Galveston County Health District reports 240 total positive cases of COVID-19 in Galveston County residents. The health district will update its case count daily at 5 p.m. For case information, please visit our COVID-19 confirmed case page.
Please visit https://www.gchd.org/Home/Components/News/News/2464/65 for the April 5 press release.
On April 4, the health district also reported its first COVID-19 related death. Please visit https://www.gchd.org/Home/Components/News/News/2462/65 for that press release.
On April 3, 2020 Galveston County Local Health Authority Dr. Philip Keiser issued an order regarding long-term care facilities. The order is effective April 4 at 12:01 a.m. and lasts until April 18.
On April 1, 2020, Galveston County Judge Mark Henry issued a new "Order of Essential Services and Activities" for Galveston County mirroring Governor Greg Abbott's executive order. Both the county and state orders take effect April 2 at 12:01 a.m. and lasts until April 30.
For residents and businesses that have questions regarding the state order or what is considered to be essential, please visit www.tdem.texas.gov/essentialservices/ or send an email to email@example.com.
A copy of both orders can be found at www.gcoem.org.
On March 19, 2020, Dr. John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, declared a public health disaster in Texas, because COVID-19 “has created an immediate threat, poses a high risk of death to a large number of people, and creates a substantial risk of public exposure because of the disease’s method of transmission and evidence that there is community spread in Texas.”
Read the full text of the declaration.
Hospitals, healthcare professionals, local public health, community leaders, and others can find resources throughout this website to help them in their response to COVID‑19.
For additional information and resources, please visit:
CDC – Coronavirus Disease 2019
DSHS – Coronavirus Disease 2019
WHO – Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC's Frequently Asked Questions on Coronavirus Disease 2019
If you have any questions or would like more information, please call the COVID-19 Call Center at 409.938.7221, option 1.
Using the CDC-developed diagnostic test, a negative result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in the person’s sample. In the early stages of infection, it is possible the virus will not be detected.
For COVID-19, a negative test result for a sample collected while a person has symptoms likely means that the COVID-19 virus is not causing their current illness.
Call your healthcare provider if you are experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath and have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone known to have COVID-19. It is important that you call first so they can evaluate your risk and determine if they need to see you in person so that other patients are not potentially put at risk.
There are also a number of urgent cares, emergency rooms, etc. that are testing. It is important that you call first so they can evaluate your risk and determine if they need to see you in person so that other patients are not potentially put at risk.
Free coronavirus testing sites:
- United Memorial Medical Center: https://www.ummcscreening.com/
- Legacy Community Health: https://www.legacycommunityhealth.org/newsblog-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/
- City of Houston: https://mailchi.mp/houstontx/first-houston-covid-19-testing-site-expands-to-older-adults-with-symptoms
Private, for-pay testing sites:
- UTMB: Please call for screening 800-917-8906
- Memorial Hermann – League City: Please visit website for screening www.memorialhermann.org/virtualdashcare
- My Family Doctor: https://www.covid19drivethru.com/
- Next Level Urgent Care: https://www.nextlevelurgentcare.com/coronavirus-updates
Brazoria County: https://www.brazoriacountytx.gov/departments/health-department
Fort Bend County: https://www.fbchhs.org/
Harris County: http://publichealth.harriscountytx.gov/
Houston Health Department: https://www.houstontx.gov/health/
This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.
The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.
How long someone is actively sick can vary so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with doctors, infection prevention and control experts, and public health officials and involves considering specifics of each situation including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and results of laboratory testing for that patient.
Current CDC guidance for when it is OK to release someone from isolation is made on a case by case basis and includes meeting all of the following requirements:
- The patient is free from fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
- The patient is no longer showing symptoms, including cough.
- The patient has tested negative on at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.
Someone who has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.
Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.
Learn what is known about the spread of COVID-19.
Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19. Based upon available information to date, those most at risk include
- People 65 years and older
- People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- People of any age with the following underlying medical conditions, particularly those that are not well controlled
- Chronic lung disease or asthma
- Congestive heart failure or coronary artery disease
- Neurologic conditions that weaken ability to cough
- Weakened immune system
- Chemotherapy or radiation for cancer (currently or in recent past)
- Sickle cell anemia
- Chronic kidney disease requiring dialysis
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Lack of spleen or a spleen that doesn’t function correctly
- Extreme obesity (body mass index [BMI] >40)
- People who are pregnant
Practice everyday preventive actions to help reduce your risk of getting sick and remind everyone in your home to do the same. These actions are especially important for older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects
(e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles).
Create a household plan of action to help protect your health and the health of those you care about in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community:
- Talk with the people who need to be included in your plan, and discuss what to do if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your community.
- Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications, particularly older adults and those with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease.
- Make sure they have access to several weeks of medications and supplies in case you need to stay home for prolonged periods of time.
- Get to know your neighbors and find out if your neighborhood has a website or social media page to stay connected.
- Create a list of local organizations that you and your household can contact in the event you need access to information, healthcare services, support, and resources.
- Create an emergency contact list of family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, health care providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.
Most people who get COVID-19 will be able to recover at home. CDC has directions for people who are recovering at home and their caregivers, including:
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs*:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
- *This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptom that is severe or concerning.
- Use a separate room and bathroom for sick household members (if possible).
- Clean hands regularly by handwashing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Provide your sick household member with clean disposable facemasks to wear at home, if available, to help prevent spreading COVID-19 to others.
- Clean the sick room and bathroom, as needed, to avoid unnecessary contact with the sick person.
- Avoid sharing personal items like utensils, food, and drinks.