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Posted on: April 24, 2020

The Woodlands Township COVID-19 Update, Friday, April 24, 2020

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First Responders Salute Healthcare Workers
The Woodlands Fire Department, Montgomery County Law Enforcement, and EMS personnel came together on April 23, 2020, in a Red and Blue parade of emergency vehicles to salute and honor healthcare workers at local hospitals who have sacrificed their time with their brave and tireless work to protect our community. The parade was a way for First Responders outside the hospital walls to say to First Responders inside hospital walls, “We salute you…we pray for you…and we are in this together.” A special thanks to our world-class The Woodlands Fire Department in all the work these men and women are doing.

Important Message from Township Chairman Gordy Bunch
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus.  CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

The Woodlands Township Board of Directors Holds Videoconference Meeting
The Woodlands Township Board of Directors held a videoconference meeting on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. The Board discussed a variety of matters related to COVID-19 including the plans for phased re-opening as laid out by the White House and Governor Greg Abbott, nonprofit needs in the community, new additions to the Help Our Heroes initiative, efforts to reopen Parks and Recreation services and more. The meeting video is available for viewing online. The news release and presentation links can be found here.

Also at the meeting, the Board approved sending a letter to both Montgomery and Harris County Public Health Districts to request a modification to how both health districts report positive COVID-19 cases. The modification suggests reporting positive cases on the date the test was administered rather than on the date the results are reported to the health districts from the confirming laboratory. Please see letters here: Montgomery | Harris

Township Board opposes mandatory face covers
The Woodlands Township Board of Directors gave approval to Chairman Gordy Bunch to send a letter opposing the Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s Order regarding mandatory face cover. A fine of $1,000 for non-compliance is in the Order. The Woodlands residents who live in the Village of Creekside Park, which is located in Harris County, are under this Order, and the Township Board feels that fines should not be imposed. “While the Township Board agrees that individuals should take necessary precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19, the Board opposes mandating something that should be a matter of personal responsibility in addition to the egregious fine for non-compliance,” Township Chairman Gordy Bunch wrote in the letter. Please see letter here.

#Township Together
The Woodlands Township would like to call on residents to share any images of inspiration with the community. Township Director John Anthony Brown introduced the concept at the last Board of Directors meeting. “We hear so much negative news that I really would like an avenue for our residents to submit their creative thoughts to The Woodlands Township,” he said.  These can be a photo of something seen in the neighborhood, a family project or anything with a positive message. These will be shared through the Township email updates, social media channels and on The Woodlands Township website here.

Township opens tennis courts within social distancing limits 
The Woodlands Township Board of Directors has approved the opening of tennis courts in the Township beginning Friday, April 24, 2020.  The opening of the courts is done in compliance with social distancing guidelines by removing nets on courts next to each other to keep participant numbers to a minimum. Tennis courts with a two-court system have one net removed, while three-court systems have the center net removed. At this time, no programs or court reservations are offered. As a reminder to residents, all trails and pathways are open to residents to enjoy the outdoors and get exercise, and doing so should be done according to CDC guidelines for social distancing.

Today’s County News

Mobile Testing Site Coming to Montgomery County
Montgomery County will have a mobile COVID-19 Testing Site on Monday, April 27 from 9AM-6PM. Tests will be conducted by appointment only at 19115 David Memorial Dr. Shenandoah, TX 77385. To register for an appointment visit www.txcovidtest.org or call 512- 883-2400. See informational flyer.

Montgomery County COVID-19 Case Count
Montgomery County Public Health District, in conjunction with Montgomery County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, can confirm multiple cases of COVID-19 are in residents of two nursing homes in Montgomery County, Park Manor of Conroe and Park Manor of The Woodlands. Both facilities are home to 21 of our 467 cases, including the man in his 80s whose death was confirmed yesterday. Read the update for more information.

We are saddened to confirm the 9th death related to COVID-19 in Montgomery County. The man was a resident of the Montgomery area, and he was in his 50s. He had been hospitalized. We offer our condolences to his family during this difficult time. We can also confirm there are now 496 total positive cases of COVID-19, up 29 cases from yesterday. It’s important to note, the statewide stay-at-home order remains in effect.

 Details on individual 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 24, 2020 (4:00 p.m.), Harris County Public Health (HCPH) has 78 new cases of COVID-19, which brings the total to 2,362 positive cases. HCPH is also confirming that 1,094 of its patients have recovered. There have been 49 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://tinyurl.com/tzymvk5 
 
Cases by zip code in Harris County can be found here by clicking on areas of the map.
 
The Village of Creekside Park is located in two zip codes: 77375 and 77389 and these also include Magnolia, Augusta Pines/Auburn Lakes/West Rayford Road in northwest Harris County. Today, Harris County is reporting zip code 77375 has 34 cases and 77389 has 30 cases.

Harris County Simplified COVID-19 Assessment Tool for Testing
Harris County Public Health (HCPH) will revamp its COVID-19 online self-assessment tool to streamline the COVID-19 testing process. The online tool can be found at: www.readyharris.org  or www.hcphtx.org (or https://covidcheck.hctx.net).

 The updated version will include scheduling options for individuals to choose the testing time that best fits their schedule. Once an individual completes the self-assessment tool, they will receive a unique identification code, an appointment time, and instructions about where to go for drive-thru testing and what items to bring with them. Testing is free for the public, including those who live in surrounding counties, and anyone can get tested regardless of citizenship status. The tool will be available starting Thursday, April 23, 2020. Learn more about the assessment tool here.

Residents of Harris County Must Wear Masks
Harris County Judge Hidalgo is issued a 30-day order starting April 27, 2020, requiring individuals over the age of 10 to wear a face covering when in public. The order will make exception for those with health or mental health issues that would be complicated by wearing a face covering and for individuals while exercising outdoors alone, eating and driving. There is a fine associated with enforcement of violating the order of up to $1,000. The official order can be found online.

Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough Will Not Mandate Masks
Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough announced this afternoon that he will not be mandating the citizens of Montgomery County to wear masks while out in public. Please continue to practice good hygiene, keeping hands clean, staying home when sick, and avoiding others who are sick and proper social distancing as recommended by the CDC. View the judge’s complete statement.

Current Status of Hospital Availability
As residents in The Woodlands see headline news of COVID-19s impact in foreign countries as well as places like New York City, it’s important to understand the capacity of medical care not only in The Woodlands but the Southeast Texas Area. 

The Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council (SETRAC) develop and sustain a powerful coalition of providers, responders, and other healthcare related partners united together to save lives and improve health outcomes through research, education and collaboration keeps real time numbers on places regarding the following daily admissions, general bed usage, intensive care unit usage, ventilator usage, and a COVID-19 census.

"Taking a look at the charts, you can see at this point in time that our hospital facilities not only in The Woodlands area but in Southeast Texas are not strained for utilization," said Township Chairman Gordy Bunch. "This certainly does not mean we don’t need to follow CDC Guidelines and social distancing, but we’re in very good condition with our outstanding medical facilities."

The charts below, from SETRAC, highlight the current conditions by the Southeast Texas region or by county, if preferred.

Help Our Heroes expands to aid healthcare workers 
The Woodlands Township Board of Directors recently launched the Help Our Heroes campaign to collect crucial Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) supplies for local first responders and hospitals. Thanks to the generous donations of residents like you, the Township has collected a variety of supplies that number into the thousands for local heroes.

As of April 23, 2020, the following items have been donated:
Gloves: 12,880
Masks: 2,185 (homemade, N95, and surgical)
Safety goggles: 321
Shoe/Hair cover: 3,636
Quart size cleaners: 5
Disinfectant wipes: 32
Paper towel rolls: 222
Isopropyl alcohol: 6
Sanitizer bottles: 28
Aloe Vera: 3
Toilet Paper: 51 rolls
Kleenex: 1 box
Bottled water: 245 bottles
Gatorade: 6
Vitamin C bottles: 5
Granola Bars: 16 boxes
Individual servings crackers: 56
A small assortment of personal hygiene items, individual snacks and candy.

Additionally, as of April 23, 2020, Help Our Heroes has expanded to help our heroes personally as well as professionally. Many times, because of shift work, first responders and healthcare professionals cannot get to the store to buy supplies for their homes and families. The Woodlands Township has incorporated a program called “Adopt a Healthcare Worker” program to provide those supplies.

Donations will be accepted over the next two collection dates of Monday, April 27, 2020, and Thursday, April 30, 2020, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at The Woodlands Fire Department Central Fire Station, 9951 Grogan’s Mill Road, 77380. Both programs conclude on Thursday, April 30, 2020. Please visit https://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/1489/HELP-OUR-HEROES for more information.

State and National News

Texas has opened new portal, www.workintexas.com, for individuals looking for job openings.

Fraud and Scams Alert
Please be on the lookout for frauds and scams related to Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). The FBI has released specific tips with regards to protecting yourself and your business from these types of scams.

The US Census Bureau COVD-19 Site
The US Census website includes demographic and economic resources as well as an impact report hub.

Paycheck Protection Program: Find a Local Lender
Under the new Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, more than $300 billion is going to replenish the crucial Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Already, the PPP has supported small businesses across the nation and has saved over 30 million jobs, including over 1.2 million in Texas alone. In the first rounds of funding, 134,737 loans were approved in Texas with a total of $28 billion in funding. The average loan was $200,000 – and these went directly to main street businesses.

Those interested in applying for the Paycheck Protection Program should visit a participating lender to complete an application and submit the required documentation. The program is open until June 30, 2020. You can find a list of eligible local lenders here. For more information, see the Treasury Department’s updated FAQ document here.

Around the Township 

Simple Recycling will Resume Service Monday, April 27
Residents who have orange bags filled with textiles, toys, books, and small household items can place their bags at the curb on their normal service day. For more information on this program or to request orange bags, visit www.simplerecycling.com or this recent article from the Environmental Services Department. Read more about this program on the Environmental Services blog.

Retail-To-Go
The Governor’s second Executive Order (GA-16) relates to the safe, strategic reopening of select services and activities in Texas. This order establishes a temporary "Retail-To-Go" model that will allow retail outlets in Texas to reopen beginning Friday, April 24. Under this model, reopened establishments are required to deliver items to customer’s cars, homes, or other locations to minimize contact. Please contact your favorite store online to make arrangements for purchase and pickup and to find out if they are participating in this program.

Experience The Woodlands with Safe Social Distancing
Looking to try new restaurants or shops while social distancing? Save this passport to your phone and check off these "destinations" as you support dining and shopping options in The Woodlands. You can visit these destinations by making purchases from local stores and ordering from area restaurants. Post your progress to encourage your friends and neighbors to participate. Snap photos of your food and purchases and be sure to share them on social media, tagging the business and using #SoWoodlands.

Numerous resources are available in the community for support. These vary from food banks to financial assistance and much more. Please visit the link below to find more information about resources in the community related to COVID-19:
http://thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/1491/Community-Resources.

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 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.

Hotlines for health questions and COVID-19 

Montgomery County: 936-523-5040                 

Harris County: 713-634-1110 

Statewide Mental Health Support Line: 833-986-1919

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.

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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