Fort Bend County hospitals are beginning to fill up again with COVID-19 patients, and hospital executives in the Houston area are asking residents to stay vigilant against the coronavirus as the holiday season approaches.
A letter signed by the CEOs of the four main hospitals in the county — Houston Methodist, Memorial Hermann, Oakbend Medical Center and CHI St. Luke’s Health — is asking families to make some adjustments to their Thanksgiving and holiday activities, like limiting gatherings and protecting high-risk people such as the elderly to keep the spread of the coronavirus down.
“It’s important that all of us take steps now and throughout the holiday season to reduce our risks and prevent another serious surge,” the letter says.
According to the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council, COVID-19 cases are increasing in Fort Bend County with 1,708 confirmed cases. Also, positive tests are have increased from 4% to 10% at local testing centers and hospitals in the last month.
During the summer, Fort Bend County saw a big spike of coronavirus with 3,034 confirmed positive cases from June 28 to July 28.
As of Wednesday, SETRAC reported 55 confirmed COVID cases in county hospitals, with another 10 suspected of COVID. Twenty of the confirmed cases are in intensive care.
Some of the suggestions the letter gives to families is to:
■ Practice social distancing as much as possible, six feet apart from others;
■ Keep wearing masks in the correct manner (over the nose and mouth);
■ Wash hands and use hand sanitizer frequently;
■ Limit holiday gatherings and protect those who may be at high risk, such as the elderly or family/ friends who have pre-existing conditions or weakened immune systems;
■ Celebrate in-person only with those in your household and reach out virtually with other parts of your friends and family;
■ Host all holiday activities outdoors;
■ Avoid crowded stores and community celebrations;
■ Minimize travel if possible (but if you do travel, follow CDC guidelines);
■ Isolate yourself if you experience symptoms and see a physician as quickly as possible.
On Wednesday, Fort Bend County Health and Human Services reported 88 new cases and 198 recoveries of the coronavirus, moving the totals to 18,873 total cases and 17,440 total recoveries. There have been 272 deaths in the county from the virus.