The Woodlands Township COVID-19 Update, Friday, June 26, 2020

By: The Woodlands Township
| Published 06/26/2020

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THE WOODLANDS, TX -- Governor Abbott Takes Executive Action to Contain Spread Of COVID-19
Limits Certain Businesses And Services with Link to Infections

Governor Greg Abbott today issued an executive order limiting certain businesses and services as part of the state’s effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. This decision comes as the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 and the number of hospitalizations have increased and the positivity rate in Texas increased above 10 percent, which the Governor previously stated would lead to further preventative action. The targeted, measured directives in the executive order are based on links between certain types of businesses and services and the recent rise in positive cases throughout the state.

The order includes the following:

All bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51 percent of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages are required to close at noon today. These businesses may remain open for delivery and take-out, including for alcoholic beverages, as authorized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Restaurants may remain open for dine-in service, but at a capacity not to exceed 50 percent of total listed indoor occupancy, beginning Monday, June 29, 2020.
Rafting and tubing businesses must close.
Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions.
“As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10 percent, the State of Texas would take further action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Abbott. “At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars. The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and protect public health. We want this to be as limited in duration as possible. However, we can only slow the spread if everyone in Texas does their part. Every Texan has a responsibility to themselves and their loved ones to wear a mask, wash their hands, stay six feet apart from others in public, and stay home if they can. I know that our collective action can lead to a reduction in the spread of COVID-19 because we have done it before, and we will do it again.”

View the Governor's Executive Order

Texas Medical Center Hospitals release joint statement
CEOs across the Texas Medical Center have monitored the ongoing transmission of COVID-19 in our community and across the state since the earliest days of this pandemic. In response to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, we want to reassure the public that this pandemic is not eclipsing our capabilities. Our hospitals have the ICU capacity, staff and supplies to meet the healthcare needs of our community.

In addition, Texas hospitals continue to reserve 15 percent of capacity for COVID-19 patients and medical care continues to be routinely provided in inpatient and outpatient settings without taxing the overall hospitalization capacity.
Read full joint statement here.

County News
Message from Montgomery County Hospital CEOs
The Woodlands Township has received the following message from the Montgomery County Hospital CEOs: “ We are asking our community and government leaders to help support our local hospitals and health care workers by encouraging mask coverings in all public places, social distancing with limited gathering of people, and proper hand hygiene.”

Montgomery County COVID-19 Case Count
Montgomery County Public Health District, in conjunction with Montgomery County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, encourages everyone to do your part in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping businesses and restaurants open. Wearing a mask if necessary to be in public, frequent handwashing or using hand sanitizer, surface disinfection and social distancing are imperative.

Today, the number of ACTIVE cases of COVID-19 has increased to 778 in Montgomery County. Of the 778 active cases who are Montgomery County residents, 19 are in the hospital. 1,138 people have fully recovered. The number of total positive cases has increased 63 since Thursday to 1,952.

The next update on COVID-19 numbers will be Monday, June 29, 2020.

You can view the list of case-by-case updates on the MCPHD website here: https://mcphd-tx.org/coronavirus-covid-19/confirmed-cases/. You can refer to the dashboard here: https://coronavirus-response-moco.hub.arcgis.com/.

The MCHD/MCPHD COVID-19 Call Center is open for residents needing COVID-19 testing through the voucher program, or for general questions, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Please call 936-523-5040 for more information.

For more information on how to protect yourself and others, go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html.

Harris County COVID-19 Case Count
Harris County Public Health (HCPH) publishes their daily case count, combined with the City of Houston’s daily case count, here: https://tinyurl.com/tzymvk5. Cases by zip code in Harris County can be found by clicking on areas of the map.

The Village of Creekside Park is located in two zip codes: 77375 and 77389, and these also include Magnolia, Augusta Pines/Auburn Lakes/West Rayford Road in northwest Harris County. Today, Harris County is reporting zip code 77375 has 150 confirmed positive cases with 53 active cases, and 77389 has 127 confirmed positive cases with 49 active cases.

Harris County Public Health (HCPH) COVID-19 Testing
Get tested, it’s free! To sign up for testing, visit hcphtx.org or ReadyHarris.org or you can call 832-927-7575. View flyer for more information. Once tested, results from HCPH testing sites can take up to 5 days to process. As you wait for your results, stay home and self-isolate, especially if you are sick, practice social distancing (6 ft/2 m) and wear a face-covering. View flyer for more information on the next steps after you have been tested.

Harris County Moves Threat Level to 1, Red: Stay Home
Harris County changed its threat level indicator today to Level 1, Red, Stay Home. Level one 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.

Township News

Board Reiterates CDC Guidelines of Social Distancing and Facial Coverings
With a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, the Township Board of Directors continues to strongly recommend CDC Guidelines for social distancing and facial coverings while out in public, especially when you will be around other people. Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities. Everyone should continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing. “Fighting this pandemic requires that we all work together – citizens and our businesses,” Chairman Gordy Bunch said. “We have a responsibility to take care of ourselves and a responsibility to take care of those around us.”

Watch a video about wearing face coverings in The Woodlands.

Township Neighborhood Watch to Host Salute to First Responders Blood Drive
Visit The Recreation Center at Rob Fleming Park (6464 Creekside Forest Drive) on Monday, July 6, 2020, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to donate blood. Please consider this opportunity to express your gratitude to our first responders who continue to serve our community and receive a FREE beach towel with your successful donation!

Donors with appointments will be honored first; however, walk-ins will be taken when a station is open. Visit the Gulf Coast website to schedule your appointment.

The Gulf Coast Blood Center will take precautions to ensure your safety and is offering FREE COVID-19 antibody testing for all successful donors. Donors will be required to wear a mask. Participants waiting outside of their vehicle will be required to follow social distance guidelines.

Around the Township
The Woodlands Farmer’s Market open tomorrow
Tomorrow from 8 a.m. to noon, The Woodlands Farmer’s Market will have produce, meats, artisan goods, health and beauty, knife sharpening, snacks and much more. The same precautions will still be in place, including social distancing and wearing face masks. For more information, please visit their website or Facebook page.

Star-Spangled Salute Cancelled
The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion is saddened to officially announce the cancellation of one of The Woodlands’ most popular Independence Day events, the Star-Spangled Salute featuring the Houston Symphony. As with many large-scale events in the community, public health and the safety of staff, artists and guests is paramount when it comes to COVID-19. More information.

Message from the Texas Hotel and Lodging Association:
Governor Abbott closes standalone bars, reduces restaurant capacity back to 50 percent
On June 26, 2020, Governor Abbott amended his executive order affecting the opening of Texas. The June 26 order, GA-28, mandates restaurants shall again return to a maximum 50 percent occupancy capacity effective June 29, 2020. This does apply to hotel restaurants and dining areas.

Additionally, standalone bars or other establishments that derive more than 50 percent of their revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages are permitted to open only for pickup/to-go service, effective at noon today. While most hotels do not derive more than 50 percent of their revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages, hotels should take great care and consider reducing bar service to guests seated at a table in a dining area (at no more than 50 percent occupancy), or for to-go service or in-room dining.

Meetings may continue at a maximum 50 percent occupancy capacity, and subject to the physical distancing requirements found in these standards of operation issued by the State of Texas.

General hotel operations for the accommodation of overnight guests may continue at full capacity. Pools and other water features remain at 50 percent maximum occupancy and subject to physical distancing requirements.

Donate June 15-30, 2020, and pick up a T-shirt as a thank you for helping us save lives.
Visit giveblood.org to schedule your appointment.
The Blood Center is now requiring that donors wear a mask or face covering when at a blood drive. In the case that you do not have one, staff will offer you one.
All successful blood donors will receive a FREE COVID-19 ANTIBODY TEST. (This test is authorized by the FDA only for detecting the presence of antibodies against SARS-Co V-2, and is not intended for diagnosis of COVID-19.)
Riva Row Boat House Adds Pedal Kayaks to Rental Options
The Woodlands Township is now offering single and tandem (or double) pedal kayaks as new and exciting rental options at Riva Row Boat House. Other rentals at Riva Row include standard/paddle-powered single and tandem (or double) kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, swan pedal boats and water bikes. For more information visit the Riva Row Boat House webpage.

Enjoy a Summer Getaway Right Here in The Woodlands
Looking for summer vacation plans due to COVID-19? Stay right here in The Woodlands! Many hotels are offering Summer Staycation and Mid-Week specials when the crowds are smaller. Visit The Woodlands’ new website features special offers for restaurants, hotels in The Woodlands and more. View hotel specials and other offers here.

Visit The Woodlands Launches New Destination Website
Visit The Woodlands is proud to announce the launch of its new, fully redesigned destination website, visitthewoodlands.com. The new website offers the most accurate and up-to-date content for leisure travelers with access to curated trip ideas, upcoming events, special offers, visitors guide and more. The site also features a section designed for meeting planners that includes details on meeting venues in The Woodlands, CVB services, online RFP submission and the official Meeting Planners Guide. View the website here.

Township Summer Programs Now Available
The Woodlands Township is pleased to re-open a number of summer programs for the community to enjoy. Given the unprecedented situation surrounding COVID-19, summer programs have been adjusted to better serve the community in a safer manner. To learn more about summer camps, swimming lessons, adult programs, sports leagues and more, please see the Summer 2020 Action Guide online at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/actionguide. Registration for summer programs is available now!

Re-Opening of The Woodlands
For a list of open and closed facilities in The Woodlands Township, please visit https://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/1495/Re-opening-of-The-Woodlands.

#Township Together
During the past few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, residents have shared examples of inspiration seen throughout the community. Some are chalk drawings, banners, signs of thanks, painted rocks and more. These can be viewed on The Woodlands Township website. If you’ve found something inspirational, please share by sending your photo to TownshipTogether@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov.

Sawdust Park and Ride Facility Resumes Partial Service
The Woodlands Township has begun partial service for The Woodlands Express from the Sawdust Park and Ride location. Reduced service from the Research Forest Park and Ride will continue. Sterling Ridge Park and Ride location will remain temporarily closed.

Future announcements will be made if additional schedule adjustments are implemented.

Please visit our Twitter page at https://twitter.com/TownshipTransit for the latest service updates. For schedules, route maps and ticketing information visit www.woodlandstransit.com or call 281-210-3800 and ask for the Transportation Department.

Outdoor Dining
Ready to be out and about? Check out the great outdoor options that The Woodlands has for you and enjoy an evening out.

Open Hotels in The Woodlands
Many of The Woodlands hotel properties are open and ready to welcome you to their location. The Courtyard The Woodlands will be re-opening their doors on June 15, 2020. Be sure to stay up to date by viewing Visit The Woodlands.

Best Western Plus | Candlewood Suites | Drury Inn The Woodlands | Embassy Suites | Fairfield Inn and Suites | Hilton Garden Inn | Hyatt Place | Residence Inn Lakefront Drive | Residence Inn Market Street | The Woodlands Resort
Community Resources
Numerous resources are available in the community for support. These vary from food banks to financial assistance and much more. Please visit the link below to find more information about resources in the community related to COVID-19: http://thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/1491/Community-Resources

Free Mental and Emotional Help is Available Now
The COVID-19 Crisis Counseling Program is designed to aid individuals living through the COVID-19 crisis in understanding their reactions, reviewing their options, and connecting with agencies and organizations to assist in improving their situations. Crisis counselors will be able to provide active listening while offering reassurance and practical assistance through psycho-education and emotional support. They will also teach behavioral techniques for coping with stress, anxiety, depression, etc. that may arise during this time. The program is offered FREE of charge to anyone in the community. All age groups are welcome. Get more information on this program now.

Township’s Coronavirus Page
The Woodlands Township’s COVID-19 page can be found at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/covid19. This page features Montgomery and Harris county Hubs, community resources and news from the Federal Government and the CDC. It also includes the latest news from The Township, partner agencies, important links, FAQs, live Twitter feeds and more.

The Woodlands Township to hold Regular Board of Directors Meeting Electronically
The Woodlands Township Board of Directors will hold a Regular Board Meeting via videoconference, Wednesday, June 24, 2020, at 6 p.m. The meeting can be viewed online at http://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/778/Meeting-Videos.

Stay Connected
Please stay connected to The Woodlands Township through our many communications channels. Learn more and sign up at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/stayinformed.

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