Judge Lina Hidalgo, the top elected official in Harris County, Texas — which includes the city of Houston — said the county saw its highest numbers of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations this week.
“We don't see evidence that our public health interventions are being able to contain, to control, the spread of that virus, so I want to … sound that alarm that we've got to take action now so that we avoid a shutdown in the future,” Hidalgo said.
Harris County is the third most-populous county in the US. Hidalgo, who serves as its chief executive officer, warned the county “may be approaching the precipice of a disaster” in a press conference yesterday.
Hidalgo said they are seeing the numbers increase as the state has started to reopen over the past few weeks.
“I’ve always said I think the reopening timeline was a little too fast. I wouldn't have done it that quickly,” she said.
“I want the economy to reopen as much as anyone. I just want it to be sustainable. I don't want us to be ping-ponging between open and close,” Hidalgo added.
She said that while there is enough hospital space right now, it’s “alarming” that more than 15% of ICU space is being occupied by Covid-19 patients.
She is working with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office and alerting the state on the latest numbers, she said.