special Hours
Many grocery stores have special hours either for re-stocking or for seniors and others to have a quieter shopping experience. Please visit our community resource list to view hours at different stores.

Staying Safe While Grocery Shopping
Whether you are grocery shopping for your family in person or utilizing curbside pick-up/delivery options, there are still important safety practices that can help to limit your risk of exposure to COVID-19.

  • Follow federal guidelines regarding social distancing and prevention. Maintain 6 feet of distance between yourself and other shoppers/grocery store employees. Pay particular attention when standing in line and continue to observe the 6-foot rule at all times.
  • Disinfect high-touch surfaces such as grocery carts handles with a disinfectant wipe, if possible.
  • If you use a debit or credit card, keep in mind that those machines are high-touch surfaces. Wash your hands after touching those surfaces and wipe down your cards with disinfectant wipes or an alcohol-based sanitizer. The EPA has created a list of known disinfectants that are effective against COVID-19 on surfaces.
  • If possible, go to the store during off-peak hours when the store is less crowded. If you are a senior, try to shop during the Senior Hours that are offered at grocery stores in the community.
  • Discard any disposable grocery bags upon unpacking your groceries and disinfect counters and surfaces where bags may have been placed for unpacking.
  • Always wash your hands after handling food packaging and before eating.

Please keep in mind, the FDA has stated that there is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted via food. It is a respiratory-borne virus and therefore the risk of contracting it through food or food packaging is extremely low. The main risk to an individual is thought to be from exposure to another person with COVID-19, who is symptomatic or asymptomatic, and touching one’s face or mouth after coming into contact with an infected surface. Social distancing and washing your hands frequently remains the most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Community Resource Information

The following items were received from the agencies noted.

United Way of Greater Houston Helpline and COVID-19 Recovery Fund
United Way of Greater Houston’s 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE is our community’s go-to resource in times of disaster and every day. The 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE is available 24/7 to connect people with food, childcare, transportation, and other critical information and resources. If you or someone you know needs help, dial 211.

United Way of Greater Houston and the Greater Houston Community Foundation have launched the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund to serve our region’s most vulnerable neighbors impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more and donate to the fund at greaterhoustonrecovery.org.

YMCA Operating as an Essential Personnel Child Care Site 
Located at 6145 Shadowbend Place, The Y is providing a full day of programming, snack and meals for the children of "essential personnel," including medical workers; first responders; select government staff; and grocery store, pharmacy and food distributor employees.

Children, ages 1 - 12 years old are eligible to register. The program runs Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. and features games, arts and crafts, STEAM and literacy activities. Register online. Financial assistance is available.

Food Banks—How You Can Help
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.

Hotlines for health questions and COVID-19
Montgomery County: 936-523-5040                 Harris County: 713-634-1110

Free Self-Screening Tool for COVID-19
Visit the self-screening tool on the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Tracking COVID-19: Local, Regionally, Nationally, Internationally
Below are the widgets for tracking COVID19.

The Township’s Coronavirus page
The Woodlands Township’s special COVID-19 information page can be found at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/covid19. This page now features Montgomery and Harris county Hubs, community resources and updated COVID-19 news from the Federal Government and the CDC. This page also includes the latest news from The Township, updates from partner agencies, social distancing strategies, important links, frequently asked questions, live Twitter feeds and more. Please check back often as it is updated frequently.

Stay Connected 
Please stay connected to The Woodlands Township through our many communications channels. Learn more and sign up at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/stayinformed.

Thank you

______________________________________________________________________________
The Woodlands Township publishes this update to inform residents and businesses regarding the COVID-19 and its impact on The Woodlands Township. Please sign up for Township news and notifications at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/notifyme.

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