As we welcome a new month, we should be grateful for all of our blessings and keep moving forward. The battle against coronavirus continues and we should keep doing everything in our power to stop the spread.
National Water Safety Month
May is National Water Safety Month, and I want to ensure everyone practices proper water safety at all times. This week my teammates responded to two different scenes where two children — a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old — drowned because they were left unattended.
Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children ages 1-4. Please help us do everything to prevent these tragedies. You can significantly reduce the risk by following a few tips, click here to watch a water safety video I filmed last year. You can also try to prevent these types of tragedies by following some tips from Safe Kids Worldwide:
- Watch kids when they are in or around water, without being distracted.
- Empty all tubs, buckets, and kiddie pools immediately after use.
- Close toilet lids and use toilet seat locks to prevent drowning.
- Install fences around home pools.
- Know what to do in an emergency. Learning CPR and basic water rescue skills may help you save a life.
Help Stop the Spread
Starting today some businesses — including retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and malls — begin partial reopening in phase one of Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to reopen Texas. Now more than ever we need to continue our fight against the virus.
While some of you might be going back to work, there are simple things you can still do to keep yourself, colleagues and family protected: Make sure your workplace is clean; Stay 6 feet away from others; Wash your hands frequently, and use a face covering.
Please stay home if you are sick. If you want to get tested click here or call 832-927-7575. The Texas Division of Emergency created an interactive map where you can find your nearest testing locations, click here for more information.
If you need assistance dealing with the virus please visit readyharris.org. There are programs to help with basic needs including housing, food, and healthcare. Dial 211 for more information.
The number of Harris County Sheriff’s Office employees diagnosed with coronavirus has reached 238, including 211 who work in the jail. There are currently 402 deputies, detention officers, and support staff on quarantine. As of Friday, 289 previously quarantined employees have returned to duty, including 70 who had tested positive for the virus. Thirteen Sheriff’s Office employees are currently hospitalized because of the virus.
A recent expansion of testing – which now includes inmates who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 but are believed to have been exposed to the virus – has helped identify 411 infected inmates. This number includes 92 inmates who previously tested positive for coronavirus and have now recovered and 145 inmates who tested positive but have no symptoms.
You Are Not Alone
This month we also celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month. One of my priorities is caring for those suffering from a mental health issue. For more information about our mental health programs please visit http://www.harriscountycit.org/. Click here to read our 2019 Annual Report. Please remember, if you are in a mental health crisis, know that you’re not alone, help is always available. Call 911 or 713-221-6000.
Here are some tips from the World Health Organization for coping with stress during the pandemic:
- It is normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared, or angry during a crisis. Talking to people you trust can help. Contact your friends and family.
- If you must stay at home, maintain a healthy lifestyle – including proper diet, sleep, and exercise.
- Don’t use smoking, alcohol or other drugs to deal with your emotions. If you feel overwhelmed, talk to someone.
- Draw on skills you have used in the past that have helped you to manage previous life’s adversities.
As we work to free ourselves from the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to thank our residents for the sacrifices and commitment to help flatten the curve. I’m optimistic this month will bring new opportunities for all of us. Let’s continue to work together and stay strong. God bless you, and God bless the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.