Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
A message from the city of Sugar Land - Dr. Joe Anzaldua, March 4
I’m certain you’re aware that the governor recently announced that’s it’s time to reopen Texas 100 percent. His new executive order rescinds most of his earlier executive orders. Effective next Wednesday, all businesses of any type may open to 100 percent capacity. Additionally, this order ends the statewide mask mandate in Texas. Per the governor’s order, businesses may still implement safety protocols at their own discretion. I encourage them to do so.
I am working closely with city staff to determine how these orders will impact city services and facilities. I expect we will have more to share on this during the next week, so stay tuned for updates from the city.
Dr. Joe Anzaldua
The governor’s order does allow reinstatement of some restrictions if conditions worsen. For example, if COVID-19 hospitalizations in any of the 22 hospital regions in Texas get above 15 percent of the hospital bed capacity in that region for seven straight days, a county judge in that region may use COVID-19 mitigation strategies. You might wonder how this impacts Fort Bend County right now. As it pertains to us, we are part of Trauma Service Area Q's designation. We are on a downward trend with a hospitalization rate over the last seven days averaging approximately 11 percent. Despite this positive trend, we are not out of the woods. COVID 19 remains a danger to our community until we have achieved herd immunity.
Spring break is just around the corner, so we should all continue to exercise caution. It is quite possible that we could see yet another surge. I am also paying close attention to all the emerging mutant strains and the uncertainty with respect to their level of transmission, virulence and response to our existing vaccines. It was recently reported that most if not all of the known mutant strains have now been identified in Houston. I have always contended that whatever happens in Houston will necessarily spill over into our Fort Bend County community.
If we are to believe what most of the experts have been telling us about herd immunity for months now, then it follows that we should still be following our current mitigation strategies, including and especially wearing face masks. This is consistent with recommendations we have been getting from infectious disease experts and especially the CDC.
- Please continue to take the simple precautions to keep us all safe. I believe that our current mitigation strategies, including and especially wearing properly fitted face masks should continue.
- Wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, maintain safe distance from others and routinely disinfect surfaces.
- And of course, please take advantage of COVID 19 vaccines when you become eligible to receive one. These vaccines are safe, and they are import.
It is estimated that at least 75 percent of Texans need to achieve immunity to COVID-19 to reach herd immunity. As of March 1, only about 6.8 percent of the 29 million Texans have been fully vaccinated. One of our challenges is that our current vaccines have not been approved for children under the age of 16 in the case of the Pfizer vaccine, and under 18 in the case of the Moderna vaccine – a group that makes up about 23 percent of the population in this state. Fortunately, this group is not getting very sick, rarely requires intense hospitalization and rarely leads to death. Although there has been a significant decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations, the case count is still high.
I know that a lot of people are suffering from "pandemic fatigue" and are tired of being restricted with respect to social activities and gatherings, and even more tired of wearing masks. But we must also accept the fact that we are still in pandemic mode and as such should not be letting our guard down – not now. I believe we should continue all our mitigation strategies that are currently in place as we move to attain herd immunity, especially as more and more people get vaccinated. And this, no doubt, will happen!
Thank you, and stay safe.
Update: March 2
- Governor Abbott Lifts Mask Mandate, Opens Texas 100 Percent (Effective March 10, 2021)
- Executive Order No. GA-34
All residents are encouraged to continue to take precautions and get vaccinated when eligible.
Authoritative Sources of Information
For accurate and reliable information, please be sure to visit the following resources. They are the authoritative sources of information:
- Texas Department of Health and Human Services
- Fort Bend Health and Human Services
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Please also check the Fort Bend County COVID-19 Response Hub