2019 Novel Coronavirus
COVID-19 Testing Now Available

Step 1 - Online Screening:
Once you have gone through the online screening process and deemed "at-risk" you will receive a unique code and a phone number to call.

Take the Houston and Harris County Public Health self-assessment tool to see if you qualify for testing

Step 2 - Phone Consultation:
Call the given number and complete phone consultation. If deemed "at-risk" you will be given another unique code and information of where to get your first test.

Step 3 - Testing Facility:
Proceed to the testing facility at your scheduled time. Be sure to bring with you any photo ID and other information as requested by your nurse screener.

You can call here at:  832-927-7575

Judge Hidalgo’s Stay Home, Work Safe Order
For County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s, March 24th Stay Home, Work Safe order and additional information, please visit https://www.readyharris.org/Stay-Home
Harris County Public Health COVID-19 Cases
For Harris County Public Health’s confirmed COVID-19 case count list, please click here. This chart is updated daily at 3:00 p.m.


For a map of HCPH’s quadrant breakdown, please refer to our map.

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. 

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.

HCPH COVID-19 Outreach Information

HCPH is providing community education through providing digital copies of materials or virtual presentations. Please email COVIDoutreach@phs.hctx.net.

*Educational booths and presentations are only available outside of Houston city limits.

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.

Call Center Information related to COVID-19:

For Harris County Residents:
Harris County Public Health (HCPH)
www.hcphtx.org\COVID-19
www.ReadyHarris.org
832-927-7575*
*This number is 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., everyday

Harris Health System
www.harrishealth.org
Ask-My-Nurse
713-634-1110*
*This number is 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., everyday clinical-related questions

For City of Houston Residents:
Houston Health Department
www.HoustonHealth.org
www.HoustonEmergency.org
832-393-4220*
*This number is staffed 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. M-F, 9 a.m - 3 p.m. on Sat.

For Fort Bend County Residents:
Fort Bend County Health & Human Services
www.fbchealth.org/ncov
281-633-7795*
*This number is Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Video
(English)

 

Coronavirus COVID-19
(Chinese)

 

Coronavirus COVID-19
(Spanish)

 

Hand Washing Tips

 

COVID-19 Sign Language

 

COVID-19 Stop the Spread of Germs 

Community Resources
Guidance for Care Givers
Guidance for Pet Shelters and Owners
Guidance for First Responders
Guidance for Food Establishments (PDF)
Guidance for Assisted Living (PDF)
Guidance for General Public (PDF)
Viruses Don’t Discriminate and Neither Should We (PDF)
Cleaning and Disinfecting (PDF)
Mental Health (PDF)
Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks (PDF)
Stop The Spread of COVID-19 (PDF)
Guidance for Homeless Shelters (PDF)
Guidance for Pregnant Women (PDF)
Guidance for People at Higher Risk (PDF)
Guidance for Employers and Businesses (PDF)
Guidance for Schools (PDF)
Social Distancing and Self-Monitoring (PDF)
What is community spread? (PDF)
Coronavirus Infographic (PDF)
CDC - Handwashing Tips (PDF)
CDC - Stop the Spread (PDF)
CDC - What to do if you are sick (PDF)
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
Reduce Your Risk (PDF)

Community Resources (All Files, as of 3/16/20, 6pm)

CDC Guidance for PPE Sequencing
Reporting COVID-19 Violations

Reporting Violations

Violators of this order are subject to fine up to $1,000 or up to 180 days in jail. To report non-essential entities violating current public health orders, residents can call 832-839-6941 or file online at https://form.jotform.com/200845600466048.

Price Gouging 

Charging an exorbitant price for fuel, food, medicine, or another necessity during the Corona Virus emergency is price gouging and unlawful. Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan has the authority to file civil actions to stop these kinds of activities. If you feel that you are being unfairly charged for necessary goods or services such as medicine, fuel, food, or, lodging, raise the issue of price gouging with the provider. Speak to them respectfully but be frank. If you are unable to resolve the matter, please contact the office of the Harris County Attorney at ConsumerHelp@cao.hctx.net.

For additional information, please visit https://www.harriscountycao.org/coronavirus-consumer-complaints

Questions Regarding Stay Home, Work Safe Order

On Tuesday, March 24, County Judge Lina Hidalgo signed a Stay Home, Work Safe order outlining measures to protect public health. The violators of this order are subject to fines and up to 180 days in jail. To report non-essential entities violating current public health orders please email stayhome@cjo.hctx.net.

Information for Travelers

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly updates their COVID-19 travel guidance. For the latest information, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html

Additionally, CDC regularly updates their global map which tracks COVID-19 country transmission levels. For more information, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html

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 

The CDC has provided updated PPE sequence guidelines for healthcare workers handling infectious diseases. The type of PPE used will vary based on the level of precautions required, such as standard and contact, droplet or airborne infection isolation precautions. The procedure for putting on and removing PPE should be tailored to the specific type of PPE. Click here for the latest guidance.

Information for Dental Professionals
To help control the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Response. This guidance should be used with CDC’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for patients with COVID-19. This information supplements, but does not replace, the general infection prevention and control (IPC) recommendations for COVID-19.
Information for Veterinarians

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) provides an FAQ page specifically for veterinarians and veterinary clinics on COVID-19. AVMA has additional resources and information (updated frequently) at avma.org/coronavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also provides interim guidance for public health professionals managing the home care and isolation of people with COVID-19 who have pets or other animals in the same home. Visit the CDC web page.

Guidance for Mass Gatherings

HCPH recommends following CDC interim guidance for mass gatherings. This is guidance intended for organizers and staff responsible for planning mass gatherings or large community events in the United States. Everyone can do their part to help plan, prepare, and respond to this emerging public health threat.

CDC has developed recommended actions for preventing the spread of COVID-19 at mass gatherings and large community events. The Before, During, and After sections of this guidance offer suggested strategies to help you plan for and implement these recommendations.

Definition: A mass gathering is a planned or spontaneous event with a large number of people in attendance that could strain the planning and response resources of the community hosting the event. This includes concerts, festivals, conferences, worship services, and sporting events.

As the COVID-19 outbreak evolves, CDC strongly encourages event organizers and staff to prepare for the possibility of outbreaks in their communities. Creating an emergency plan for mass gatherings and large community events can help protect you and the health of your event participants and local community.

For continued updates and additional guidance regarding Mass Gatherings, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/mass-gatherings-ready-for-covid-19.html
DSHS COVID-19 CALL CENTER

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 seven days a week from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. For more information, please dial 2-1-1.

The Harris Center COVID-19 Mental Health Line
The Harris Center has activated a COVID-19 Mental Health Line. If you or a loved one need help coping with anxiety, grief, worry, or other behavioral health issues, please consider calling the The Harris Center’s Mental Health Support Line at 833-251-7544.
Harris County Coronavirus Rumor Control

A new coronavirus (COVID-19) was detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness across the world. According to the CDC, the current risk of contracting the virus in the United States remains low. However, Harris County is working closely with HCPH, Houston Health Department, The Texas Department of State Health Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor this rapidly evolving situation.

Unfortunately, the uncertainty surrounding the novel coronavirus outbreak has led to misinformation and unsubstantiated rumors regarding the virus in Harris County. It is vital that residents rely on trusted and reliable health sources of information regarding novel coronavirus. Misinformation and rumors have spread quickly on social media; thus it may not be the most reliable source of information. Residents concerned about novel coronavirus can check and share this page for updates and visit the following websites:

RUMOR: Is Harris County going on “lockdown” due to the Coronavirus?

False. It is important that residents understand that local officials are not putting areas under “lockdown” or ordering businesses to close. Residents should continue to be vigilant, and take reasonable steps to help prevent the spread of the virus by taking common sense steps provided by trusted sources. Current guidance for communities strongly discourages events or gatherings greater than 10 people.

Official community guidelines have also been issued and are available by visiting ReadyHarris or HCPHTX.org.

RUMOR: There’s no way to test for COVID-19 in Harris County.

False. The Houston Health Department is able to test for COVID-19. The Houston Health Department is currently testing for COVID-19 cases that meet CDC testing criteria.

RUMOR: Anyone can request testing for COVID-19.

False. Currently, only persons meeting the CDC’s criteria are being tested for COVID-19. If you suspect you have been exposed to COVID-19 due to recent travel to countries with the ongoing spread of COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider. Inform them of your symptoms, recent travel history and/or contact with a confirmed positive case. 

RUMOR:  Private laboratories or medical offices are able to test for COVID-19.

False. Only laboratories approved by the CDC can provide testing for COVID-19. Testing is done only if an individual meets the CDC’s criteria for testing.  Private facilities can offer to test for known coronaviruses. Coronaviruses are types of viruses that infect the respiratory system. 

RUMOR: It is unsafe to travel to Chinatown due to the COVID-19.

False. There is currently no reason for residents in Harris County to avoid visiting Chinatown or any other Asian businesses. All businesses are safe to visit. As always, routine healthy habits, such as handwashing and staying home when are you sick, help prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses.

RUMOR: I should wear a mask to protect myself from the Novel Coronavirus.

False. The CDC does not recommend that people who are well to wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. For additional information on the prevention and treatment of coronavirus, visit the CDC website here.

RUMOR: The flu vaccine can protect me against novel coronavirus.

False. The flu shot (vaccine) won’t protect against COVID-19. We are still in an active flu season. Residents are encouraged to get a flu vaccine and take every day preventative steps to avoid spreading respiratory illnesses. This includes covering your cough, washing hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, and staying home if you are sick. 

WHO mythbusters

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.

Volunteer Resources

Health Professionals

Harris County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is looking for volunteers in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

  1. Epidemiological Investigators need volunteers to assist with investigations and intake assistants to help register cases into internal reporting system. 
    1. Qualified volunteers can include 2nd year MPH students, NP's, RN, PA's, or other healthcare professionals.
  2. Medical Professionals to assist at our Specimen Collection sites (Collecting patient samples) 
    1. Nurses, Physicians, Paramedics, Medical assistants

Join MRC and check Harris County MRC (if medical professional please fill out occupation page fully) – https://www.texasdisastervolunteerregistry.org/

If interested in volunteering reach out to Angelina Fontenot MRC@phs.hctx.net

Residents and Non-Profit Organizations

If you are a residents or a non-profit organization looking to support the regional response to COVID-19 visit Volunteer Houston for information on how you can help.

http://volunteerhouston.org/


Latest Information on 2019 Novel Coronavirus

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

image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

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

2019 Novel Coronavirus (WHO)