Breaking News
More () »

One year ago today: The first known COVID case in the Houston area was reported March 4, 2020

This case was in Fort Bend County.

HOUSTON — One year ago on this day, we saw the first known case of COVID-19 in Texas, and it was in the Houston area.

What we never imagined is that we would still be in the thick of this pandemic at the same this year.

It started on March 4 – a day that would change our lives forever.

That is when health officials announced a local case of COVID-19 for the first time.

This case was in Fort Bend County.

RELATED: Fort Bend County health department confirms 'presumptive positive' coronavirus case

The man, who is in his 70s, had recently traveled abroad and got tested at a Houston lab. Those results came back identifying a "presumptive positive" case of the virus, which means the results have not been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control. 

Soon after, many more COVID cases started to pop up in the Houston area.

One of those cases was a Pearland couple who tested positive after a trip to Egypt.

RELATED: Surviving COVID: Pearland couple opens up about scare

The Galindos returned to Houston on March 4 and within a few days, they knew something was seriously wrong.

“I literally told her I don’t know what to do, she’s falling out, she’s fainting, I can’t handle this," Ernest Galindo said. 

Belinda was rushed to the hospital and intubated for six weeks after testing positive for coronavirus.

During that time, Texas and all of the other 49 states within the U.S. were shut down for weeks to slow the spread of the virus.

Hospitals were reaching surge capacity and health care workers were overwhelmed with the number of people falling ill at the same time.

RELATED: A look at Texas's COVID numbers and how they’ve changed over the past few months

Dr. James McDeavitt with the Baylor College of Medicine remembers March 4 very well too. 

He said the last 364 days have felt like 15 years.

"I remember distinctly my wife and I had a conversation that day or close to that day where she asked me, 'How long is this going to go on?' I said I think this is pretty serious," said McDeavitt. "It could go on until July. Little did I know I might have gotten the right month. I got the wrong year."

Frontline workers and survivors want everyone to learn the lessons from last year and continue to mask up, social distance and get tested as often as possible. 

On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the end to the statewide mask mandate, which will go into effect on March 10. Abbott's order also includes business reopening to 100 percent. 

While the reaction to the end of the mask mandate is a relief to some, others call it a "death warrant for Texans." 

For information on how to get vaccinated in the Houston area, click here

Before You Leave, Check This Out