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Posted on: May 5, 2020

The Woodlands Township COVID-19 Update, Tuesday, May 5, 2020

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State News

Texas Governor Greg Abbott held a press conference today, Tuesday, May 5, 2020, with significant updates to the state’s COVID-19 response including the announcement of new upcoming openings and clarifications to his existing Executive Order. The Governor spent significant time explaining how he evaluates the spread of COVID within Texas and whether the state can remain open and continue to open additional services/businesses. In summary, the positivity rate of infection remains stable and far below the state’s peak. Additionally, hospitalizations have been reduced and remain generally stable. The state has sufficient hospital capacity to address future needs. "We will be looking at all these areas to determine how best to open Township facilities and programming," said Township Chairman Gordy Bunch. "As we open, we urge our residents and businesses to continue to practice CDC guidelines for social distancing and face coverings."

Clarifications/Modifications to Governor’s Executive Order

  • Funerals, Memorials, Burials and Weddings:
    • Treated the same as church services with same distancing requirements.
    • Wedding receptions should adhere to same standards as restaurants.
  • Executive Order indicated face coverings were not necessary in parks
    • Beaches, lakes, rivers and river rafting are to be treated as parks regarding no face covering requirements.
    • Groups should not exceed 5.
  • Restaurants:
    • Indoor seating capacity is 25% of total listed occupancy. No limits on outside seating as long as distancing requirements are met per restaurant guidelines.
  • Salons, barbers, tanning salons, nail salons may open May 8, 2020 following indicated guidelines.
  • Gyms and exercise facilities may open May 18, 2020 with limited capacity following indicated guidelines.
  • Manufacturers may return to operation at limited capacities following indicated guidelines May 18, 2020.
  • Office-based business operations may begin May 18, 2020 with limited capacity as indicated by the guidelines. Employers should ensure appropriate spacing per guidelines.

Surge Response Teams
The state has created surge response teams to be able to address hotspots now and as re-openings continue. The state is sending surge teams to several locations including certain meat packing facilities, senior living centers and jails.

School Graduations
School year end commencement ceremonies (high school, kindergarten) can occur subject to certain restraints. The types of approved ceremonies include video streaming, students being photographed receiving diploma one at a time, vehicle/drive-in ceremonies, and outdoor ceremonies with appropriate distancing.

Please read Governor Abbott’s announcement.

Township News        

Township Amenities Re-Open with Limitations
Pursuant to Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan for the re-opening of Texas, the Township has re-opened certain amenities and recreational areas and will continue to do so.

Riva Row Boat House will open Wednesday, May 6, 2020 with rentals of kayaks and swan boats. Special safety precautions have been put in place and will be available beginning tomorrow. To make a reservation, call 281-210-3965.

Other Township parks are open with limitations: Lake Woodlands and Lake Paloma are open, pathways and trails are open, tennis courts are open with modifications, park restrooms are open and community gardens are open with restricted access. Other amenities that are open include: skate spots, the archery range, kayak launches, BMX areas, bocce, horseshoe pits, pavilions, benches, BBQ pits, disc golf at Terramont Park and running/walking tracks.

The Township encourages residents to continue to observe safe social distancing and hygiene practices. Wear a face covering whenever possible, wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer when out, avoid touching your face and observe a 6-foot distance from anyone who is not a member of your household.

Facilities and amenities that remain closed through Phase One include: large parks (sports complexes, Rob Fleming Park, Town Green Park), playgrounds, basketball courts, dog parks, volleyball courts, Bear Branch Skate Park, pools, spraygrounds, recreation centers, facility reservations, Lakes Edge Boat House and Texas TreeVentures.

The Woodlands Express is running, with special precautions.
The Woodlands Express Park and Ride is currently operating nine morning runs and nine evening runs from the Research Forest Park and Ride to Downtown, The Texas Medical Center (including the VA Hospital) and Greenway Plaza. All buses are being limited to 50 percent occupancy with spare buses available to ensure plenty of capacity for all passengers for all runs. Other social distancing and enhanced disinfection protocols are also in place. Please visit our Twitter page at https://twitter.com/TownshipTransit for the latest service updates. For schedules, route maps and ticketing information visit www.woodlandstransit.com or call (281) 210-3800 and ask for the Transportation Department.

Did You Know?
There are more than 220 miles of pathways that run throughout The Woodlands for all residents to enjoy the serene beauty of our unique community. These pathways are ideal for getting exercise and relaxation, especially during the unique times being faced today.

County News

Montgomery County COVID-19 Case Count
Montgomery County Public Health District, in conjunction with Montgomery County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, confirms there are now 446 ACTIVE cases of COVID-19. That number includes 54 hospitalizations. 201 people have fully recovered! The number of total positive cases has increased 22 since yesterday to 662.

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/ .

Montgomery County will have a mobile COVID-19 Testing Site May 10, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tests will be conducted by appointment only at 9333 Airport Rd. Conroe, TX 77303. To register for an appointment visit www.txcovidtest.org or call 512-883-2400. See informational flyer below.

Harris County COVID-19 Case Count
As of May 5, 2020 (4 p.m.), Harris County Public Health (HCPH) has 3,066 positive cases (1,207 active cases). HCPH is also confirming that 1,794 of its patients have recovered. There have been 65 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 52 cases and 77389 has 37 cases.

Harris County Simplified COVID-19 Assessment Tool for Testing
Harris County Public Health (HCPH) has revamped 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). Learn more about the assessment tool here.

Current Status of Hospital Availability
Residents in The Woodlands can take comfort in the fact that hospitals in The Woodlands and Southeast Texas region are prepared to handle the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is evidenced in data summarized by the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council (SETRAC) which provides medical leadership in our region regarding the care of trauma and acute care patients. SETRAC is keeping daily count of hospital bed availability, ventilator usage and other key factors within the Southeast Texas area.

As reflected in SETRAC data, Houston Methodist The Woodlands, Memorial Hermann The Woodlands and St. Luke’s The Woodlands have more than adequate capacity to handle an increase in COVID-19 cases.

Hospital data from the 25-county SETRAC region is available for the following categories:

  • Daily Admissions
  • General Bed Usage
  • ICU Usage
  • Ventilator Usage
  • COVID Related Census

Viewers can review these numbers regionally or at the county level.

Around the Township

#Township Together
Send us your photos! The Woodlands Township is calling on residents to share  images of inspiration within the community. These can be a photos 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. Send your photos to TownshipTogether@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov.

Recycling Facility is Now Open
The Montgomery County Precinct 3 Recycling Facility is now open and operating during regular business hours.

  • Address: 1122 Pruitt Road, Spring, TX 77380
  • Hours: Monday - Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Closed 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Phone: 281-367-7283
  • Website: http://www.precinct3.org/recycling/

Household Chemicals and Hazardous Waste – Collected every Wednesday and the third Saturday of the month. $10 per 0-5 gallons of materials. Some fees may apply for select items. For a complete list of accepted materials and pricing, please visit their website here.

The Harris County Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Facility is temporarily closed at this time. Please call for updates on closure status.

The Woodlands Mall opened today
Pursuant to Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-18, The Woodlands Mall will be reopening to the public as of today, May 5, 2020. The operating hours will be Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

Some retailers in Market Street are open
Market Street is reporting that some of its retailers opened Friday, May 1, 2020, but not the entire facility. It will be a gradual approach over the next 30 days.

Retail-To-Go
Visit The Woodlands, the official destination marketing organization for The Woodlands, has launched a Retail To Go Program promoting storefront retail businesses in The Woodlands. “Our local retailers and restaurants have all been proactive and managed to change their business models in response to this global pandemic,” said Visit The Woodlands Chairman Bruce Rieser. “Here at Visit The Woodlands, we’re committed to supporting and promoting those efforts. Our team continues to create new content that will bring the hospitality message to our residents on behalf of our partners and help ensure their success.”

Retail to-go with curbside pickup is now available in a growing number of stores in The Woodlands. For more information, click here: https://visitthewoodlands.com/blog/retail-to-go-in-the-woodlands/

Virtual Passport Program, Support Restaurants and Businesses in The Woodlands
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.

Things to Do at Home
From having your own film festival at home to virtual puzzles and more, Visit The Woodlands has created a guide for things you can enjoy while at home. If you need ideas on ways to keep busy at home, head to www.visitthewoodlands.com/athome

Community Resources
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.

Upcoming Blood Drives
Please give to the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. Every donation can help save as many as three lives.  For more information, please visit giveblood.org.

THE WOODLANDS NEIGHBORHOOD DONOR CENTER
3091 College Park Drive
The Woodlands, TX 77384
(936) 321-8440

Mobile Opportunities:

WOODLANDS CHURCH, FELLOWSHIP CAMPUS
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
One Fellowship Drive
The Woodlands, TX 77384
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

MEMORIAL HERMANN THE WOODLANDS MEDICAL CENTER
Monday, May 11, 2020
9250 Pinecroft
The Woodlands, TX 77380
8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

EDU-CARE CENTER
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
121 Robinson Road
The Woodlands, TX 77385
10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Children’s Safe Harbor
With the stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19, it has become one of the most dangerous times for children at risk for potential abuse given the financial and emotional stress that families are going through. Isolation is a huge risk. Children’s Safe Harbor serves children who have been sexually assaulted, severely physically abused, sexually trafficked or exploited or traumatized and advocates for their justice and healing.  The organization is in need of gift cards, tutors and food to give to the families they serve.  Please visit www.ChildrensSafeHarbor.org for more information and how to help.  

Community Assistance Center
The Montgomery County Community Assistance Center is seeking help through monetary and in-kind donations and through volunteers. View the flyer to learn more.

Interfaith Requesting Help
The following are needs for Interfaith of The Woodlands: 

Funding:  Funding to be used for the following: 

  • To purchase bulk, specific and essential foods, toiletries and paper goods for food assistance for families and Seniors.
  • Provide financial assistance (i.e. rent, mortgage, utilities, gas cards and prescription assistance) to families and Seniors. 

Monetary Donations can be made here:  https://interfaith-of-the-woodlands.snwbll.com/covid-19-community-response

Food Donations:  Interfaith is actively accepting food donations of: cereal, canned meat, dry pasta, vegetables and fruit, snacks for kids, peanut butter, jelly, meal starters, soups, crackers, toiletries, paper goods including toilet paper and cleaning supplies.  Donations will be accepted on Wednesdays from 9-11 am at Interfaith Central, 4242 Interfaith Way.

Encouragement Cards for Seniors and Healthcare workers:  We are accepting cards for Seniors and Healthcare workers to help bring sunshine to their day!  All cards donated will be delivered to our Senior neighbors during grocery delivery and to local hospitals.  You can mail your cards or drive through and drop off at our office at 4242 Interfaith Way, The Woodlands, 77381.  

Mosaics of Mercy Needs Assistance in the Following Areas:

  • Donation to support our mission of being a central hub for mental health resources for our community
  • Sponsorship for our weekly podcast- Hope Pieced Together ($350/episode- and they are thanked for their sponsorship via social media, during the podcast, and in the show notes)
  • Getting the word out about Mosaics of Mercy and that we are available to help people navigate mental health resources. Options:Assist us with marketing
     -Assist us with marketing
     -Share our website with your friends and contacts
     -Share our social media posts
     -Share our podcasts
  • Donate a mosaic heart to be sent to someone in the community that is struggling (Done through the donate page of our website)
  • Display a mosaic heart and our information in your place of business to continue to get the word out that mental health resources are available.

Please visit www.mosaicsofmercy.com for additional information.

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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