HOUSTON — Twenty-five days after Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner challenged Houston to work to drop a soaring 23% COVID-19 positivity rate down to under 5%, the city is within striking range.
"There's no question we can get there if we continue to work at it together," Turner said.
With a week left in August, Houston's positivity rate is down to 9.2%. That's the lowest we've seen since late May and now just 4% away from Turner's goal.
"The goal is to get to 5% and below," Turner said. "That indicates what we are doing collectively is working, and we need to stay with it."
The progress is plenty to be proud of. Wearing masks, social distancing and using sanitizer has made an impact on community spread, and is getting us closer to safely reopening schools and other businesses.
"If you get below 5% and stay there, then your testing and contact tracing are that much more effective," Turner said.
But now with the threat of significant impacts from Hurricane Laura there are concerns all that progress containing COVID-19 could be washed away.
"We also have to make sure we don't let our guard down as it pertains to this virus," Turner said. "It feeds off of people coming together. If people have to go to shelters or bunk with others, then you're coming together and you fuel the virus."
Turner is asking Houstonians to prepare and to get tested ahead of the possible storm.
"If we do those things, we can get to 5% before the end of August," Turner said. "It's going to require discipline."