In a matter of weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives, but we still carry our oath to keep our residents safe. My team knows the risk of getting the virus is high but that doesn’t stop us. Our priority is to protect and serve our community.
The inevitable fact is that we are not immune and we are impacted like everyone else. Unfortunately, we have 14 teammates who have received positive test results for COVID-19. I am deeply concern as more first responders are getting infected in our region and I pray for their prompt recovery.
Within the last week, three Harris County Jail inmates tested positive for COVID-19. My team and I are doing our best to implement procedures to protect our staff and inmates, but unfortunately, no environment is immune.
This week, we received an order from Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo mandating the temporary release of a narrow group of inmates with no history of violence. To be eligible for temporary release, an inmate must be charged with — but not yet convicted of — a crime that doesn’t involve violence or the threat of violence. Those charged with burglarizing homes or habitual drunk driving will be ineligible as well. The measures we are taking today will benefit both public health and public safety in our county.
To help reduce person-to-person contact with our residents during the COVID-19 pandemic we assigned more deputies to take non-emergency crime reports over the phone. Please watch the video below or click here.
File a report:
- Call 713-221-6000. Calls are answered 24 hours a day
- Visit http://bit.ly/hcsoreporting
- Call 911 for an emergency
Staying Home, Safe, and Healthy
Harris County, we made it through another week. And now more than ever, we need to be united as a community and follow the Stay Home/Work Safe order, which was extended through the end of April. Stay informed with the latest COVID-19 data from the county with the Harris County Public Health dashboard.
I implore all of you to stay home and continue to enforce social distancing to help ‘flatten the curve’. We need to stop putting at risk the lives of the most vulnerable. I know that we will get through this, one day at a time because we are stronger together.
April marks the start of Stress Awareness Month and some of you might be facing unprecedented levels of stress as we navigate the impacts of the pandemic. Our psychologist, Dr. Robert Seals, shared a few tips — from Dr. Eileen Feliciano, a clinical psychologist at New York State — to help manage and reduce stress during this time.
Mental Health Wellness Tips for Quarantine:
- Stick to a routine
- Dress for the social life you want, not the social life you have
- Be active for at least thirty minutes per day
- Reach out to your friends and family
- Stay hydrated and eat well
- Spend extra time playing with your children
- Limit social media use
- Notice the good in the world
- Help others, if you can. Reach out for help, if you need it
- Find a long-term project to dive into
- Find lightness and humor in each day
- Remind yourself daily that this is temporary
Even with heightened levels of concern surrounding the pandemic, try to maximize value out of every day. Remember, small things can make a difference.
We created this newsletter to keep you informed. And to our community, thank you for subscribing — within the last month, we have almost double the number of subscribers. Your readership and support mean a lot to us as we continue to serve and protect you. God bless all of you, and God bless the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.