HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- While Gov. Abbott's orders to reopen Texas businesses loomed, Judge Lina Hidalgo on Friday gave reason to be optimistic about combating COVID-19: Harris County appears to be flattening the curve.
While the county leader conceded that cases have not reached the peak, as evidenced by the 40 new cases and two new deaths identified, Hidalgo praised residents for helping neighbors get to important part of the virus curve through maintaining social distancing measures.
"Thanks to everyone's work, each person at home, data is showing that everything we are doing is working," Hidalgo said.
She also advised that the county's decision to reopen areas will not be an emotional decision. However, she believes that this is a time for leaders to make "data-driven decisions."
Hidalgo's feedback comes after major announcements Friday from government officials, chiefly as Gov. Greg Abbott, who shared his plans to reopen state businesses in phases.
"Right now is precisely the worst time to let our guard down," Hidalgo said. "We may be close to the maximum of cases. We're either going to go back up and go to where we know we shouldn't, or we're going to be able to make it to the other side and show how a community can do this."
Abbott said Texans will follow step-by-step phases in efforts to reopen businesses and restore a sense of normalcy, so long as the infection rate continues to decrease.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner pushed back slightly against the governor's announcement Friday, insisting on a measured response to reopen.
RELATED: Harris Co. halts inmate releases after 1st offenders leave jail
TIMELINE: Here are the dates when things can reopen in Texas
Mayor Turner won't rush to reopen Houston in step with Texas order
63 Harris Co. jail workers and 46 inmates now with COVID-19
Judge Hidalgo signs order to release up to 1,000 inmates
Signs showing Harris Co. 'flattening the curve,' county judge says