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Nearly 12,000 households given free disinfectant through Fort Bend Co. drive-thru

It's the 11th day of the disinfectant program, and now backed by a private supporter, operations are stronger than ever.

RICHMOND, Texas — Eleven days in, and the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office continues to give out free disinfectant to hundreds of families, drive-thru style.

Sheriff Troy Nehls says the demand for it remains high.  

“We’re trying to do everything we can to reduce the spread, to mitigate risk, and keep this county as safe as possible,” Nehls said.

So far, nearly 12,000 families have been helped. Each family drove away with one spray bottle and one large bottle filled with diluted bleach.

“I think it’s great they’re doing this for everybody,” Eliana Monita said. She picked up two bottles of disinfectant Saturday morning.

While others are struggling to find disinfectants, the sheriff's office says they’re able to provide it because of their partnership with water technology company, De Nora Neptune.

The company has stepped up and provided FBCSO with a mobile bleach generator. The department is now able to make bleach on site, every day.

“They’re providing this machine now to Fort Bend County for free,” Nehls said.

Based out of Milan, De Nora has a facility in Sugar Land.

“We had six of these sitting in our yard, so we thought they could be used for the public good,” said Robert Berry, a representative of De Nora Neptune.

A machine normally used to disinfect water in hydraulic fracking is now producing thousands of gallons of bleach, helping to stop the spread.

“It’s really everybody needs to come together at a time like this, we’re having a crisis, and all businesses need to think of a way to help,” Berry said.

In the meantime, bottle by bottle, both De Nora and the sheriff's office say they have no intention of giving up on the fight against COVID-19.

“We’re going to do it for as long as we can,” Berry said.

The next free disinfectant distribution is happening Sunday, March 29, from 8 a.m. - noon at 1521 Eugene Heimann Circle in Richmond, Texas.

For details on date and time changes follow FBCSO on Facebook and Twitter.


Coronavirus symptoms

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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