In her "State of the County" address, which was held virtually on Thursday, she began by discussing the rise of positive cases in the county and across the country.
2020 has been a challenging year, but the State of Harris County is strong, because our people are strong. Join me tomorrow at noon for the 2020 State of the County—a discussion on the future of our county. Sign up here: https://t.co/PbsQgpccOJ— Lina Hidalgo (@LinaHidalgoTX) November 11, 2020
The question many have on their minds is whether or not this means another shut down for Harris County.
"We've got to get it under control once and for all," said Hidalgo. "Already enough lives have been lost. It's setting ourselves up for greater economic pain, deaths and illnesses. We now know inevitably another pull-back is necessary. It's going to be coming soon, I'm sure."
This week, Texas became the first state in the country to reach 1 million reported cases. The positivity rate has slowly been inching back up in the Houston area, and with the holidays coming up and more people gathering, it couldn't come at a worse time.
We've crossed 1 million #COVID19 cases in Texas. This is what happens when you let denial & politics drive public health policy. It’s tragic not only because of the alarming trends, but also because we’re stuck in a vicious cycle of wishful thinking and unsustainable reopenings.— Lina Hidalgo (@LinaHidalgoTX) November 11, 2020
There is a path to getting #COVID under control and having a sustainable new normal, but it requires serious & consistent leadership. So long as those with the power to take action minimize the virus and fail to enact aggressive policies, we’ll fail to pull out of this together.— Lina Hidalgo (@LinaHidalgoTX) November 11, 2020
A complete economic recovery from COVID19 can only happen by closing long-standing gaps in access to opportunity and preparing workers for the future. Congratulations to Pamela Chan, someone w/deep experience who will serve as our first Director of Economic Equity & Opportunity!— Lina Hidalgo (@LinaHidalgoTX) November 11, 2020
Hidalgo said they've got several hundred people on the county's contact tracing team who are continuing to use the threat level system, but not enough people are heeding the warnings. As fast as numbers are going up, she said it's become inevitable that another pull-back is necessary and may be coming soon. Local health officials also see that happening in the near future.
"I imagine, at some point, public officials will start to tap the brakes and try to slow the spread," said Dr. James McDeavitt, the dean of clinical affairs at Baylor College of Medicine. "I don't think it will be a switch. I think it will be more targeted and timelier with a lot less social disruption and a lot less economic disruption."
Meanwhile, Hidalgo said this is not the time to be lax and encourages everyone to stay on course and be even more vigilant with wearing face masks, practicing safe social distancing and proper hygiene.
The county is working with state and federal officials to deploy a vaccine and treatment once they become available.
READ MORE: Rise in hospitalizations may mean 'significant surge' is coming, doctors say
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