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Threat level down

Been waiting for this for some time.

Harris County finally will downgrade from its highest COVID-19 threat level, County Judge Lina Hidalgo said Monday evening, after 47 weeks of urging residents to stay home.

Hidalgo said the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines and improving local metrics were among several factors that convinced her to revise the threat level system the county debuted last summer. The U.S. Centers From Disease Control also told fully vaccinated Americans last week they may resume their pre-pandemic lives.

“We’re very much at a turning point,” Hidalgo said. “We don’t want to claim victory because there certainly there’s a possibility that amongst the unvaccinated, the virus gets out of control. But we do have reason for celebration.

Hidalgo said she would make a formal announcement Tuesday. Remaining guidelines would only apply to unvaccinated residents.

The two Republican county commissioners had urged the Democratic leader for weeks to abandon Level Red, which states that virus outbreaks are uncontrolled and worsening; data show the opposite is true.

The pair, Jack Cagle and Tom Ramsey, have said that while COVID-19 still must be taken seriously, the Level Red designation obscures the progress the county has made in containing the virus.

[…]

Currently, Harris County meets four of five criteria to downgrade to the next-highest threat level, including 14-day averages of new cases below 400 and share of ICU beds occupied by virus patients below 15 percent.

The remaining barrier is a test positivity rate below 5 percent; currently that metric stands at 9.4 percent. That result differs greatly than the positivity rate recorded by the Texas Medical Center system, which currently is 3.7 percent.

The TMC rate comes from tests conducted on patients at member hospitals in the Houston region; the county rate comes from tests taken by the Houston and Harris County health departments, as well as local pharmacies.

Hidalgo said experts she consulted said since few residents were being tested, Harris County’s rate likely was artificially high. She said her team would revise the metrics so positivity rate and new cases are secondary criteria.

See here for the previous update, which was a month ago. We’re a lot farther along on vaccinations, and all of the numbers have moved in accordance with that. I like the fact that we’re being true to the metrics, and that we are making adjustments to them based on new facts on the ground. I commend Judge Hidalgo for consistently doing the right thing, which would have been a lot easier to do if we didn’t have Threat Level Super Duper Bright Red stupidity and malevolence from other parts of our government. The later story also notes that government buildings would reopen to 50 percent capacity, and the county is reviewing that dumb anti-mask mandate order. The Press and the Trib have more.

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11 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    For many people, the Wu flu hysteria is over. That’s why people aren’t clamoring to be tested for it anymore. That panicked, fear of the unknown is gone for many Houstonians. It makes sense that people seeking testing for it now actually feel sick, so they get tested to see if they’ve got the Wu flu, or if it’s just one of the myriad of other illnesses/allergies that they’re suffering from. And what we still don’t know is, how many of the almost 10% that test positive for the Wu flu are actually sick because of the Wu flu, and how many of them are asymptomatic for Wu flu but have bronchitis, etc., from seasonal allergies, or are sick from a cold, flu, or something other than covid.

    The worst thing about all this, from Dora’s perspective is, she’s losing her power and influence. She holds a press conference about her threat level matrix and…..nobody really cares. So many people have just moved on with life. Whatever she says, announces….it’s irrelevant to people out in the real world. She’s losing control, and that’s got to hurt, compounded by Abbott’s overdue order preventing localities from continuing with their draconian diktats.

    Dora’s already slid into irrelevancy, and she doesn’t even know it.

  2. Jason Hochman says:

    wow, it is down to just orange level now. Up until now, we had been at Red Level, which meant that you should not leave home, other than for essential reconnaissance missions to obtain food or medicine. How many of the righteous were following this guidance until now?

    So, here at orange level, it still signifies a severe and uncontrolled level of spread, and advises unvaccinated persons to minimize contact with others. Obviously this has been updated with the new CDC guidance, but it has not accounted for many of the other new data that have come forth since the terror alert was established in the summer of 2020.

    As well, the TMC has been publishing their R(t) as below one for the past few weeks, which would indicate that we do not a severe and uncontrolled level of spread. As well, the entire stated reported no deaths from Cvd on Sunday, that is the statewide number.

    All of which to say that the terror alert system is a bit out of touch.

    before you say that is “drivel” “crazy talk” “Russian bot liar” or anything else why don’t you come up with some good debate or discussion points instead? This is why we have a critical need for voter suppression. The Democrats prey on people who are manipulated easily and unable to make their own decisions, and the Democrats should not be getting the votes they get through predatory tactics.

  3. Manny says:

    Why would anyone debate a liar who believes the orange buffoon is sane?

  4. Jason Hochman says:

    “before you say that is “drivel” “crazy talk” “Russian bot liar” or anything else why don’t you come up with some good debate or discussion points instead? This is why we have a critical need for voter suppression. The Democrats prey on people who are manipulated easily and unable to make their own decisions, and the Democrats should not be getting the votes they get through predatory tactics.”

    Thanks for making the argument for the dire need for voter suppression. The Democrats are predators harvesting the votes from those who are unable to analyze anything. They should lose all votes from the brainwashed and only be allowed to count the legitimate votes.

  5. Manny says:

    Jason, only a fool and a liar could come up with as much stupidity as you do.

    If Democrats are so easily manipulated, why do you, Jason, fail miserably in convincing us that your drivel or stupidity is to be believed?

    Think about that but not for too long; your head may explode.

  6. Jason Hochman says:

    The Democrats are easily manipulated because once they hear something, from a so called authority they believe it. NO questions. Life is complex, nuanced. The Democrats like to have rules and simplified categories, handed to them by their elites.

    So, have you been following the Red Threat Level guidance until today? If you haven’t you’re a lyin’ Dog Face Pony Soldier.

  7. Manny says:

    Jason, you described the Republican/Fascist Party, although there are exceptions.

    Even if you were correct about following the science, authority, it beats the heck out of following stupid, the orange buffoon, inject bleach Jason, follow the none science authority your god Trump.

    Drivel, drivel, drivel, lies, lies, lies, the two words that describe the person who identifies him or herself as Jason Hochman.

  8. Jason Hochman says:

    I don’t follow Trump, either, I follow The Science, which I source and review my self. I have never been a Trump supporter, but with the Biden regime, Trump looks good. With only a little more than 100 days in office, Biden has started a stagflation cycle, there have been tons of mass shootings, police still killing minorities, a border crisis, violence in the Middle East, and 180,000 Covid deaths, even though he had the vaccine when he came into office. His Covid response is a lot of political theater, with masks off/masks on/who knows what they are saying; he also made some vague threat that the unvaccinated will “pay the price.” This is failed leadership, and four years of it will make Trump look like Honest Isaiah and the wars will make Trump look like the Farmer in the Dell.

    FACT CHECK: You have once again been befuddled and misled by news media. Trump never said that you should drink bleach, never recommended injecting or drinking disinfectant: ” And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that, so that you’re going to have to use medical doctors with, but it sounds interesting to me. So, we’ll see, but the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute. That’s pretty powerful.” A few moments later “It wouldn’t be through injections, you’re talking about almost a cleaning and sterilization of an area. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t work, but it certainly has a big affect if it’s on a stationary object.”

    It is crucial that we have voter suppression, to prevent the Democrats from duping the dupable into voting for them, they should lose all of the votes obtained by trickery.

  9. Manny says:

    How dumb is Jason, very, very, very dumb. The word I used is injected.

    But like always, Jason resorts to lies. So why am I not surprised?

    The sun rose again.

    The market is humming to new highs.

    Jason did not pass away. Give Biden credit for that.

    The number of Covid deaths has gone down under Biden.

    Jason uses a right-wing lying site to claim the number of death, no surprise there.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/04/30/fact-check-post-detailing-covid-deaths-under-biden-ignores-trend/4889416001/

    Jason, you are a liar and ignorant racist/fascist.

  10. Jason Hochman says:

    Right, the word you used is injected. Trump never said that anyone should inject bleach, rubbing alcohol, or any other disinfectant into him/herself.

    I don’t use a right wing site, I went right to the CDC, and the total there now is 584,337 deaths. In January it was approximately 400,000, which means that in just more than 100 days, Biden has killed approximately 180,000, so in 100 days he has killed about 45% as many as Trump killed in an entire year, even with the advantage of starting out with the vaccines.

    The fact check link you provided was for April, not today, and it still admits that Biden killed 156,000 rather than 176,000. Then, it goes on to say that “it’s almost impossible to track Covid deaths because of a lack of precision when reporting them.” Now that is a big change. When Trump was president, the chyron on the screen kept rolling the total deaths, updated each second. You would have thought that the news had a reporter posted at the bedside of every patient just waiting for one to expire. Now, it’s impossible to track!

    It makes me angry that they have manipulated you to this extent. But we do need voter suppression, it is critical to the survival of democracy, although that seems contradictory.

  11. Manny says:

    Jason the liar, Biden killed, yeah, really. You are as looney as any character in a cartoon show.

    Bleach is a disinfectant, and the orange buffoon used the word disinfectant. Lysol could also be used, so Jason, do as the orange buffoon god you follow says inject some Lysol.

    I seriously doubt that Jason Hochman is capable of comprehending data from any scientific source.

    As one knowledgeable person has stated, you drivel, I state that you lie.

    So did you thank President Biden for the fact that you have not croaked? Give credit for bad, give credit for good.?

    As to why April, don’t be an idiot, you said 100 days. January 20 to the end of April is about 100 days. Of course, you are incapable of doing math, just like the orange buffoon god you follow.

    https://youtu.be/iMIKzUAY8n4