Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo: “This is not the time to give up”

Harris County Judge Hidalgo
Harris County Judge Hidalgo

This Wednesday, the state’s decision to open everything at 100% and eliminate the mask mandate comes into effect.

For the vast majority of the community who have been following public health recommendations from the beginning, the state’s ending COVID-19 precautions is a gut punch. As I said in a recent TIME Magazine Op-Ed:

“It is a heavy burden for a community to carry, to continue to sacrifice in spite of false hopes being offered at the highest levels of the state… I hope that people of this county won’t allow pandemic politics to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and that we won’t throw away a year of pain and sacrifice so that politicians can have their ‘mission accomplished’ moment.”

I have received a lot of questions about what that means for Texans, and what our community should do.

The bottom line is this: This is not the time to give up.

Our positivity rate is sky high and still rising. Our COVID-19 hospitalizations are too high and would be the highest starting point ever for a climb in hospitalizations. We’re still reporting around 600 cases a day in Harris County. Every time there has been a lifting of restrictions, numbers have worsened within a month or two.

Continue wearing face coverings. It saves lives.

Continue to avoid gatherings with people you don’t live with.

Finally, support the businesses, the school administrators, the leaders who are being upfront and realistic about the situation.

A lot has been asked of you over the past year. We have to dig deep and continue our efforts a little longer.

If anyone can persevere, it’s the incredibly resilient people of this County and of this State.