Coronavirus updates: Live blog and updates for March 22
Health

Coronavirus updates: Live blog and updates for March 22

HOUSTON — We are continuing to track the latest headlines and updates regarding the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

As of Sunday morning it has infected more than 316,000 people worldwide. Galveston County confirmed three new cases Sunday morning, and Saturday night Liberty County confirmed its first.

Get more info in the “latest updates” below.

Today’s top headlines

Map: Local COVID-19 cases | How to file for unemployment | Treating yourself at home | Grocery store hours | Coronavirus symptoms | FAQ  

Latest updates

Here are the latest updates from around the Houston area and the world (all times are Central/Houston time):

MARCH 22 5:55 p.m. — A COVID-19 patient in the Houston-area has been identified as a Fort Bend ISD warehouse employee who has been hospitalized since his diagnosed, according to the district. The warehouse has been closed until further notice. Read more here.

MARCH 22 5:55 p.m. — Harris County officials announce a press conference for 9:30 a.m. Monday to address community-wide COVID-19 testing and an update to the county’s response. KHOU 11 will stream it live on its website and app.

MARCH 22 5:40 p.m. — Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued a “shelter-in-place” order at a press conference Sunday.

The order will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday night and will stay in effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 3. The order comes hours after Gov. Greg Abbott said he would not implement a statewide “shelter-in-place” order, but would instead leave it up to local authorities to make that decision.

In the order, residents are ordered to “stay safe, stay at home” by staying in their places of residence. Residences include hotels, motels, shared rentals and similar facilities.

MARCH 22 5:26 p.m. — Walker County confirms its positive case, a man in his early 20s. Officials said the man was tested outside of the county, and the source of the infection is under investigation. He is experiencing mild symptoms and is isolated at home.

MARCH 22 5:18 p.m. — San Antonio has reported its first coronavirus-related death. The individual was a woman in her 80s with underlying health issues, city officials confirmed.

MARCH 22 5:11 p.m. — There are several reports Sunday evening that former Hollywood producer and convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, here in Western New York.

Weinstein is at Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, where KHOU 11 sister station WGRZ 2 On Your Side has heard from several people close to the facility that he was one of two inmates who tested positive. Read more here.

MARCH 22 5:05 p.m. The Texas Department of Health and Human Services has reported statistics that reflect a dramatic increase in coronavirus tests being administered since the opening of new, including drive-thru, testing centers in Texas. 

On March 20, an estimated 2,300 individuals had been tested. That number jumped to an estimated 6,400 test by the following day, and as of March 22, an estimated 8,700 test have been taken.

Gov. Greg Abbott said state health officials are reporting less than 10 percent of those tests came back positive. 

As of now, six coronavirus-related deaths have been confirmed by the state.

MARCH 22 4:03 p.m. — Galveston County confirms another positive case: a woman in her 40s who recently traveled internationally and had contact with a positive COVID-19 patient. She is self-quarantined. 

MARCH 22 3:50 p.m. — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed the National Guard has been deployed to Texas and other states to help local hospitals address challenges such as screening vehicles at drive-thru testing sites or setting up new facilities.

MARCH 22 3:35 p.m. — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has issued two statewide orders in an effort to better equip hospitals and other healthcare facilities during the coronavirus outbreak. The first order instructs hospitals and healthcare professionals to postpone all non-essential medical procedures. The second order removes a a restricting preventing hospitals from treating more than one patient in a single room and thus increasing the hospitals ability to take in more patients.

During a press conference Sunday, the governor said the state is administrating the maximum amount of test it can at this time. He said there has been a recent increase in test being administered and people testing positive for the test thanks to more federal government support. 

At this time, he said Texas has the financial support it needs, but like many other states, is facing a shortage of resources and equipment needed to test and care for residents impacted by the virus. These needed resources include everything from healthcare personnel to items like medical-grade masks and gloves. 

Abbott recently removed regulations preventing recent nursing gradates, student nurses, retired nurses or those with retired licenses from working with patients. He is allowing licensed medical professionals from outside the state to practice in Texas as long they’re not need elsewhere.

MARCH 22 3:20 p.m. — Harris County confirmed five new cases, including:

  • A 30- to 39-year-old woman who lives in northwest Harris County, result of community spread
  • A 50- to 59-year-old man who lives in northwest Harris County. He had contact with a positive COVID-19 individual.
  • A 40- to 49-year-old man who lives in northwest Harris County, result of community spread
  • A 20- to 29-year-old man who lives in northwest Harris County, result of community spread
  • A 40- to 49-year-old man who lives southwest Harris County, result of community spread

MARCH 22 3:03 p.m. — Montgomery County Public Health District confirmed two positive cases of COVID-19. One case is a woman in her 40s and a resident of southwest Montgomery County. Health officials said her case is connected to a Smith County, Texas case, where she recently traveled. She is at currently at home in isolation.

The other case is a man in his 40s who was in northeast Montgomery County for a work-related purpose. He is currently in insolation at home, and his only recent travel is to Houston.

MARCH 22 3:01 p.m. — The City of Houston confirmed another positive case: a male, age 30 to 40, who traveled to Idaho. Health officials said he is recovering at home.

MARCH 22 2:35 p.m. — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has issued a statewide ‘stay at home’ order, describing ‘race against time’ amid coronavirus, the Associated Press confirmed. 

MARCH 22 2:30 p.m. — The International Olympic Committee will look at postponing the Tokyo Olympics during four weeks of talks amid mounting criticism by athletes and sports officials during the coronavirus pandemic. 

MARCH 22 1:03 p.m. —  A Crystal City-based contractor who worked at the Defense Security Cooperation Agency as part of the U.S. Department of Defense died Saturday after testing positive for COVID-19.  

MARCH 22 1 p.m. — Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19. He is currently in quarantine and feeling fine. He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events.

MARCH 22 12:38 p.m. — At least eight Houston firefighters with the Houston Fire Department are under mandated quarantine after being exposed to the coronavirus, officials confirmed. 

Four of the firefighters are being isolated at home and the other four are being quarantined at a hotel.

According to HFD, nearly 200 firefighters are under self-quarantine after they reported being possibly exposed to the virus. Read more here.

MARCH 22 11:15 a.m. — H-E-B confirms to KHOU 11 that it has received more than 40,000 job applications statewide during the coronavirus outbreak and response. At this time the company is halting taking new applications. (Need a job? Check out this list of area businesses that are hiring)

MARCH 22 11:05 a.m. — “Galveston County Health District today announces three additional positive COVID-19 cases in Galveston County residents. This brings the county’s case total to 11. The first individual is a male in his 70s who recently traveled domestically. He presented to an area clinic and is currently self-quarantined.  The second individual is a female in her 20s who has no history of travel or contact with another infected person. GCHD believes this is a case of community spread. She presented at an area emergency room and is currently self-quarantined. The third individual is a female in her 50s who has no history of travel or contact with another infected person. GCHD believes this is a case of community spread. She presented at an area clinic and is currently self-quarantined.” View the updated list of Houston-area cases.

MARCH 22 10:13 a.m. — Negotiators from Congress and the White House were set to resume talks Sunday, racing to push a $1.4 trillion economic rescue package across the finish line. With a population on edge, societal norms rewritten and financial markets teetering, all sides indicated that a deal was within reach. They hoped it would provide some relief against the pandemic’s twin health and economic crises, now believed to likely stretch for several months. Read more here.

MARCH 22 10 a.m. — National news: Police broke up at least two Illinois house parties Saturday night as dozens of people there defied orders to stay at home and keep away from large groups during the coronavirus pandemic, CBS Chicago reports. Read more here.

MARCH 22 9:23 a.m. — Sad news out of New York: A fourth resident has died of the coronavirus at a Long Island retirement community and 13 residents have tested positive for the virus that has infected more than 12,000 people statewide as of late Saturday. An 89-year-old woman who was in hospice care for a separate medical condition died Friday night, officials at Peconic Landing in Greenport said. The other three who died were in their 90s and were in assisted living with underlying medical conditions.

MARCH 22 9:22 a.m. — Tech companies including Apple, Google and Facebook are sourcing supplies and resources to assist the public and governments during the coronavirus pandemic.  Apple has updated Siri to provide answers to the question, “Do I have the coronavirus?” Read more here.

MARCH 22 9:02 a.m. — Houston-area news: Coronavirus may have ruined their dream wedding, but it didn’t stop this couple from saying ‘I do’…… Jessica and Tony got married at First Colony Church of Christ on Saturday. Only 10 people attended their wedding, including themselves and the pastor. Read the full story here.

MARCH 22 7:50 a.m. — ‘No visitor’ policy issued for Austin-area hospitals. Read more updates out of Central Texas here.

MARCH 22 6:50 a.m. — Health authorities in Spain say confirmed coronavirus infections have risen by over 3,600 in one day. Spain is Europe’s hardest hit country behind Italy and has 28,572 infections and 1,720 deaths. Spain is completing its first week of lockdown measures to keep people at home. Non-essential stores have been closed. Get more world/national updates here.

MARCH 22 6:23 a.m. — It’s Mother’s Day in Britain, and the government has a stark message for millions of citizens: A visit to your mother could be life-threatening. In a message to the nation. Get more world/national updates here.

MARCH 22 4:50 a.m. — Japan has issued a travel warning for its nationals, urging not to make unessential trips to the United States because of the rapidly expanding coronavirus outbreak in that country, the foreign ministry said in a statement. Japan has taken similar steps to most European countries and banned trips to China, South Korea as well as Iceland, San Marino and parts of Italy, Switzerland and Spain. Get more world/national updates here.

MARCH 22 4:50 a.m. — Iran’s supreme leader is refusing U.S. assistance to fight the new coronavirus, citing an unfounded conspiracy theory that the virus could be man-made by America. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the comments in a speech in Tehran broadcast live Sunday across Iran marking Nowruz, the Persian New Year. Get more world/national updates here.

MARCH 22 4:35 a.m. — Africa’s mountain gorillas also at risk from coronavirus.. Scientific experts said primates, including mountain gorillas, are likely susceptible to COVID-19 complications. Read more here.

MARCH 22 1:16 a.m. — What people should know if they have asthma during COVID-19 pandemic: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says those with asthma may be at a higher risk of getting very sick from the coronavirus. So, officials released guidelines specifically for people with asthma or respiratory issues based on what’s currently known about the spread and severity of the virus. Read more here.

MARCH 21 11:15 p.m. — Liberty County confirms its first positive case of COVID-19. Officials said the case is a 40- to 50-year-old woman experiencing mild symptoms and isolating at home.

MARCH 21 10:30 a.m. — Hawaii to quarantine all arrivals to the state for 14 days Hawaii’s governor has instituted a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine starting Thursday of all people traveling to the state as part of efforts to fight the spread of coronavirus. The order applies to returning residents as well as visitors. It applies to all arrivals at Hawaii airports from the continental U.S. and international destinations and extends to other private and commercial aircraft. “With the majority of Hawaiʻi’s COVID-19 cases linked to travel, it is critical that we further mitigate the spread of the virus by both residents and visitors who are coming from out-of-state,” Gov. David Ige said in a statement. “This plan was developed in collaboration with our county mayors and Hawaiʻi’s business, community and visitor industry leaders.” Get more world/national updates here.

MARCH 21 9:04 p.m. — JOANN fabric stores working with customers to sew masks for health care workers: JOANN initiated a program in which they are offering pieces of free fabric, elastic and other necessary materials to sew together masks for healthcare workers. Read more here.

MARCH 21 8:36 p.m. — Chambers County confirms its first positive case of COVID-19. Officials said the case is 50- to 60-year-old woman who is a resident of west Chambers County. They said she is quarantined at home and in stable condition. Her case is possibly travel-related.

MARCH 21 8:23 p.m. — Austin Mayor Steve Adler signed a new order, requiring retail establishments such as grocery stores, pharmacies and warehouse stores to establish controls to require social distancing, which includes a separation of 6 feet between patrons standing in lines. Read more here.

MARCH 21 8:04 p.m. — The Texas Attorney General’s Office has issued a stern warning for anyone guilty of price gouging. Anyone who preys on consumers to pad their own pockets during the coronavirus crisis could face jail time and fines. State law strictly prohibits price gouging and other forms of disaster scams in the wake of a disaster declared by either the Governor or the President. Read more here.

MARCH 21 6:22 p.m. — Spring Branch ISD will begin serving curbside pickup meals, Grab and Go Meals, for breakfast and lunch starting March 23. The meals will be served on Mondays and Wednesdays until April 10. Service hours are 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the following schools:

  • Hollibrook Elementary
  • Tiger Trails Pre-K Center
  • Bear Boulevard Pre-K Center
  • Lion Lane Pre-K Center 
  • Wildcat Way Pre-K Center 
  • Spring Forest Middle School

MARCH 21 6:07 p.m. — Two more HCSO employees tested positive for COVID-19. One is a deputy in his early 30s, who last reported for duty on Thursday, March 19. He is now quarantined at home. The other is a male civilian clerk employee in his late 20s, who last reported for work on March 6. He is being treated at a local hospital.The agency’s total number of confirmed cases is four. Read more here.

MARCH 21 5:30 p.m. — The Texas Workforce Commission is urging employers to enroll in a ‘Shared Work’ program as an alternative to laying off employees. Read more and get the full story here.

MARCH 21 5:15 p.m. — Brazoria County confirms three new positive cases, bringing the county’s total to 14. These include:

  • A 25- to 35-year-old man who resides in Angleton. He is in stable condition and recovering in home isolation. Investigating to determine if the case is travel-related.
  • A 55- to 65-year-old man who lives in Clute. He is in stable condition and recovering in home isolation. Investigating to determine if the case is travel-related.
  • A 20- to 30-year-old man who lives in Rosharon. He is in stable condition and recovering in home isolation. Investigating to determine if the case is travel-related.

MARCH 21 4:22 p.m. — Fort Bend County confirms 5 more positive cases, bringing the county’s total to 29. These include:

  • A man in his 70s, hospitalized and released, now recovering at home
  • A woman in her 20s, moderate symptoms, history of travel to a high incidence area, now recovering in isolation at home
  • A man in his 50s, moderate symptoms, recovering at home
  • A woman in her 50s, moderate symptoms, recovering at home
  • A woman in her 20s, moderate symptoms, recovering at home

MARCH 21 3:58 p.m. — Harris County is reporting 10 more positive cases, including two children, and Wharton County reports its first positive COVID-19 case. Many of the Harris County cases are in the northwest portion of the county and are a result of community spread. The two children are between 0-10 years old, health officials said.

In Wharton County, a woman in her 30s tested positive after traveling to an area with a high amount of positive cases. She’s in isolation at home. More details here.

View older/previous updates here


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Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80-percent of the cases there were mild. 

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk. 

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed. 

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Stay up to date on coronavirus

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through:

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Help stop the spread of coronavirus 

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members 
  • Use different utensils and dishes 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, hot your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

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