In an early afternoon press conference, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner made the announcement that for the next 7 days, the City of Houston would be under an Emergency Health Declaration.  Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo added further that the county would be under an emergency disaster declaration. These declarations are likely to be extended. This coming just a few hours after the World Health Organization classified this virus outbreak as a pandemic.

This will result in the cancellation of the remainder of all events of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  A protocol for refunding money for tickets bought for concerts, performances, and the carnival will be issued on the Rodeo's social media pages and website. However, according to the President and CEO of the Houston Rodeo, Joel Cowley, contingency plans will allow scholarships to be paid out as scheduled for the youth showing exhibits and animals at the rodeo.

In the press conference, the Mayor, County Judge, and other health officials said one of the leading factors in making this decision was the presence of a positive Covid-19 case from the Conroe area.  In this instance, officials are not sure how this person contracted the virus, making it all the more important to try to contain the possible rapid spread by shutting down events that would bring in large groups of people.  Events such as the Houston Rodeo and the upcoming Tour de Houston are impacted.

Officials at the press conference made the point that this 'Coronavirus' is not something that should cause panic or fear.  However, acting proactively to prevent a wildfire-like spread of the virus is of the utmost importance.  Around 10-15 percent of persons who contract Covid-19 will probably need some sort of hospital care.  A controlled spread of the virus will allow hospital resources to better treat those who become severely ill.

As always, it's best to use common sense in helping to not catch or spread this virus

  • Wash hands frequently
  • Carry hand sanitizer
  • Avoid place your hands to your mouth, nose, and eyes
  • If you're exhibiting symptoms, avoid interaction with others and stay home from work or school
  • Avoid large gatherings
  • No need to purchase toilet paper
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