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Posted on: April 11, 2020

The Woodlands Township COVID-19 Update, Saturday, April 11, 2020

COVID-19 Newsletter Graphic Thumbnail

Message of Thanks and Support Lights The Woodlands Skyline
The Howard Hughes Corporation® (NYSE: HHC) is showing its support to medical personnel and first responders on the front line of this current pandemic by lighting up the night sky at 9950 Woodloch Forest Drive, part of The Woodlands Towers at The Waterway, with a message of gratitude. Reinforcing that we are “standing strong together,” The Howard Hughes Corporation has adorned the 31-story, 595,000-square-foot tower at 9950 Woodloch Forest Drive with a large illuminated image of a heart. The tower lighting, a simple expression to share the compassion, respect and sincere appreciation the community feels towards the healthcare personnel and first responders, will continue throughout the current situation.

Township News

Special Board of Directors Meeting 
The Woodlands Township Board of Directors held a special meeting via videoconference at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 9, 2020, to discuss the Township’s response to COVID-19. Watch the video at  http://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/778/Meeting-Videos.

Reminder: Parks Are Still Closed
The Woodlands Township urges all residents and visitors to continue to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reminds that all Township parks are closed to the public until further notice, including over the holiday weekend.

“This is an unprecedented time, and we urge Township residents and visitors to abide by the closures for their own safety and the safety of our area,” said Township Chairman Gordy Bunch. “We understand the importance of Easter Sunday to many of our families in The Woodlands and that it is a time for religious and family gatherings, but we must all be especially vigilant in practicing social distancing and not congregating in public areas. We cannot let our guard down in this endeavor.” 

Chairman Bunch continued, “It’s ok for household members to be together at a park, but not to use playground equipment, basketball or tennis courts, skate parks, and most importantly, keep social distancing from non household members. We are gaining assurance by the data that shows that social distancing is having a positive effect on the spread of the disease, and the sooner we can get through this, the faster we can attempt to return to normal and get our economy running again. I thank you all for the part you are doing to help keep us all safe.”
 
The Woodlands Township wants to dispel a rumor going around in social media, primarily through teenagers stating there are “Safe Corona Free Social Circles,” as brought to the attention of the board by Director Bob Milner.  “There is no safe corona virus social circle program,” said Director Milner. “And it certainly not safe for teenagers to be out socially interacting with each other and our community. Their ability to transfer this disease to people that might be more susceptible to it needs to be taken into consideration.”

Watch a video as Chairman Bunch discusses safety in the parks.  

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.

Please Stay Safe! Practice Social Distancing
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.

Help Our Heroes Yields Successful First Week
The Township’s Help Our Heroes medical supplies drive is off to a great start. Since the program began on Monday, April 6, 2020, the Township has received 420 shoe/hair covers, 3,900 gloves, 35 face shields, 818 masks, 21 packages/wipes, 6 sanitizer bottles, 2 large liquid hand soaps, 23 isolation gowns, 263 safety goggles, 46 paper towel rolls and 3 Lysol cleaners.

Please consider donating 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

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 the 5th death related to COVID-19 in Montgomery County. He was a man in his 80s, who was a resident of The Conservatory at Alden Bridge. This is the 4th death related to the senior living apartment complex.

Montgomery County does have some very good news to report! Case #1, who had been in critical condition since early March, has been released from the hospital and is on the road to recovery.

Montgomery County can confirm there are now 251 total positive cases of COVID-19, up 6 cases from yesterday. Montgomery County will be hiring two additional epidemiologists to its team to help with the increasing number of positive COVID-19 tests.

Details on Montgomery County cases can be found here: https://mcphd-tx.org/coronavirus-covid-19/confirmed-cases/. Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management updates a dashboard for the cases here: https://coronavirus-response-moco.hub.arcgis.com/.

Harris County COVID-19 Case Count
As of April 11, 2020 (4:00 p.m.), Harris County Public Health (HCPH) has 239 new cases of COVID-19, which brings the total to 1,437 positive cases. HCPH is also confirming that 332 of its patients have recovered. Harris County lists by quadrants, and the Village of Creekside Park is located in the NW Quadrant, where there are 554 active cases, 188 recovered and 14 deaths. There have been 25 total deaths of COVID-19 in Harris County. None of these numbers include the City of Houston. A full description of the numbers can be found here: https://harriscounty.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/c0de71f8ea484b85bb5efcb7c07c6914

State and National News

From U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady: Information from the Texas Workforce Commission

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) recently introduced new staggered call times for those seeking to file unemployment. Effective immediately, TWC asks that Texans use their area code to find their proposed call and access times. Staggering claims will provide better access to needed services.

See below chart for recommended call and access times:

Call times

Please note that Texans will not be penalized for a delay due to call or user volume. Claims for individuals affected by COVID-19 are eligible to be backdated. For more information, please visit the TWC website or call 512-463-8942. For more resources for families and workers, please visit Congressman Brady’s website.

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.

Mosaics of Mercy
Mosaics of Mercy is a non-profit that serves as a hub for resources for mental well-being. The organization stays current on the available mental health resources for our community, including the status of treatment programs, counselors seeing clients through telehealth, and virtual support groups.

More information can be found at  www.mosaicsofmercy.com. Help is available Monday - Friday from 9 am - 5 pm at 346-703-0051 for personal assistance navigating resources. There are current resources listed at https://mosaicsofmercy.com/coronavirus/.  New episodes of the Hope Pieced Together podcast are released weekly, interviewing local professionals on topics related to mental well-being for this period.  https://mosaicsofmercy.com/hope-pieced-together/.

Shopping and Business News

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.

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.

Upcoming Blood Drives
Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center will host two upcoming blood drives at the end of April. Every donation can help save as many as three lives. Please see schedule below. For more information, please visit giveblood.org.

  • Thursday, April 23, 2020
    11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
    Entergy
    10055 Grogan’s Mill Parkwood 2, The Woodlands, TX 77380
  • Sunday, April 26, 2020
    7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    The Woodlands United Methodist Church
    2200 Lake Woodlands Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77380
  • The Woodlands Neighborhood Donor Center
    BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
    3091 College Park Drive, Suite 130, The Woodlands, TX 77384
    To schedule your appointment, please call: 936-321-8440 or visit their website.
    Special hours April 6 – 19:
    Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    Saturday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Sunday: Closed

Hotels Open in The Woodlands
The Woodlands hotel properties are here to assist in any way needed throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Whether you are a medical professional needing a room, a first responder, or simply needing a quiet and safe place to work, The Woodlands has you covered. Below is a list of all open hotels in The Woodlands that are happy to welcome you to their property throughout this time.

  • Drury Inn The Woodlands
  • Residence Inn Lakefront Drive
  • Hilton Garden Inn
  • Hyatt Place
  • Fairfield Inn and Suites
  • Best Western Plus
  • Candlewood Suites
  • Courtyard Lakefront Drive

Stay up to date on any updates and special rates available here.

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.

______________________________________________________________________________
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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