Harris County expected to extend stay-home order after Friday as COVID-19 cases grow

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo provided an update on the county's response to COVID-19 after officials reported its second death on Monday.

The patient was a woman in her 50s who had known exposure to a confirmed case, according to Harris County Public Health.

Later in the afternoon, the city of Houston confirmed its third coronavirus death: a woman in her 70s with underlying health conditions.

On March 30, Hidalgo said the stay-home order will certainly be extended, but so far they don't know yet for how long.

"Now, yesterday, the CDC extended their guidance for an additional 30 days until April 30, and we're all aware that the order that I issued last week expires later this week on April 3," said Hidalgo. "We're continuing to look at numbers. As folks have seen, we've had spikes. We've had a lot of growth in the case count within Harris County, including the city of Houston and so I'll be making a determination tomorrow. I've been in contact with the different stakeholders with Mayor Turner and other mayors and the reality of it is, the question is not whether we'll be extending the order. It's really a question of for how long we'll be extending the order for, and this is really difficult. You know it's a difficult position we're all a part of."

She also said Harris County is giving a 3-month extension to all delinquent property taxes. Taxes won't be due until June, which is also when the penalty and interest will be due.

The county also introduced a new comprehensive dashboard available with the latest information on the cases in Harris County.

"We hope this will be a useful tool for folks," said Hidalgo. "The goal behind the dashboard is transparency."
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