Since the COVID-19 virus was first detected in Harris County, we have been working non-stop to beat it. We stayed home, wore our masks, maintained social distance, and sacrificed many, many moments with friends and family. When safe, effective vaccines became available, Harris County Public Health rushed to acquire and distribute them equitably, establishing over 100 vaccination sites, including a mega distribution site at NRG stadium that has become a model for the nation. Many of our residents are getting vaccinated, moving us closer to a place where COVID-19 is no longer a major threat to vulnerable populations and our hospital capacity. Thanks to all of this hard work, we have made substantial progress in turning a corner against this virus.
Last week, based on this progress and the meeting of the relevant thresholds, I moved the county’s COVID-19 Threat Level from Level 2: Orange to Level 3: Yellow, the system’s second-lowest threat level. We should all be proud of reaching this significant milestone. Under the Yellow threat level, unvaccinated individuals should continue to mask and social distance. Fully vaccinated individuals, however, may resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where otherwise required.
We are making considerable strides, but our success is fragile. From the beginning of this crisis, data and public health expertise have driven our policies and the guidance we provide the community on how to stay safe. And the data tells us our numbers are still high, that people are still getting sick and dying. While we have come a long way, this is not a mission accomplished moment. But we should feel encouraged that vaccinations are safe, effective, and are preventing deaths, hospitalizations, and the spread of the virus.
So don’t wait. Go get vaccinated. And if you’ve already gotten your shots, help us by getting anyone you know who hasn’t to NRG Park. Come by Tuesday thru Sunday between noon and 7 p.m. — there’s no need for an appointment. You can find more information at ReadyHarris.org or contact us at 832-927-8787. Let’s continue to pull together to persuade friends, family members, and others to do their part and get vaccinated. Let’s make it to Green and beat COVID-19 once and for all.