COVID-19 cases have been confirmed at a family facility in Lynchburg according to Harris County Public Health officials.
Martha Marquez, HCPH spokeswoman, said her department identified three employees that tested positive for COVID-19 at the Baptist Child and Family Services, a Lynchburg facility located on Ilfrey Street, a stone’s throw from Baytown. The facility, which is listed with a Baytown zip code, is contracted with the Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement.
“The individuals are all isolated in their homes and are continuing to be monitored,” Marquez said. “HCPH is providing technical assistance and guidance at the site. No children have been confirmed to be positive at this time.”
Mark Miller, City of Baytown spokesman, said no one at the city was informed about the confirmed cases, but emphasized the facility is located just outside city limits.
Harris County now has community spread, Marquez added.
“Community spread refers to cases without travel history, and we do not know the source of transmission which makes it harder to identify and contain the virus,” Marquez said. “We need the public’s help to prevent further community spread.”
Marquez said she did not know if the three people at the facility lived in or around the Baytown area or not.
As of Thursday, Chambers County was reporting 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Eight cases are reported to be in West Chambers County, while two are in East Chambers County. One case is in mid-county. The cases include seven women and four men. One is said to be hospitalized. The county is also reporting 114 people have been tested for the virus.
Chambers County has set up a website with COVID-19 information. To visit, log on to www.co.chambers.tx.us/page/coronavirus.
HCPH has been reporting the number of COVID-19 cases by quadrants in the county rather than by city. Marquez explained why the department chose this method or reporting.
“HCPH discloses quadrant information in order to protect our patients’ information,” Marquez said. “We also want to ensure that people know that their information will remain confidential and not prevent them from coming forward to get tested.”
Marquez said another reason quadrants are used is to prevent people from coming forward to get tested since there is a limit on the number of tests being processed daily.
“Only those that fit certain criteria should be tested,” she said.
Marquez said her department was allowed to identify the three cases in Lynchburg since they were at a federal facility.
Marquez stated COVID-19 is a very contagious virus and has affected many people in Harris County. As of Thursday, a total of 449 cases were reported in Harris County with another 506 in Houston, totaling 955 cases. In the northwest portion of Harris County, 247 cases have been reported, the highest of the four quadrants in the county.
“We only have a count of the people who have tested positive because we are prioritizing testing to people who are at higher risk of developing complications due to COVID-19, but that does not mean that everyone with the virus has been tested,” Marquez said. “Thus, our entire community needs to actively take preventive measures to slow down the spread of the virus.”
The department has set up a website with information on COVID-19. The address is http://publichealth.harriscountytx.gov/Resources/2019-Novel-Coronavirus.