Tag Archives: Harris County Public Health Authority

Harris County seeks a new direction for HART

Hopefully a solid reset and restart. Possibly even with the same vendor, if they can make the best offer and no other questions come up. Harris County officials on Tuesday began making new plans to extend a program that sends … Continue reading

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HART trouble

Not great. Harris County paused its Holistic Assistance Response Teams on Wednesday after Commissioners Court failed to reach an agreement on whether to pay the vendor operating the program. At issue is a $270,000 payment to Disaster Emergency Medical Assistance … Continue reading

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Harris Health bond officially on the ballot

Good. Harris County voters will be asked to approve a $2.5 billion bond issue from the Harris Health System to fund the rebuilding and upgrading of several hospital district facilities, including an expansion of Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital. Harris County … Continue reading

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Harris Health moves closer to a bond issue

Almost certainly coming soon to a ballot near you. Harris County Commissioners on Tuesday briefly discussed a $2.5 billion bond proposal from the Harris Health System to fund the rebuilding and upgrading of several hospital district facilities, including the replacement … Continue reading

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The Harris Health System data breach

While a lot of the cybersecurity incidents that I’ve been tracking here could have been prevented by the entities that suffered them, this is an exception. And also a reminder. Patient information was exposed in a cyberattack that affected the Harris Health … Continue reading

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Please get an mpox vaccine if you are at risk

Let’s avoid a summer surge. On the heels of a cluster of new mpox infections in Chicago this month, the CDC is urging at-risk populations to get fully vaccinated. One year ago Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control released its … Continue reading

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Expanding HART

Good to see. More of Harris County’s 911 calls will be diverted to a mental health crisis team instead of law enforcement officers after a year-long pilot program in a handful of neighborhoods handled thousands of non-violent incidents. Since March … Continue reading

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Harris Health seeks bond issue

Probably on your ballot this November. Harris Health board members on Thursday unanimously agreed to move forward with a $2.5 billion bond proposal to build a new Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital and make what they say are sorely needed upgrades … Continue reading

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Harris County creates reproductive health access fund

Good. In a bid to protect residents’ already restricted access to reproductive health care, Harris County officials voted to approve a proposed fund to go toward Harris County Public Health and smaller community organizations at Tuesday’s Commissioners Court meeting. The … Continue reading

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The new county COVID risk assessment system

We’ll see how it works. Harris County has revamped its method for assessing the public’s risk for contracting COVID-19, replacing the threat level system that has been in place since early in the pandemic with a community level system that … Continue reading

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Monkeypox case rate slows

Some good news. Monkeypox infection rates are slowing in Houston, data shows, with health officials pointing to changing behavior as the key reason for the decline. The 14-day average of daily new cases dropped by 43 percent, from .23 cases … Continue reading

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Houston will monitor for monkeypox in the wastewater

Seems like a good idea. Houston will begin monitoring its wastewater for monkeypox in late August as cases of the blister-causing contagion continue to climb, health officials said. Scientists will begin testing for the monkeypox virus in city sewage samples “starting in about three … Continue reading

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Monkeypox in the Houston area

Was bound to happen sooner or later. Two people in the region have tested positive for monkeypox, a viral disease with typically mild symptoms, public health officials with the City of Houston and Harris County announced Saturday. The Houston Health … Continue reading

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Here comes omicron

Ready or not. Houston is seeing early signs of another wave of COVID-19 infections, fueled in part by a fast-spreading omicron variant, as public health officials warn of a nationwide spike in cases as early as next month. The daily … Continue reading

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The contract health worker surge

Don’t know how sustainable this is. Dr. Esmaeil Porsa, president and CEO of Harris Health System, said the hospitals in the system were at a breaking point when he learned that 100 temporary medical workers were being sent to help. … Continue reading

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Overflow COVID tents

This is fine. Harris Health System’s intensive care units are nearly full as the delta variant sends more COVID-19 patients into hospitals, prompting the safety-net health system for the county’s indigent communities to construct tents for triaging patients. As of Monday afternoon, Lyndon … Continue reading

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Harris County drops its vaccine waitlist

Sign up and get a shot if you haven’t already. Harris County Public Health has ended its waitlist for COVID-19 vaccinations, County Judge Lina Hidalgo said Friday. The new portal at ReadyHarris.org allows residents to register, after which they can … Continue reading

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That new Harris County vaccine signup page sure is popular

If you didn’t get through on Day One, keep trying. More than 49,000 people have managed to get onto Harris County’s new COVID-19 vaccination wait list Tuesday despite technical issues that diminished access for some to the county’s website. Harris … Continue reading

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The COVID vaccine wait list

Good idea, and about time. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced Monday afternoon a new COVID-19 vaccine waitlist, in an effort to ensure those who are high priority don’t get overlooked and make for a smoother process. Hidalgo explained the … Continue reading

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Schools are doing a good job not spreading COVID

Of great interest to me, as my kids have now returned to in person school. As COVID-19 cases have risen dramatically in Texas and across the country, there is one place where the coronavirus seems to spread less than others: … Continue reading

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A different kind of COVID tracking

Hope this works. Harris County Public Health will survey residents for COVID-19 antibodies in an effort to determine how many people already have been infected with the novel coronavirus, the department said. Beginning Sunday, health workers will visit randomly selected … Continue reading

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Back to school

How’d it go for you and your kids? On a normal first day of school, Texas children would wake up early to cram into school buses, eager to huddle and chat with their friends in the hallways before streaming toward … Continue reading

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Some superintendents disagree about school opening delays

It takes all kinds. Superintendents leading 10 Houston-area school districts penned a letter this week opposing Harris County’s recommendations for reopening campuses, arguing that face-to-face instruction should resume earlier than health officials suggest. In their two-page letter, the superintendents say … Continue reading

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Time for another COVID roundup

Let’s start with some good news, which comes wrapped in a warning. The number of coronavirus patients crowding hospital wards in the Houston area is now in its sixth week of steady decline, a welcome reversal of the virus’ alarming … Continue reading

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Harris County issues guidance for opening schools

They can’t issue mandates, so this will have to do. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on Wednesday unveiled the county’s guidance for school reopenings, recommending based on a handful of COVID-19 metrics that schools offer only virtual instruction in the … Continue reading

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We don’t really know how many COVID-19 patients there are in Texas hospitals

For a variety of reasons, the data is hard to get a handle on. Texas is bracing for a pandemic that is projected to kill tens of thousands of people across the U.S., but health officials and state leaders are … Continue reading

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Younger people get coronavirus, too

Because that’s how viruses work. More Houstonians younger than 60 are testing positive for the novel coronavirus than those who are most at risk of developing serious complications from the illness. Of that number, middle-aged adults — those in their … Continue reading

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Still trying to do something about the coronavirus risk in the jail

Time is extremely limited for this. A federal judge Friday asked lawyers to hammer out a plan for releasing about 1,000 indigent inmates detained on bonds of $10,000 or less amid fear of a COVID-19 outbreak at the third largest … Continue reading

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The Houston healthcare community is preparing for COVID-19

I sure hope it’s enough. With last week’s new certainty that the novel coronavirus is loose and being transmitted in Houston, the region’s medical providers are bracing for the current handful of known cases to blaze into an outbreak like nothing in … Continue reading

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Thus endeth this year’s Rodeo

Surely not a surprise. Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Wednesday the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo will close due to concerns about coronavirus after a Montgomery County man with no recent travel history tested positive for COVID-19. The case is the … Continue reading

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The state responds to coronavirus

Like it or not, we need to be prepared. Texas officials are scrambling to remain prepared for a major outbreak of a pneumonia-like disease whose global spread one expert says is now moving into “the next phase.” From the governor’s … Continue reading

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