2019 Novel Coronavirus

Harris County Summary

Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. To stay up-to-date on information, please refer to CDC who provides information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance. 

Currently there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Harris County. Harris County Public Health is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Texas Department of State and Health Services and other health partners in monitoring the developing outbreak and will promptly report any confirmed cases in our jurisdiction.

**There is an individual who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) that came on a State Department-chartered flight from China and was under a federal quarantine order at JBSA-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas. The individual is currently isolated and receiving medical care at a designated hospital.

What is COVID-19?

A new coronavirus (COVID-19) was recently detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness. The COVID-19 outbreak began in December 2019, and Chinese health officials have reported thousands of COVID-19 infections in China.

How do people become infected?

Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:

  • Coughing and 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; and
  • Rarely, fecal contamination.

It’s not clear yet how easily COVID-19 spreads from person to person. Many of the patients in the pneumonia outbreak caused by COVID-19 in Wuhan, China had some link to a large seafood and a live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring. There is much more to learn about how it passes from one person to another, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19, and investigations are ongoing.

How can I avoid infection with COVID-19?

According to the CDC, the immediate health risk of COVID-19 to the American public is LOW. However, you can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses with these actions.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Video (In English)


Coronavirus COVID-19 (In Chinese)


Information for Public
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions

WHO MythBusters:

In an effort to combat misinformation, the World Health Organization created several infographics regarding frequently asked questions about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. We encourage you to share these across your network to help set the record straight about COVID-19.

Information for Travelers

Currently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Level 3 Warning. Under this advisory, it is CDC’s recommendation that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China.

The US Department of State has also issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory asking people not to travel to China due to the coronavirus outbreak.

For additional novel coronavirus information for travelers, please visit the CDC’s webpage for additional information.

Information for Healthcare Professionals
Healthcare professionals can find interim guidance (including patient evaluation, reporting, testing, specimen collection, and prevention and control recommendations) on the CDC website:

Information for Healthcare Providers 


Texas Department of State Health Services has a dedicated call center to answer your COVID-19 related questions or concerns. The call center is available Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information, please call 1-877-570-9779.

Ready Harris Rumor Control Page

In an effort to combat the misinformation and unsubstantiated rumors regarding COVID-19, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and her office launched a coronavirus rumor page that addresses several popular rumors that have circulated around social media. For more information, please visit the Harris County Coronavirus Rumor Control page.

Latest Information

HCPH is working with public health organizations at the local, state, federal, and global levels to monitor and educate the public about COVID-19.

For additional resources, please visit the links below:
2019 Novel Coronavirus (DSHS)
2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC)

2019 Novel Coronavirus (WHO)