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Coronavirus updates: Gov. Abbott announces phased plan to re-open Texas businesses

Here is a look at the latest COVID-19 headlines from around Houston, Texas for Monday, April 27.

HOUSTON — We are continuing to track the latest headlines and updates regarding the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

> THIS BLOG HAS BEEN ARCHIVED; GET THE LATEST UPDATES HERE

Texas Gov. Greg has announced his plan to gradually reopen more businesses in the state

Also new today: the Harris County & Houston mask order are now in effect. Get the latest updates and top headlines below.

Monday morning's top headlines

Stimulus payment tracker & FAQ | How you can get tested for COVID-19 | Local COVID-19 cases | Coronavirus symptoms | COVID-19 FAQ

Latest COVID-19 updates

Here are the latest updates from around the Houston area and the world (all times are Central/Houston time):

> THIS BLOG HAS BEEN ARCHIVED; GET THE LATEST UPDATES HERE

APRIL 27, 7:22 p.m. — Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo has removed the $1,000 fine from her masks order after Gov. Greg Abbott said his executive order prevents the county from collecting fines. The judge released the following statement:

“Harris County is the epicenter for the Covid-19 crisis in Texas and face coverings are one of the only weapons we have to stop the spread of the virus and reopen safely. We have a face covering order today and we’ll still have a face covering order tomorrow. In practical terms, the governor’s order doesn’t change much because, like every order we’ve issued so far, we’d made it clear that the priority was education. The fine was there as a signal of how vital mask wearing is, and in many ways, the community got that message. It’s been disappointing to see folks politicize public health, and I hope this means they'll go back to focusing on health and safety instead of politics. As we have in the past, we will amend this order to conform with the governor’s.”  Read more.

APRIL 27, 6:55 p.m.The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said they have 325 employees, staff or contractors and 909 offenders who have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Click here for more information.

APRIL 27, 5:40 p.m. — Galveston County reported seven new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total in the county to 548.

There have been 24 new recoveries, bringing the total number of people who have recovered to 287.

Two more people have died:

  • A female, age range 81-90, passed away April 23. She had pre-existing medical conditions.
  • A female, age range 71-80, passed away April 26. She had pre-existing medical conditions.

APRIL 27, 5:30 p.m. — Brazoria County reported that they have 464 cases, of which 209 are active and 250 have recovered. Five people have died.

APRIL 27, 5:21 p.m. — Kroger employees will wear masks in an effort to provide a safe environment for customers and store associates.

The grocery store provided masks for associates and also welcomed employees to bring their own suitable masks to work if they prefer.

APRIL 27, 4:51 p.m. The Houston Health Department said it is bringing COVID-19 testing to vulnerable communities through new mobile testing units.

On Tuesday, the Houston Health Department will begin offering free COVID-19 testing through its mobile unit at strategic multi-service centers.

People do not need to have symptoms or appointments to be tested. The mobile unit has a daily capacity of 100 tests and is available as a drive-thru or walk-up option.

Mobile testing will occur Tuesdays-Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or until capacity is reached, as follows:

  • April 28-May 2: Kashmere Multi-Service Center, 4802 Lockwood Dr, Houston, TX 77026
  • May 5-9: Hiram Clarke Multi-Service Center, 3810 W Fuqua St, Houston, TX 77045
  • May 12-16: Third Ward Multi-Service Center, 3611 Ennis St, Houston, TX 77004

People with questions about mobile testing can call the health department’s COVID-19 call center at 832-393-4220.

APRIL 27, 3:30 p.m.  During his news conference to announce re-opening the state, Gov. Abbott was asked about ordinances mandating face coverings.  He said that his orders superseded what local governments do, and that local jurisdictions can't enforce fines.  Harris County's face covering ordinance went into effect on Monday.  Read more.

APRIL 27 2:50 p.m. — During a press conference Monday, Gov. Abbott announced that he will not be extending his existing stay home order that was issued in March. The order will expire on April 30.

Starting May 1, all retail stores, movie theaters, malls can reopen with 25 percent capacity. Counties with five or less COVID-19 cases can reopen stores and malls at 50 percent capacity, Abbott said. Read more here.

APRIL 27 11:53 p.m. — Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced she has create a COVID-19 Strike Force that will work with nursing homes and other care facilities to perform site assessments, issue control orders if needed and make recommendations to ensure the safety of faculty and residents. 

The team will also have the ability to do testing, she said.

"They're starting with one nursing home a day, they're prioritizing those which have cases," Hidalgo said. "But the idea is ramp up this effort and to try and prioritize as much as we can. It's just that one strike team; we're going to expand as resources allow." Read more here.

APRIL 27 11:45 a.m. — Fort Bend Public Health is reporting a woman in her 70s with underlying health conditions has passed away from coronavirus, bringing the county's death toll to 22. As of Monday, officials have confirmed 957 cases in the area.

APRIL 27 11 a.m. — Both H-E-B and Kroger have extended their store hours as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, effective Monday, April 27. 

H-E-B's store hours are now 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Kroger's hours are now 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

H-E-B previously announced their store hour changes. Kroger released this statement on Monday:

Kroger Houston today announced the acceptance of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for Pickup. The low-contact, convenient service allows customers to shop online for groceries on Kroger.com or the Kroger app and pick up their order curbside at a nearby Kroger store. The announcement also shares the updated store hours of 7am – 11pm in Houston area stores starting Monday, April 27.

APRIL 27 10:40 a.m. — A new testing location has been announced by the City of Houston: "United Memorial Medical Center today opened a new COVID-19 drive-thru testing site at Barnett Sports Complex (6800 Fairway Drive) in Southeast Houston. UMMC worked with the Houston Health Department to identify a strategic location. People can contact UMMC at 1-866-333-COVID or http://ummcscreening.com for more information." Remember - you must call and make an appointment, get a code before going to public testing locations.

LIVE: New COVID-19 testing site opening in Houston

WATCH LIVE: Mayor Turner, Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee and other officials are providing details on a new COVID-19 testing site. LATEST CORONAVIRUS UPDATES: https://www.khou.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/houston-coronavirus-updates-news-and-cases-sunday-april-26/285-deb2cfc6-d7b7-4b69-a6ac-a340f0665867

Posted by KHOU 11 News on Monday, April 27, 2020

Related: How you can get tested for COVID-19

APRIL 27 10:34 a.m. — In New Orleans, friends respond as virus claims a Zulu king | If Larry Arthur Hammond had died in a normal time, he would have had a funeral befitting a Zulu king. The New Orleans man, who died of COVID-19 in March at the age of 70, was Mardi Gras royalty, and would have had more than a thousand people marching behind his casket in second-line parades. That's impossible now as the coronavirus pandemic forces social distancing. But just as New Orleans jazz is all about improvisation, his friends improvised. They organized a parade of cars and trucks by the family home. His widow Lillian Hammond says it helped make up for having a small funeral. (AP)  Read more national and world headlines.

APRIL 27 8:47 a.m. — Tweet from HCSO Sheriff Ed Gonzalez about the county mask rule going into effect today: "At @HCSOTexas we are not planning to give tickets or anything. We want to keep people safe and give people the benefit of the doubt. Most people understand the seriousness of #COVID19, will look at things through a public health lens, and use good judgment."

RELATED: Harris County mask rule in effect: Some stores may not let you in, trespass charges can be filed

RELATED: Everything you need to know about Harris County's mask order

RELATED: How to properly wear and remove a face covering

APRIL 27 8:28 a.m. — Harris County's mask rules mean some stores may not let you in, trespassing charges can be filed | "All private businesses retain the right to refuse entry to those who refuse to wear a mask," warns Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo. Read more here.

APRIL 27 7:41 a.m. — Louisiana will reopen in phases, guidelines expected this week | Today, the governor is expected to announce whether that stay at home order will have to be extended or what a gradual reopening will look like in Louisiana. Read more here.

APRIL 27 7 a.m. — New testing site opening in Sugar Land area. Info just in from Fort Bend County: 

County Judge KP George and county public health officials announced today the opening of a COVID-19 testing site in the Sugar Land area. The County’s first testing site remains active and operational in Rosenberg. The County is paying all fees related to the tests at both locations.

The Sugar Land testing site will be operating weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. AccessHealth will be performing the tests and LabCorp will be providing the test kits as well as providing the test results. The site has the capacity to do 200 tests per day.

“I am pleased that we now have two community testing sites available for county residents. We expect that the increase in testing capabilities will help everyone better protect themselves and their families and flatten the curve here” said Judge George. “I appreciate the partnership with AccessHealth and LabCorp who can help provide this needed protection from the invisible enemy.”

There is no requirement for symptoms to be tested at the Count sites. Any resident of Fort Bend can sign up online at this link. A representative will contact to do pre-screening. For residents who do not have internet access, pre-screening is available by phone weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at (281) 238-2363

Following the pre-screening, a representative will be in contact to provide an identification code, appointment day, time and testing site address. Residents with appointments are expected to travel in their personal vehicles to the testing site and bring their unique ID code. Testing is done without residents leaving their vehicles and the results are available in three to five days.

RELATED: Where you can get tested for coronavirus in the Houston area

APRIL 26 6:50 a.m. — The latest numbers from Texas and around the world: There are 2,994,690 million confirmed cases worldwide with 207,270 deaths and 881,635 recoveries, according to Johns Hopkins at this time. The U.S. leads the world with 965,933 confirmed cases. Texas Health and Human Services reports that as of late Sunday morning (the latest update at this time), we have 24,631 COVID-19 cases in the state with 648 deaths and an estimated 10,763 recoveries.

Credit: TXHHS
Texas coronavirus numbers as of 11:50 a.m. update on April 26, 2020

APRIL 27 6 a.m. — Formula One chairman Carey hopes season starts July 5 | Formula One chairman Chase Carey says the season could start in July despite the first 10 races being canceled or postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic. The French Grand Prix canceled its race on June 28 rather than postponing it. The targeted start date is now the Austrian GP at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg on July 5. Carey says “we are now increasingly confident with the progress of our plans to begin our season this summer" and that 15-18 races can take place. The forecasted season would end with races in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi. Read more national and world headlines.

APRIL 27 5:36 a.m. — Nations, US states each chart their own path on reopening | Nations and U.S. states have begun easing coronavirus lockdowns, each pursuing their own approach but all with a common goal: restarting their economies without triggering a new surge of infections. Restrictions are being lifted in a piecemeal fashion with no clear signs of coordination among countries. Some have restarted construction work, while others never shut down building sites in the first place. Hair salons and restaurants were reopening in some U.S. states, while elsewhere such steps are still weeks away. Read more here.

APRIL 27 5 a.m. — India reports positive results from lockdown | Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has said the monthlong ongoing lockdown has yielded positive results and that the country has managed to save “thousands of lives.” Modi, who had a videoconference with various heads of the states on Monday, said the impact of the coronavirus, however, will remain visible in the coming months, according to a press statement released by his office. During the meeting with state heads, Modi advocated for social distancing of at least two yards (6 feet) and the use of face masks as a rapid response to tackle COVID-19. Read more national and world headlines.

APRIL 27 4:40 a.m. — Global stock prices gained Monday after Japan’s central bank boosted support for financial markets as more governments prepared to reopen economies that were shut down to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Tokyo's benchmark surged 2.7% and European markets opened higher. Shanghai, Hong Kong and Sydney also gained. Read more here.

APRIL 27 12 a.m. — China reports 3 cases, no new deaths | China reported just three new coronavirus cases Monday, and no new deaths for the 12th day in a row. A total of 723 people remain hospitalized and just under 1,000 were being kept in isolation and under monitoring for being suspected cases or for having tested positive for COVID-19 without showing symptoms. Beijing added one additional postmortem death to its count, raising China’s overall death toll to 4,633 among 82,830 cases. Of the new cases, two were imported and one was detected in the province of Heilongjiang bordering Russia, according to the National Health Commission. Read more national and world headlines.

APRIL 27 12 a.m. — Japan adds 14 more countries to entry ban list | Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that his country is adding 14 more countries, including Russia, Peru and Saudi Arabia, to the entry ban list as the country steps up border control as the coronavirus infections continued to spread in the country. Japan has already banned entry from more than 70 other countries, banning foreigners with records of visiting those countries in the past two weeks, while invalidating visas for the rest of the world. The additional step on the 14 countries will take effect Wednesday, Abe said. The entry ban and the visa restrictions, initially set to end on April 30, are extended until the end of May. Read more national and world headlines.

APRIL 27 12 a.m. — Repair work at Notre Dame resumes amid virus | Work began Monday to refit the construction site at fire-damaged Notre Dame Cathedral to protect workers from the virus and allow cleanup efforts to resume. More than a year after the fire, workers still haven’t finished stabilizing the medieval cathedral, much less rebuilding it. And the coronavirus outbreak caused a new setback: Work on the cathedral halted in mid-March, when France imposed strict confinement measures. On Monday, workers began to rearrange the construction site to make it virus-safe, according to an official with the state agency overseeing the project. The site is hidden from the public by high barriers. Read more national and world headlines.

APRIL 26 7:38 p.m. — Montgomery County will have a mobile testing site from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday. Visitors must schedule an appointment before by calling (512) 883-2400 or visiting www.txcovidtest.org.

APRIL 26 6:35 p.m. — The city of Houston is announcing a new COVID-19 testing site on Monday.

The location will be near neighborhoods with vulnerable populations considered to be at high risk for severe illness from the virus.

The news conference will be held at Barnett Sport Complex at 10:30 a.m.

APRIL 26 5:25 p.m. — Calhoun County is reporting 29 total cases, including 12 active, 15 recoveries and 2 deaths.

APRIL 26 5:16 p.m. — Galveston County Health District officials report two new positive COVID-19 cases, bringing the county’s case total to 541. They also report one additional recovery, bringing that total to 263.

Officials said of the county’s 541 cases, 196 are tied to long-term care facilities which includes residents and employees.

APRIL 26 5:15 p.m. — Brazoria County is reporting 4 new COVID-19 cases. The county reports 449 total cases, including 243 recoveries.

APRIL 26 5:12 p.m. — Gov. Greg Abbott is set to make an announcement at 2:30 p.m. Monday on the latest measures to reopen Texas.

APRIL 26 4:21 p.m. — Matagorda County public health officials are reporting two new coronavirus cases, and both patients are younger than 5 years old. No other information was shared.

As of Sunday, a total 63 residents have tested positive and 3 people have died. There have been at least 26 recoveries, officials said.

APRIL 26 3 p.m. — The City of Houston reports 60 new COVID-19 cases and four deaths, all with underlying health conditions.

The fourth deaths include two men age 70 to 79 years old, one man age 80 to 89 years old and one man age 50 to 59 years old.

Houston now has 3,284 total cases and 42 total deaths.

APRIL 26 2:20 p.m. Chairman of ExpediaGroup Barry Diller believes social distancing for some arenas like airplanes "is a myth."

Diller appeared on CBS News "Face The Nation" and called removing middle seats from aircrafts "absurd." 

"Look the thing is, we're gonna have to go through a different kind, a new kind of- let's call it risk calculation. And that's gonna be based upon levels of what we believe is safe and not safe," Diller said. Read more here

APRIL 26 2:19 p.m. — The state job board shows thousands of openings around Texas. You won’t qualify for each one, but companies are looking for folks with a variety of skills.

The Texas Workforce Commission shows that most jobs are in health care and social assistance, with more than 30,000 openings across the state. Read more here.

APRIL 26 11:50 a.m. — The latest COVID-19 case numbers show a milestone in Texas, breaking 10K recoveries: There are 2.934 million confirmed cases worldwide with 203,670 deaths and 853,666 recoveries, according to Johns Hopkins at 11:45 a.m. Central time. The U.S. leads the world with 943,865 cases. Texas Health and Human Services reports that as of late Sunday morning, we have 24,631 COVID-19 cases in the state with 648 deaths and an estimated 10,763 recoveries.

Credit: Texas Health and Human Services
Texas COVID-19 numbers as of 11:50 a.m. Sunday April 26, 2020

APRIL 26 11:45 a.m. — Speaker Pelosi addresses frustration from state governors | U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the nation’s governors are rightfully feeling impatient about getting financial help from Congress during the coronavirus outbreak and insists the aid will come. The California Democrat tells CNN’s “State of the Union” that governors “should be impatient. Their impatience will help us get an even bigger number” in the next congressional relief package. Pelosi has already pledged to provide them billions in aid. With much of the American economy shuttered during the pandemic, state and local governments are reeling from declining sales tax revenues and surging unemployment benefit costs. View more national/world COVID-19 updates here.

APRIL 26 11:12 a.m. — Boris Johnson returns to face growing virus divisions in UK | British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is returning to work after recovering from a coronavirus infection that put him in intensive care. Johnson’s office says he will be back at his desk Monday, two weeks after he was released from a London hospital.  Johnson, 55, spent a week at St. Thomas’ Hospital, including three nights in intensive care. His return to work comes as the government faces growing criticism over the deaths and disruption the virus has wreaked in the U.K. More than 20,700 people with COVID-19 have died in U.K. hospitals and thousands more are thought to have died in nursing homes. (AP) View more national/world COVID-19 updates here.

APRIL 26 11:05 a.m. — Crowds flock to Galveston County beaches: Sunny weather brings large crowd to open beach on Bolivar Peninsula Pictures taken by our sister station in Beaumont, KBMT, show a large crowd gathered at the beach. More than a dozen cars were seen parked on the sand. Read more here.

APRIL 26 10:02 a.m. — "Open Texas Now" rally | Hundreds of demonstrators crowded together in front of Frisco City Hall, Saturday, demanding Gov. Greg Abbott allow businesses, schools and churches to reopen immediately. Among demonstrators was the Dallas salon owner who received a citation for reopening her business. At the rally, she tore up the citation. Read more here.

APRIL 26 10 a.m. — 2 million chickens had to be killed without being processed. Hogs could be next | Nearly 2 million chickens from farms in Maryland and Delaware had to be killed last week. Poultry industry officials said staffing shortages at processing plants due to the coronavirus, as well as increased safety measures, are causing a backup of animals at the farm. Read more here.

APRIL 26 9:30 a.m. — Pentagon focusing on most vital personnel for virus testing | With coronavirus tests in limited supply, the Pentagon has devised a phased approach that focuses first on testing an elite slice of the military that includes counterterrorism and strategic nuclear forces. The aim is to allocate testing materials in a way that preserves what the military deems its most vital missions and takes into account the test requirements for high-risk civilians. This approach belies President Donald Trump’s assertions that national testing capacity is not an issue. Pentagon officials say they aim to increase the number of tests from about 7,000 a day currently to 60,00 a day by June.  (AP)  View more national/world COVID-19 updates here.

APRIL 26 8:28 a.m. — NBA preping for a return? NBA facilities to begin reopening Friday | NBA players will be allowed to return to team training facilities starting Friday, provided that their local governments do not have a stay-at-home order prohibiting such movement still in place as part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Any workouts that take place would be voluntary and be limited to individual sessions only, according to a person familiar with the league's decision. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Saturday on condition of anonymity because the directives from the league were not released publicly. Read more here.

APRIL 26 7:50 a.m. — In much lighter news that may bring you a smile.. Watch: Saturday Night Live 'at Home' features Brad Pitt as Dr. Anthony Fauci! Dr. Anthony Fauci recently joked that if anyone was going to play him on Saturday Night Live, then obviously it should be Brad Pitt. On Saturday night, Dr. Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, got his wish as the program returned for its second “At Home” edition. Read more and watch the sketch here.

APRIL 26 7 a.m. — China says it sees no COVID-19 deaths again | China on Sunday reported no new deaths from the coronavirus for the 11th straight day.  The country also confirmed 11 more cases, raising its total to 82,827. Five of the new cases were in Heilongjiang province, a northeastern border area with Russia that has seen a surge in infections. Another was in Guangdong province, a manufacturing and tech region bordering Hong Kong in the south.  The other five were imported from overseas. China has identified 1,634 imported cases in all.  View more national/world COVID-19 updates here.

APRIL 26 6 a.m. — There are 2.9 million confirmed cases worldwide with 203,332 deaths and 824,002 recoveries, according to Johns Hopkins at 6 a.m. Central time. The U.S. leads the world with 939,249 cases. Texas Health and Human Services reports that as of very early Sunday morning we have 23,773 COVID-19 cases in the state with 623 deaths and an estimated 9,986 recoveries.

Credit: KHOU 11
6 a.m. COVID-19 trends graph from Texas Health and Human Services

APRIL 26 6 a.m. — What's happening today (via the AP): 

— Nearly two months after an embarrassing end to his presidential campaign, Mike Bloomberg is again deploying his massive personal fortune — this time to combat the coronavirus.

— Nashville has a vibrant music industry and is known as the home of country music. But many musicians have been unable to collect unemployment benefits during the pandemic.

— Anzac Day, which marks the landing of New Zealand and Australian soldiers on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915, is observed in a muted way.

— Criticism of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government mounts as the U.K. becomes the fifth country in the world to report 20,000 virus-related deaths.

— The Navy says the number of sailors aboard the USS Kidd confirmed to be infected with the virus has nearly doubled, rising from 18 to 33.

— A spring heat wave drove an uptick of people to California beaches, golf courses and trails.

APRIL 26 5:57 a.m. — Kids in Spain relish outdoor hour as virus lockdowns ease | Spain has let children leave their homes for the first time in six weeks. The move comes at the start of a week in which Italy and France also are expected to detail their plans to ease some of the world’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns.  Read more here.

APRIL 26 5 a.m. — Some governments have begun easing their coronavirus restrictions, with India reopening neighborhood stores that serve many of its 1.3 billion people. In the U.S., Georgia, Oklahoma and Alaska have also begun loosening restrictions despite warnings from health officials that it may be too soon. (AP)

APRIL 26 5 a.m. — Hundreds of workers at Ford, General Motors, Toyota and other companies have offered to work in a wartime-like effort to stem shortages of protective medical gear and equipment. Read more here.

APRIL 26 3:15 a.m. — Virus lockdown raises tensions in France's poorest areas |  France's coronavirus lockdown is raising tensions in housing projects and poor suburbs where many immigrants live. Open-air markets in these areas are closed, supermarket prices are skyrocketing and people are out of work. The mayor of Clichy-Sous-Bois, the scene of riots in 2005, has been sounding the alarm. Residents there and in other impoverished areas stand in long lines for handouts of food. Some experts warn of a deepening social crisis that could explode amid the health emergency. Alongside the food crisis, there have been scattered incidents of violence recently with youths confronting police. The French government has announced a plan for food aid of nearly $42 million for the needy. (AP)

APRIL 25 10:30 p.m. — Johns Hopkins University researchers say the global death toll from the coronavirus has surpassed 200,000. A tentative easing around the world of restrictions is gathering pace with the reopening in India of neighborhood stores that many people rely on for basic goods. India's relaxation did not apply to hundreds of quarantined towns or shopping malls. The U.S. states of Georgia, Oklahoma and Alaska also began loosening lockdown orders on their pandemic-wounded businesses. Italy said free protective masks will be distributed to nursing homes, police, public officials and transport workers, preparing for the return to work of millions when restrictions are eased from May 4. (AP)

APRIL 25 10:15 p.m. — Rep. Christina Morales and community partners will distribute 5,000 free masks to the East End Community on Sunday, April 26.

  • What: Free Protective Mask Give Away
  • When: Sunday, April 26, 2020, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Where: HCCS South East Campus Parking Lot, 6815 Rustic St, Houston, TX 77087

APRIL 25 7:39 p.m. — Mayor Sylvester Turner is set to announce a new COVID-19 testing site for Houston at 10 a.m. Sunday. Officials said the United Memorial Medical Center testing site will be located near neighborhoods with vulnerable populations considered at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

APRIL 25 7:00 p.m. — Washington County reported five new COVID-19 cases.

  • Man, 50-59, community spread
  • Man, 60-69, community spread
  • Woman, 70-79, community spread
  • Woman, 80-89, community spread
  • Woman, 90-99, community spread

All residents lived in the 77833 ZIP Code.

Read older updates here

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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.

Get complete coverage of the coronavirus by texting 'FACTS' to 713-526-1111.