Harris County Reopening Strategy

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Harris County Reopening Strategy

On June 11th, 2020, Harris County and Judge Hidalgo announced a new series of benchmarks that serve as the county's Reopening Strategy. This color-coded system is intended to inform residents about the current level of risk of COVID-19 and actions residents are encouraged to take to stay healthy and prevent community spread.




Current Level of Risk

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Level 1 signifies a severe and uncontrolled level of COVID-19 in Harris County, meaning outbreaks are present and worsening and public health capacity is strained or exceeded. At this level, unvaccinated residents take action to minimize contact with others wherever possible and avoid leaving home except for the most essential needs like going to the grocery store for food and medicine. Unvaccinated individuals should continue to mask, physical distance, and avoid all gatherings. Vaccinated individuals follow the latest local public health guidance on whether to also wear a mask while indoors in public places, in crowded outdoor settings, and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.

For more information and updates, refer to the Threat Level resources on the COVID-19 Data Hub or Threat Levels Explained resources.




Metrics for Success

To learn more about those indicators and benchmarks that help inform the Harris County COVID-19 Threat Level system, view the Harris County / City of Houston COVID-19 Data Hub. There you will find an overview of metrics - like hospitalization and new cases - that are tracked as well as detailed timelines of each.




Threat Levels Explained

The Harris County Reopening Strategy advises four levels of transmission, including Level 1 - Severe (red), Level 2 - Significant (orange), Level 3 - Moderate (yellow), and Level 4 - Minimal (green). In addition to these, actions residents are encouraged to follow fall into Stay Home (red), Minimize ALL Contacts (orange), Stay Vigilant (yellow), and Resume Normal Contacts (green).

For a complete list of indicators and more detailed descriptions of each level of the Reopening Strategy and benchmarks, see the Leading Harris County: Benchmarks for a Healthy Community guide.

Level 1: Stay Home Work Safe Unless Fully Vaccinated (Severe Threat)

Level 1: Stay Home Work Safe Unless Fully Vaccinated 

SEVERE THREAT

Level 1 signifies a severe and uncontrolled level of COVID-19 in Harris County, meaning outbreaks are present and worsening and public health capacity is strained or exceeded. At this level, unvaccinated residents take action to minimize contact with others wherever possible and avoid leaving home except for the most essential needs like going to the grocery store for food and medicine. Unvaccinated individuals should continue to mask, physical distance, and avoid all gatherings. Vaccinated individuals follow the latest local public health guidance on whether to also wear a mask while indoors in public places, in crowded outdoor settings, and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.

Level 2: Minimize ALL Contacts Unless Fully Vaccinated (Significant Threat)

Level 2: Minimize ALL Contacts Unless Fully Vaccinated

SIGNIFICANT THREAT

Level 2 signifies a significant and uncontrolled level of COVID-19 in Harris County, meaning that there is ongoing transmission of the virus. At this level, unvaccinated residents should minimize contact with others, avoid any medium or large gatherings, and only visit permissible businesses that follow public health guidance . Unvaccinated individuals should continue to mask, physical distance, and avoid all medium and large gatherings. Vaccinated individuals follow the latest local public health guidance on whether to also wear a mask while indoors in public places, in crowded outdoor settings, and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.

Level 3: Stay Vigilant Unless Fully Vaccinated (Moderate Threat)

Level 3: Stay Vigilant Unless Fully Vaccinated

MODERATE THREAT

Level 3 signifies a moderate, but controlled level of COVID-19 in Harris County, meaning a further demonstrated reduction in transmission and the local healthcare system is well within capacity. Unvaccinated residents should remain vigilant , but resume contact with others and resume leaving home. Unvaccinated individuals should continue to mask and physical distance. Fully vaccinated individuals may resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

Level 4: Resume Normal Activity (Minimal Threat)

Level 4: Resume Normal Activity

MINIMAL THREAT

Level 4 signifies a minimal and controlled level of COVID-19 in Harris County, meaning new chains of transmission are limited and quickly broken. At this level, residents may resume normal contact with others unless sick.




Benchmarks for Reopening

In an effort to keep our community informed on the risk of COVID-19 transmission and the measures being taken to relax social distancing measures, Judge Hidalgo and Harris County Public Health (HCPH) have put together the Leading Harris County: Benchmarks for a Health Community guide below. This resource can be accessed below or on the COVID-19 Data Hub.

Updated Document Coming Soon

 


 

Reopening Guidance

To assist businesses in safely reopening to the public, Harris County Public Health (HCPH) has compiled resources that serve as guidelines for returning to business in a variety of industries. For more information, refer to the Reopening Guidance Resources.

 



Reopening Benchmarks for Schools

The benchmarks in use for the Harris County school system may differ from those outlined for countywide efforts. For more information about the Roadmap to Reopen Schools and Metrics for Success, refer to the School Guidance and Updates.




Additional Resources

For more information, visit the Ready Harris website.