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Posted on: February 25, 2021

The Woodlands Township COVID-19 Update, Thursday, February 25, 2021

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The Woodlands Township Board of Directors Holds Meeting  
The Woodlands Township Board of Directors held its regular meeting on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, at The Woodlands Township Town Hall, 2801 Technology Forest Boulevard in The Woodlands, Texas. The Board discussed matters relating to the recent winter storm, the COVID-19 pandemic and other Township business. 

  • Chairman Gordy Bunch provided a COVID-19 Update for Montgomery and Harris County including general bed usage, ICU bed usage, Hospital/COVID Census and more. His presentation can be found at this link.  
  • Director Dr. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, who serves as the Township’s Public Health Liaison, gave a healthcare update regarding COVID-19 cases, mortality rates due to the pandemic, transmission rates amongst various age groups, vaccine distribution in Texas and more. Her presentation can be found at this link.   
  • Director Dr. Ann K. Snyder, who serves as the Township’s NonProfit Liaison, provided an update on non-profits including how unemployment rates, mental health struggles, housing instability and food insecurity relating to the pandemic have increased the need for non-profit resources. Her report included updates regarding the needs of Interfaith of The Woodlands, Montgomery County Food Bank, Community Assistance Center, Meals on Wheels, Mosaics of Mercy, Children’s Safe Harbor and more. Her presentation can be found at this link.  

Memorial Hermann COVID-19 Vaccine Drive-Thru Clinic Update for Montgomery County
Status Update from the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

The Montgomery County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management would like to ask for our partners help in getting the word out, and clearing up any confusion for people in Montgomery County about the Memorial Hermann COVID-19 Vaccine Drive-Thru Clinic at Woodforest Bank Stadium this weekend. 

The Memorial Hermann COVID-19 Vaccine Drive-Thru Clinic at Woodforest Bank Stadium will take place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, Feb. 26 and Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021.

This clinic is only open to the individuals who are set to receive their second dose of vaccine after receiving their first dose at the Memorial Hermann COVID-19 Vaccine Drive-Thru Clinic at Woodforest Bank Stadium on Friday, Feb. 5 and Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021.

Memorial Hermann is proud to offer this event in partnership with Montgomery County, the City of Shenandoah and Conroe Independent School District. Please note, this event is separate from any events being hosted by St. Luke’s Health.

Vaccination is by appointment only. Walk-ins will not be accommodated. Individuals who do not have an appointment confirmation, and a photo ID that matches the name and date of birth on the appointment confirmation, will not be vaccinated.

WINTER STORM FOLLOW-UP

Storm Debris Dumpster Service
The Township is providing storm debris dumpster service through Sunday, February, 28, 2021, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at three locations. Please note, yard waste is not accepted. Only household storm debris and damaged items. Also accepted: household trash accrued from delayed service last week.

The Township will have staff on duty at each location:

  • Sterling Ridge Park and Ride - 801 McBeth Way
  • Research Forest Park and Ride - 3900 Marsico Place
  • Wendtwoods Park Gardens - 8950 Creekside Green Drive

This service is provided free of charge.  Get details and location information here.

Additional Trash Bag Service Update
A different truck will visit each house separate from the regular trash truck to pick up additional bags. All routes run until 7 p.m. If your bags are not picked up by the following morning, please contact Waste Management at
1(800) 800-5804 or cssatex@wm.com to report a missed pickup OR you may take your additional bags to one of the three. Read more.

Waste Management Bagster Program
For home renovations or cleanup projects, residents may consider Waste Management's Bagster program.

Bags can be purchased at local home improvement stores. Once full, simply schedule for pickup at www.thebagster.com or call 1-877-789-2247.

FEMA Announces Emergency Aid for Texas
FEMA announced federal emergency aid has been made available to the state of Texas to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in areas affected by a severe winter storm beginning on Feb. 11, 2021 and continuing. Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at https://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 TTY.

Quick links, assistance application help, rumor control and other resources can be found on the FEMA website here: https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4586.

Winter Weather Recovery Resources 
Last week’s winter weather left thousands of residents with loss of property, home damage, and a variety of other needs. The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) is working with partners from across the community to help connect residents with available resources. Read complete information. 

Governor Abbott, TDEM Launch Call Center to Assist Texans with Texas Individual Assistance Reporting Tool
Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), with the assistance of the Texas Military Department, launched a call center to assist Texans, who have limited or no internet access, with completing the State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT). 

Texans can call 844-844-3089 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. seven days a week to submit their disaster damage information. This call center is specifically for Texans who are unable to submit information through the online iSTAT tool.

Read the complete release or visit https://damage.tdem.texas.gov to fill out the iSTAT.

Governor Abbott Announces "Save Our Seniors" Initiative to Vaccinate Homebound Seniors In Texas
As part of the statewide Save Our Seniors Initiative, the state will deploy more than 1,100 National Guardsmen to assist communities in vaccinating homebound seniors. The guardsmen will be broken up into teams that will deploy across the state. Some members of these teams will focus on identifying and registering homebound seniors for the program while others will visit homes and administer vaccines. The state is dedicating up to 8,000 vaccines to this initiative for the first week and will work with organizations like Meals On Wheels and nursing groups to identify homebound seniors who volunteer to be vaccinated. The program will launch Monday. Read complete release.

Watch out for Utility Scams Following Last Week’s Winter Events
Scammers know severe weather may have shut off your electricity, heat, and water and might pose as your utility company. They might call to say that they’re sorry your power went out and offer a reimbursement, but first they need your bank account information. Protect yourself from these scammers by learning the facts now at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2021/02/utility-scams-are-snow-joke.

Protect from Mold when Repairing from Storm Damage
With many people suffering from water damage due to broken pipes, it’s understandable to want the home back to normal as quickly as possible. What should not be overlooked, however, is the strong possibility of mold growth in these wet areas and how to prevent this from becoming a serious health hazard. Learn more about this crucial information here: https://moldpedia.com/mold-in-house-signs

Winter Weather Tips from the FTC  Last week provided some unique challenges to our area, and the more information residents have on how to handle these circumstances, the better these challenges can be met. The Federal Trade Commission has plenty of helpful information and resources for recovery available for free here: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2021/02/free-winter-weather-emergency-tips-ftc

VACCINE NEWS

Local Vaccinations Rescheduled Due to Storm
St. Luke’s Health-The Woodlands Hospital and The Montgomery County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management saw an overwhelming response to its COVID-19 vaccination program after vaccinations were paused last week due to the storm. 

Due to the overwhelming demand from the community and its impact on traffic in the area, all appointments for the remainder of the week have been cancelled and will be rescheduled for a later date. St. Luke’s Health and The Office of Emergency Management are working as quickly as possible to relocate the vaccine operations to another location, allowing for a larger, more accessible area to avoid traffic congestion and safety concerns in the area. 

Previously scheduled appointments for second doses will be honored at the new location. Vaccine recipients who were scheduled for their second dose this week are being contacted about a new appointment date and location. 

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding. For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit www.StLukesHealth.org/MontgomeryCountyvaccine.

Learn the Facts About the COVID-19 Vaccines
To stop this pandemic, it will require the use all of the prevention tools. Vaccines are one of the most effective tools to protect health and prevent disease. Vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses so the body will be ready to fight the virus. Take a look at the COVID-19 Fact Sheet to learn more about the vaccines.

Vaccine Facts: Should I Expect Side Effects from the COVID-19 Vaccines?
Side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine are normal signs your body is building protection. Side effects may even feel like flu and might affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Watch the video to learn more: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html

COVID-19 Texas Vaccination Data Dashboard
A dashboard is available through the Texas Department of State Health Services showing COVID-19 vaccination data in Texas. The charts below illustrate vaccines allocated, shipped and administered in the state of Texas, Montgomery County and Harris County, as of February 1, 2021. View the dashboard.

Vaccine Hubs and Waiting Lists
A number of COVID-19 Vaccine Hubs and vaccination sites are available around The Woodlands and Montgomery County. The Woodlands Township has compiled this information for residents to use in making their decisions regarding COVID-19 vaccines. You may be placed on a waitlist until more vaccine supply is available. Your patience is appreciated. Learn more.

Individual hospitals, physicians’ offices and pharmacies may also have vaccines available to eligible populations. Please check their websites for additional information. You can find a list of providers and additional information on the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) website here: https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine-hubs.aspx.

The Montgomery County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management offers call center hours Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for Montgomery County residents, 65 years and older. Call 936-523-3916 during these hours to be assisted. 

Harris County has established a hotline for their senior constituents through the HCP4 Encore Department. The HCP4 Encore staff is available as a resource to offer more information on the vaccination registration process from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 713-274-4050. 

CDC COVID Data Tracker
CDC’s home for COVID-19 data, the COVID Data Tracker, has a new homepage with updated tools and features. These improvements make it easier to find needed data to help protect yourself, your family and your community. Data sets are updated daily, and new features are added every week. Search for data by county.

Get Your Flu Shot
With both flu and COVID-19 circulating this season, getting a flu shot is more important than ever. Learn more about what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones

For more information about COVID-19, please visit dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

COVID-19 TESTING        

Free COVID Testing Begins Wednesday at Rob Fleming Aquatic Center
A new Curative walk-up testing location has been added to The Woodlands. The Rob Fleming Aquatic Center, located at 6535 Creekside Forest Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77389, is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This new testing location is an addition to the two other current sites, The Woodlands Township Town Hall, located at 2801 Technology Forest Blvd., The Woodlands, TX 77381, and Sterling Ridge Park and Ride, 8001 McBeth Way, The Woodlands, TX 77382, also from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information about COVID-19 testing by Curative, please visit the Township website, or www.curative.com.

Please note, the FDA recently issued a warning regarding false test results from Curative.

County News

Montgomery County Public Health District, in conjunction with the Montgomery County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, confirms COVID-19 mass vaccine distribution continues this week. Multiple providers are providing first and second doses. Please watch your email closely if you are eligible for your first or second dose.

You can join the Montgomery County COVID-19 waitlist by clicking here: https://coronavirus-response-moco.hub.arcgis.com/pages/vaccinations. If you are 65+ years of age and do not have internet access, you can join by calling 936-523-3916, Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. After signing up, please check your email daily.  

Individual hospitals, physicians’ offices and pharmacies may also have vaccines available to eligible populations. Please check their websites for additional information. You can find a list of providers and additional information on the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) website here: https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine-hubs.aspx.

Today, there are two additional deaths related to COVID-19.

  • A man in his 70s, from New Caney, died in the hospital. He had co-morbidities in addition to testing positive for COVID-19.
  • A man in his 70s, from Montgomery, died in the hospital. He had co-morbidities in addition to testing positive for COVID-19.

Also confirmed:

  • TOTAL cases of COVID-19 increased by 283 to 44,862 since yesterday’s (2/24) report. Of the 283 new cases, 232 were tested since 2/11/2021.
  • ACTIVE cases of COVID-19 increased by 159 to 3,347 since yesterday’s (2/24) report.
  • 72 county residents are known, as a result of contact investigations, to be in the hospital. Contact investigations have not been initiated on all reported cases.
  • 21,852 people have clinically recovered.

The Testing Positivity Rate for Montgomery County is 13%, down from 15% last week. This number is updated weekly on Wednesdays.
Source: UT Health, School of Public Health
*These numbers include PCR and rapid antigen testing. Montgomery County Public Health District does not include antibody testing.

You can view the 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/

Do your part to slow the spread of COVID-19:

  • Avoid groups of people.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Wear a mask in public (over your nose and mouth) or with others who live outside your household. Never share a mask with others.
  • Teach children proper hygiene and the correct way to wear a mask. 
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.
  • Disinfect surfaces in your car and around your home.
  • As supply and eligibility increases, get vaccinated.

Do you have general questions regarding COVID-19, COVID-19 testing or vaccines? The Montgomery County COVID-19 Call Center’s number is 936-523-3916. It is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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 3,735 confirmed positive cases with 231 active cases, and 77389 has 2,082 confirmed positive cases with 130 active cases. 

COVID-19 Case Count Brief from The Woodlands Fire Department
All numbers since 2/23/2021

Montgomery County 

44,862 – Confirmed  +423

3,347 – Active +236

244 – Deaths +4

21,852 – Recovered +270

72 – Hospitalized -17

Harris County

173,989 – Confirmed  +1,083

10,034 – Active Cases -1,422*         

*Active cases for HC may be off due to website discrepancy                                   

1,318 – Deaths +17

162,619 – Recovered +2,225

Montgomery County Testing
Do you have questions regarding COVID-19 or COVID-19 testing? The Montgomery County COVID-19 Call Center’s number is 936-523-3916. It is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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

AROUND THE TOWNSHIP

Please Keep Your Street Clear for Emergency Vehicles
Over the past several months, public safety has seen an increase in vehicles parking on residential streets, as more people are working and schooling from home. In an emergency, emergency vehicles safely arriving at a call for service quickly is imperative. Parking on both sides of the street inhibits the safe movement of fire apparatus, ambulances, and law enforcement vehicles. Non-emergency vehicles are also impacted including garbage trucks, school buses and mail delivery. Please park in your driveway or garage.

Find Open Hotels and Restaurants 
Visit The Woodlands has compiled a list of OPEN RESTAURANTS and available HOTELS in The Woodlands. Diners should expect reduced hours and limited menus, please check with restaurants by calling ahead for hours of operation to ensure they were able to stay open or to make reservations. The list is being updated regularly as more restaurants and services become available and can welcome guests safely.

View the list here: https://bit.ly/37iflFI

RESOURCES

February is American Heart Month
When we take care of #OurHearts as part of our self-care, we set an example for those around us to do the same. Focusing on your heart health has never been more important. People with poor cardiovascular health are also at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. About 1,237,000 people in Texas have coronary heart disease. This is the most common form of heart disease and can often be prevented. Learn more about Heart Month from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Be a Giver. Commit to Life.
The Woodlands Family YMCAs to Host Blood Donor Coach.


SouthEast Texas Regional Advisory Council (SETRAC)
SETRAC is a powerful coalition of providers, responders and other healthcare related partners united together to save lives and improve health outcomes through research, education and collaboration. You can find more information and view hospital use related to COVID-19 on their website, setrac.org.

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 with The Woodlands Township
Please stay connected to The Woodlands Township through our many communications channels. Learn more and sign up at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/stayinformed.

Sign up directly for news and alerts from the Township at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/notifyme. Additional information can be found at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/emergency.

___________________________________________________________________________

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. This newsletter is published every Tuesday and Thursday, or as needed.

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