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'STAY HOME' | Harris County sends emergency message across broadcast stations

The message urged people to stay home to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

HOUSTON — You may have heard an emergency alert come across your TV set on Monday. What you heard was not a test. It was an alert urging people to stay home due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Texas.

The alert went out across all broadcast media at 12:43 p.m.

The alert said, "STAY HOME. Harris County’s COVID-19 threat remains at LEVEL 1 (RED) SEVERE until further notice. The virus is spreading rapidly across Harris County and local hospitals are reaching capacity. Protect yourself and your family by staying at home except for essential activities, wear required face covering, and cancel gatherings. Visit readyharris.org for updates."

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s office confirmed the alert was sent out.

“We have to stop pretending that filling up our hospitals is a morally appropriate or sound public health approach to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hidalgo said. “The good news is that as our community has demonstrated before, we are not powerless against this crisis and we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to save lives and create the conditions to open our economy sustainably. Over the long term, we must find ways to safely coexist with this virus, but right now we are an emergency situation and we need to treat it as such.”

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COVID-19 cases have been rising in Texas. For four straight days, beginning Friday, hospitalizations in the state have been above 10,000.  

Credit: KHOU
More than 10,000 people with COVID-19 are in Texas hospitals.

Both Hidalgo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner say they want to shut things down until the virus is brought under control.