At his afternoon press conference Thursday, Mayor Turner reported two more deaths, bringing the total of people who have died from COVID-19 to six. All were older and had underlying health conditions according to the Houston Health Department.
"The latest deaths were a woman in her 60s who died March 24 and a man in his 70s who died March 31. The department received the report of the woman’s death March 31," a press release from the Houston Health Department stated.
The health department announced 48 new coronavirus cases bringing the city's total to 506. Turner said he was encouraged because as he drives around the city he seems most people are staying at home and because the city is keeping the rate of increase below that of places like New York and Louisiana.
Harris County today reported 60 new cases in the county in unincorporated areas. This brings the total to 449 cases, including two deaths for the country. Eighty-seven of the patients counted by the county have recovered.
Update 7 p.m. Harris County reported two additional deaths due to COVID-19: a woman in her 80s and a man in his 50s. Both had underlying health issues.
Dr. David Perssee, health authority in the city's health department, said some people are confusing the deaths of older adults with the number of people affected by COVID-19. More people that are younger are more commonly affected, it's just that in most cases the affects of the virus are more severe in older people, he said.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said 17 officers have tested positive for COVID-19 and one is on a ventilator right now. Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena said his department is still able to staff up to where it needs to be, although about 173 firefighters are in quarantine. "We’ve tested 49, 12 are positive and two have since recovered," he said.
Turner made an appeal for anyone with personal protection equipment including masks, gowns and gloves to donate it to the city for its first responders and health care workers.