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Posted on: August 26, 2020

The Woodlands Township COVID-19 Update, Wednesday, August 26, 2020

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Township News

Township to Hold Regular Board of Directors Meeting 
The Woodlands Township Board of Directors will hold a Regular Board Meeting via videoconference today, Wednesday, August 26, 2020, at 6 p.m. Central Daylight Time.

View the meeting agenda here. View instructions for public comment.

Message from Fire Chief Palmer Buck
There were no significant changes of the forecasted storm track. Hurricane Laura is expected to make landfall as a Category 4 along the Texas/Louisiana Border and continue north up and out of the state by tomorrow afternoon. The Woodlands has a 50% chance of strong, tropical force winds from 1 to 4 a.m. Thursday morning. Rainfall amounts are expected to be 2 inches or less. The Emergency Operations Center is staffed and open. Our extra response trucks will be coming on line at 6 p.m. Most fire departments across Montgomery County have also staffed extra units. Fire Dispatch staffing has been augmented and we conducted a countywide meeting to go over the communications plan for emergency events.

Chairman Bunch Urges Residents to Prepare
Now is the time to be preparing for Hurricane Laura by putting together your hurricane preparedness items and register with the Township to receive alerts in regarding the storm impacts in The Woodlands. View the video here.

Township Emergency Alerts
You can sign up for news and alerts from the Township at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/notifyme. Additional information can be found at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/emergency. Be sure to stay tuned to your favorite television or online news outlet to keep up with the weather. View latest information from the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management.

Hurricane Laura 
The Woodlands Township is monitoring Hurricane Laura and strongly urges residents to prepare. Township Chairman Gordy Bunch urges residents to keep a close eye on this storm. The Woodlands Township’s Fire Department and Parks system is on full alert and ready to activate as needed for The Woodlands. Additionally, Montgomery County is a pass-through county, which allows coastal residents to safely evacuate through our county.

Hurricane Laura is now a major hurricane over the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico. This very dangerous hurricane is forecast to make landfall on the upper Texas Coast or far Southwest Louisiana. The National Hurricane Center is forecasting that Laura will strengthen significantly prior to landfall overnight and into early Thursday morning. This could mean impacts far from landfall.

Prepare for Hurricane Season

  • Understand that planning may be different this year because of COVID-19.
  • Give yourself more time than usual to prepare your emergency food, water, and medicine supplies. Home delivery is the safest choice for buying disaster supplies. If in-person shopping is your only choice, take steps to protect your and others’ health when running essential errands.
  • Be safe when filling prescriptions by limiting in-person visits to the pharmacy. Sign up for mail order delivery, call in your prescription ahead of time and use drive-through windows or curbside pickup. Order a 60- or 90-day supply to have on hand.
  • Pay attention to local guidance for evacuations and shelters, including potential shelters for your pets.
  • If you need to evacuate, prepare a “go kit” with personal items you cannot do without during an emergency. Include items that protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer, bar or liquid soap if not available, and two cloth face coverings per person. Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of two, be used by people having trouble breathing, or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • When you check on neighbors and friends, be sure to follow social distancing recommendations (staying at least 6 feet, about 2 arms’ length, from others) and other CDC recommendations.
  • If you need to go to a disaster shelter, follow CDC recommendations for staying safe and healthy in a public disaster shelter during COVID-19.

Entergy Storm-Restoration Process
As Hurricane Laura makes landfall, Entergy is taking the steps to ensure they are ready to quickly begin restoration as the storm passes. Learn more about the restoration process.

Staying informed before, during and after a tropical system strikes is just as important as making personal storm plans. Here’s how customers can stay updated throughout the event:

  • Download the Entergy App at entergyapp.com. Customers can use the app to report outages or check on the status of power at their home or business.
  • Entergy’s View Outages website includes maps that show where outages are located and give information about restoration progress.
  • Sign up for text alerts by texting REG to 36778 and have your account number and ZIP code handy. The registration pattern is as follows including spaces: REG (account number) (ZIP code). Once registered, text OUT to 36778 to report an outage. You can also report an outage online as a guest.
  • The Entergy Storm Center website has storm safety, preparation and restoration information that is updated throughout the day.
  • Operation: Storm Ready Guide is a free downloadable guide that helps customers plan and prepare for weather emergencies.

The Woodlands Township Facility Closures
The following facilities will be closed for Thursday, August 27, 2020:

  • Riva Row Boat House
  • Lakes Edge Boat House
  • Alden Bridge Pool
  • Texas TreeVentures
  • Recreation Center at Bear Branch Park
  • Recreation Center at Rob Fleming Park

The Woodlands Express and Town Center Trolleys Suspended Due to Weather
Both the Town Center Trolleys and The Woodlands Express Park and Ride service are cancelled today, August 26, 2020 and Thursday, August 27, 2020, of this week in light of the current forecast concerning Hurricane Laura. Please follow updates on Twitter @TownshipTransit.

Waterway Nights Concert Cancelled
Due to Hurricane Laura and its potential impact to our area, the August 27, 2020 Waterway Nights concert has been cancelled.

Waste Management Storm Update
Waste Management reports no suspension of service, however there may be delays due to roadway impediments elsewhere. Your patience is appreciated. Trucks travel from outside The Woodlands; conditions there may affect service here. If your route is delayed, please leave cart at the curb until service occurs. 

  • Please secure carts from blowing away by tethering them down or storing them inside the garage.
  • Residents with waste service on Thursday are advised to set carts at the curb in the morning, not Wednesday night to avoid heavy winds.  
  • The Woodlands Recycling Center will remain open today, Wednesday, August 26, 2020, from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturday, August 29, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • For service updates or to report missed pickups, please call Waste Management directly at 1-800-800-5804.

High Winds Expected
Be sure to move large flags, residential signs, garden flags, basketball goals, potted plants, patio furniture, trash cans and other outdoor items that could be blown away or damaged by high winds during Hurricane Laura. Protect your belongings, your home and your neighbor’s home

County News

Montgomery County COVID-19 Case Count Sees an Increase of 247 Positive Cases
Montgomery County Public Health District (MCPHD), in conjunction with the Montgomery County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, can sadly confirm four additional deaths related to COVID-19. They offer their condolences to all four families at this difficult time.

  • A man in his 50s, from Conroe, died in the hospital. He had co-morbidities in addition to testing positive for COVID-19.
  • A woman in her 60s, from Splendora, died in the hospital. She had co-morbidities in addition to testing positive for COVID-19.
  • A woman in her 60s, from Spring, died in a long-term care facility. She had co-morbidities in addition to testing positive for COVID-19.
  • A man in his 70s, from The Woodlands, died in a long-term care facility. He had co-morbidities in addition to testing positive for COVID-19.

They can also confirm:

  • TOTAL cases of COVID-19 increased by 247 to 8,515 since yesterday’s report.
  • They are continuing to process cases that were reported to The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) directly by healthcare providers and entered into the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS), run by the CDC. Out of the 146 new total cases since yesterday’s report, 94 (from the NEDSS system) tested positive prior to August 11th. See additional information here.
  • ACTIVE cases of COVID-19 increased by 150 to 1,319 since yesterday’s report.
  • 39 residents are known to be in the hospital, as a result of contact investigations. Contact investigations have not been initiated on all reported cases.
  • 5,856 people have clinically recovered.

Due to Hurricane Laura, the offices of Montgomery County Public Health District (MCPHD) and Montgomery County Health Department (MCHD) will be closed tomorrow, August 27, 2020, therefore, there will be no COVID-19 update. They plan to continue providing COVID-19 updates on Friday, August 28, 2020.

Have questions? Please go to https://mcphd-tx.org/ and scroll down to the FAQs.

Take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

  • Consider staying home unless it is necessary to leave your home.
  • Avoid groups of people.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Wear a mask (if it is necessary to leave your home).
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.
  • Disinfect surfaces in your car and around your home.

You can find more information on the SETRAC website, setrac.org. You can view the list of case-by-case updates on the MCPHD website here: https://mcphd-tx.org/coronavirus-covid-19/confirmed-cases/. You can refer to the dashboard here: https://coronavirus-response-moco.hub.arcgis.com/.

Harris County COVID-19 Case Count
Harris County Public Health (HCPH) publishes their daily case count, combined with the City of Houston’s daily case count, here. Cases by zip code in Harris County can be found by clicking on areas of the map.
 
The Village of Creekside Park is located in two zip codes: 77375 and 77389, and these also include Magnolia, Augusta Pines/Auburn Lakes/West Rayford Road in northwest Harris County. Today, Harris County is reporting zip code 77375 has 744 confirmed positive cases with 221 active cases, and 77389 has 364 confirmed positive cases with 78 active cases.

COVID-19 Case Count Brief from The Woodlands Fire Department
As of Wednesday, August 26, 2020, + or – signifies change since previous report.

Montgomery County

  • 8,515 - Confirmed, +247 (130 New cases, 117 entered via backlog from pre August 11th)
  • 1,319 - Active Cases, -150
  • 109 - Deaths, +4
  • 5,856 - Recovered, +93
  • 39 - Hospitalized, -9

Harris County

  • 38,980 - Confirmed, +539
  • 9,407 - Active Cases, +257
  • 484 - Deaths, +8
  • 29,087 - Recovered, +274

Get Tested for COVID-19
Free COVID-19 testing is available for residents of Montgomery County online at https://www.mchd-tx.org. Call 936-523-3916 for more information.

Harris County residents may also sign up for free COVID-19 testing online at hcphtx.org. Call 832-927-7575 for more information.

Genalyte Expands COVID-19 Antibody Testing in The Woodlands
Genalyte announced the opening of a new COVID-19 antibody testing site at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion (2005 Lake Robbins Dr., The Woodlands, Texas, 77380)

Genalyte’s SARS-CoV-2 MultiAntigen Serology Panel, which tests for antibodies the body can produce in response to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), offers appointments available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., beginning Monday, August 31, 2020. Register today.

State News

Governor Waives Houston-Area Tolls Ahead of Hurricane Laura
Governor Abbott has directed the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to waive all tolls along the agency’s portion of SH 99/Grand Parkway beginning at 7 p.m. on August 25, 2020. Read the full press release.

Governor Adds 36 Counties to State Disaster Declaration
Governor Abbott yesterday, August 25, 2020, held a press conference in Austin where he provided an update on the state’s response to Hurricane Laura. Additionally, the Governor announced that he has added 36 counties to his State Disaster Declaration due to the threat of severe rain, wind, and flooding. Read the full press release and the State Disaster Declaration.

Governor Mobilizes Texas National Guard
At the order of Governor Greg Abbott, more than 70 members with the Texas Army, Air National Guards, and Texas State Guard with the Texas Military Department (TMD) have been activated and are pre-positioning throughout the state of Texas ahead of Hurricane Laura. Additional personnel remain ready to respond in impacted areas as needed. Read the full press release here.

Mask Orders: State of Texas and Montgomery and Harris Counties
The State of Texas requires all individuals over the age of 10 to wear a face covering (over the nose and mouth) wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another individual not in the same household. Read the full executive order.

Harris County directs any businesses providing goods or services to require all employees and visitors to wear face coverings in areas of close proximity to co-workers or the public. Everyone over the age of 10 must wear a face covering while in businesses or on commercial properties. Businesses that fail to comply could be fined up to $1,000. This order is in effect until August 26, 2020.

Montgomery County does not have a mask mandate for businesses, however many businesses request or require the wearing of masks.

Around the Township

Hurricane Laura Evacuation and Lodging Information
With the impending arrival of Hurricane Laura to the Texas Gulf Coast and Southwest Louisiana, The Woodlands area is projected to see an increase in hotel activity due to its proximity to Houston and the evacuation route of I-45. To quickly serve traveling evacuees, Visit The Woodlands has updated its website with the latest availability in The Woodlands.

If you are in an evacuation route for the storm and are in need of shelter, The Woodlands currently has hotel availability (as of 4 p.m. Tuesday, August 25, 2020) with many properties accepting pets. All hotels in The Woodlands are prepared for evacuees and will continue to follow the strongest COVID-19 related health and safety procedures. For hotel bookings and more information visit, www.visitthewoodlands.com/hotels.

Storm Impact Information
To stay up-to-date on the potential storm impacts and information specific to The Woodlands, visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/getready.

Community Resources

Numerous resources are available in the community for support. These vary from food banks to financial assistance and much more. Please visit the Community Resources webpage to find more information about resources in the community related to COVID-19.

Clear the Shelters – Gain a Best Friend
This year Clear the Shelters is a month-long event taking place from August 1 through August 31, 2020. All pet adoption fees have been waived. NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ Clear The Shelters nationwide pet adoption campaign returns for a sixth consecutive year in August 2020 with sponsors such as WeRescue, 24PetWatch and greatergood.org. Please visit ClearTheShelters.com for more information.

Adoptions are by appointment only to maintain social distances. To adopt an animal, please visit the Montgomery County Animal Services webpage to schedule a time. View Adoptable Dogs View Adoptable Cats

Township’s Coronavirus Page
The Woodlands Township’s COVID-19 page can be found at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/covid19. This page features Montgomery and Harris county hubs, community resources and news from the Federal Government and the CDC. It also includes the latest news from the Township, partner agencies, important links, FAQs, live Twitter feeds and more.

Stay Connected 
Please stay connected to The Woodlands Township through our many communications channels. Learn more and sign up at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/stayinformed.
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The Woodlands Township publishes this update to inform residents and businesses regarding COVID-19 and its impact on The Woodlands Township. Please sign up for Township news and notifications at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/notifyme.

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