As we embark on another critical week in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to thank our residents for staying home and helping us flatten the curve. Slowing the spread is a shared responsibility and I appreciate the sacrifices everyone is making.
It’s a trying time for all, no one is immune from the virus and thousands of first responders are risking their lives more than usual right now.
This week, we gathered to lift in prayer Sergeant Raymond Scholwinski — who is in critical condition at a local hospital — and all 38 HCSO teammates who have now contracted the virus. You can watch the video of the prayer vigil below.
I believe in the power of prayer and want to ask you to join me in praying for my teammates and all first responders infected with the virus. Also, I’m glad to welcome back 75 employees who have now been released from quarantine and returned to work.
The number of HCSO teammates who have received positive test results for COVID-19 has grown to 37. And five inmates in the Harris County Jail have tested positive for the virus. We are working with Harris County Public Health to identify co-workers, inmates, and members of the public who may have had close contact with the diagnosed employees so they can take necessary precautions.
All jail employees have been issued protective masks and are instructed to wear them while on duty. All inmates have also been issued masks. Regular temperature checks are performed daily on all employees as they report for duty.
Additional staff members have also been assigned to field calls on the Inmate Care Concern phone line to help family and friends share concerns about the quality of care their loved ones are receiving. You can call 713-274-7477, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Inmate Care Concerns may also be submitted online here.
This Sunday we kick off National Telecommunicators week. I want to thank all of our communications teammates who serve a vital role in protecting our county. We celebrate all of you this week and you have my sincere appreciation for your service and your commitment to helping our residents.
Staying Safe During COVID-19
Life as we know it has come to a halt, but domestic violence has not. Stay-at-home measures may help prevent the virus, but you may now find yourself in a dangerous situation. No one should feel alone or unsafe. Please remember that you are not alone and we are here to help you. Do not give up, send us a message or call 713-221-6000 for help.
You can also contact the Houston Area Women’s Center at 713-528-2121 and the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224, or text LOVEIS to 22522. If you are in danger, please call 911 immediately.
If you need help or advice dealing with COVID-19 please visit readyharris.org. There are programs to assist with basic needs including housing, food, and healthcare. Dial 2-1-1 for more information.
If you are showing symptoms of illness such as a fever, cough, or shortness of breath please click here for the screening tool to determine whether you may need further assessment or need to be tested for COVID-19. Stay informed with the latest COVID-19 data from the county with the Harris County Public Health dashboard, click here. If you have any questions please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and call 832-839-694 to report violators.
This is the time to stay on course and be stronger than ever. My team and I will continue to protect and serve through this crisis. Thank you to our constituents for your support. I hope everyone has a great Easter holiday. God bless all of you, and God bless the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.