HOUSTON — DPS troopers took their post at Houston airports noon Saturday. They will be there indefinitely to enforce Gov. Greg Abbott’s new orders that anyone now traveling from hotspot locations will have to self-quarantine for 14 days under law.
It’s not their typical territory, setting up shop at Houston airports.
“They’re going to be here in the morning before the first flight comes in and then until after the last flight comes in," said Lt. Craig Cummings with Texas DPS. “Travelers will complete the form. After the troopers review it, they will be allowed to complete the form and go directly to their place of quarantine.”
Troopers will be telling travelers coming from New Orleans, New York, New Jersey or Connecticut to fill out a form that will tell troopers their designated quarantine locations, like their home or a hotel.
That’s where they’ll head to straight from the airport. Once there, they cannot leave for anything, except medical help or to leave the state.
They can’t go to public spaces or have visitors for 14 days unless that visitor has a badge.
“Our DPS special agents will randomly go out to check the locations that travelers report on that form to check that they’re in compliance," Lt. Cummings said.
DPS expects everyone to comply, but if they don’t, Gov. Abbott has given them authority to fine or arrest that person.
“We’re hoping that everyone complies so that those criminal penalties are not used," Lt. Cummings said.
But if you come in from any of those places by car or other transportation, Harris County is still asking you to self-quarantine.
For more information on the rules or the form, click here.
The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Some patients also have nausea, body aches, headaches and stomach issues. Losing your sense of taste and/or smell can also be an early warning sign.
Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.
But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk for becoming seriously ill. However, U.S. experts are seeing a significant number of younger people being hospitalized, including some in ICU.
The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.
Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...
- The air by coughing or sneezing
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.
Help stop the spread of coronavirus
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Eat and sleep separately from your family members
- Use different utensils and dishes
- Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
- If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
- Follow social distancing
Lower your risk
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.
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