Harris County Reopening Strategy

Harris County Reopening Strategy

On Thursday, June 11th, 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

Level 1: Severe - Stay Home Work Safe

COVID-Meter-SIGNIFICANT-01

Level 1 signifies a severe and uncontrolled level of COVID-19 in Harris County, meaning outbreaks are present and worsening and that testing and contact tracing capacity is strained or exceeded. At this level, residents take action to minimize contacts with others wherever possible and avoid leaving home except for the most essential needs like going to the grocery store for food and medicine.

Regardless of current level indicated, all residents should continue the use of social distancing, frequent hand washing, and the use of face coverings until there is a vaccine or a treatment for the virus. Additionally, residents exposed to COVID-19 should quarantine for 14 days regardless of level indicated.

For more information and updates, refer to the Ready Harris website or Threat Levels Explained resources.




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).

Level 1: Stay Home 

SEVERE THREAT

Level 1 signifies a severe and uncontrolled level of COVID-19 in Harris County, meaning outbreaks are present and worsening and that testing and contact tracing capacity is strained or exceeded. At this level, residents take action to minimize contacts with others wherever possible and avoid leaving home except for the most essential needs like going to the grocery store for food and medicine.  

Level 2: Minimize ALL Contacts 

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 and that testing and contact tracing capacity is likely sufficient to meet demand. At this level, residents should minimize contact with others, avoiding any medium or large gatherings, and only visiting permissible businesses that follow public health guidance

Level 3: Stay Vigilant

MODERATE THREAT

Level 3 signifies a moderate, but controlled level of COVID-19 in Harris County, meaning a demonstrated reduction in transmission and the local healthcare system is within capacity. Residents should remain vigilant, but resume contact with others and resume leaving home.  

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 or a vaccine and/or treatment has been developed and widely deployed. At this level, residents may resume normal contact with others unless sick. 

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.




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. This resource can be accessed below or on the Ready Harris website.

COVID Reopening Benchmarks (Updated 8/11/20)



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.




Additional Resources

For more information, visit the Ready Harris website.