This Week's Headlines

South Belt COVID-19 continues; victims connected to area

Seniors to benefit from food events

Clear Creek ISD postpones May 2 election

FTC offers tips to avoid scammers

May 15 San Jac graduation postponed

Chamber plans stimulus event

Community Health Network conducts testing for COVID-19

Memorial modifies visitor policy

PISD hall banquet canceled, but honorees not forgotten

Spring high school football workouts in jeopardy

Champ Gators control 24-6A hoops selections

MLB agreement could affect SJC trio, others

Moreno knows resuming tennis play will be tight

JFD boys’ basketball coaching search rolls on

Delgado shines as one of Dobie’s bright young talents

Locals benefit from NCAA decision

Southwest Airlines celebrated inaugural flight to Cozumel

San Jac College donates COVID-19 supplies

Quarantine Flash Mob plays for community



 

South Belt COVID-19 continues; victims connected to area

The South Belt community continues to grapple with the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) scare, with at least one resident case being confirmed as testing positive.

While federal privacy laws prohibit hospitals from releasing personal patient information, multiple area health officials have corroborated the account with the Leader.

At press time, rumors had some area employees identified as testing positive, but the Leader was unable to confirm the rumors. Harris County health officials will not release the ZIP codes of infected individuals. They will only identify quadrants of the county. It also remained unclear at press time what steps have been taken to ensure other employees or customers have not also become infected.

As a precaution, Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital has curtailed nearly all visitations. See related story on this page.

METRO
Additionally, a METRO driver with ties to the South Belt has also tested positive for the virus.

The driver operated the 247 Fuqua Park & Ride from 6:18 a.m. to 9:17 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24, and Wednesday, 25.

Anyone riding the routes driven by the operator in the last 14 days should monitor themselves for possible symptoms, contact their health care provider as soon as they develop symptoms and self-isolate to avoid exposing others.

METRO is working with public health officials so they can identify and notify anyone who rode the bus on these routes in the last 14 days.

METRO has enhanced the cleaning and disinfecting of its buses. The buses used for the routes driven by the driver who has tested positive have also been temporarily removed from service for additional sanitation. Since March 20, METRO has sought to minimize the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission by an operator or passengers by encouraging social distancing on its buses and adding vehicles on heavily traveled routes so that this can be accomplished.

On March 23, METRO instituted back-door boarding, and temporarily suspended collecting fares to avoid unnecessary contacts.

Latest city stats
On Tuesday, March 31, the Houston Health Department announced 68 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 377.

The department also reported the city’s fourth coronavirus death.

The resident, a man in his 70s with underlying health conditions, died Friday, March 27. Houston’s three previous COVID-19 deaths were elderly women with underlying health conditions.

The department launched an investigation to identify potential contacts exposed to the virus. The department will provide close contacts guidance about the virus and monitor them for the development of symptoms.

Schools
Pasadena ISD and Clear Creek ISD closures have been extended through Monday, May 4, as students continue to study online from home.
The extensions were announced Tuesday, March 31, after Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide social-distancing order, prohibiting all non-essential work through the month of April.
The Leader has heard from multiple sources that schools will likely remain closed through the duration of the academic year.

Meals
CCISD: On Monday, March 30, Clear Creek ISD began offering free lunch and breakfast pickup for multiple days at a time. Monday’s pickup will include lunch and breakfast through Thursday morning. Thursday’s pickup will include lunch and breakfast through Saturday breakfast. This will be for drive-thru or walk up only between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at select schools. Students can pick up meals without an adult present.

For locations and details, visit https://ccisd.net/news/2019-20_district_news/drive_through_meals_for_students.

PISD: Pasadena ISD will continue its grab-and-go, now offering free lunch and breakfast pickup for multiple days at a time. Monday’s pickup will include lunch and breakfast Monday through Wednesday. Thursday’s pickup will include lunch and breakfast for Thursday and Friday. Local campuses include Beverly Hills Intermediate from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and Dobie High School from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Parents may drive by the participating campuses to pick up a breakfast and lunch meal for each child who is present in the vehicle. If a child is NOT in the car, then a parent must provide one of the following documents:
Official letter/email/electronic school document showing the student enrolled;
Individual student report card;
Attendance record from parent portal printed or electronic, that includes the children names;
Birth Certificates for children not in school;
Student ID cards.

No meals will be available for parents or students walking up to the campus. Meals will be delivered to each vehicle. Parents are advised not to park.

Each student will receive a breakfast and a lunch at the time of pickup. A parent only needs to go through the line once. Each student will get two meals.

For more information, times and locations, visit www1.pasadenaisd.org.

Houston: The Houston Parks and Recreation Department is continuing its Curbside Meal Program for youth, ages 1 to 18, at selected area parks. Local parks include the Sagemont Community Center, 11507 Hughes Road, and the Beverly Hills Park Community Center, 10201 Kingspoint Road.

Each child will receive one lunch and one snack. Children must be present. To ensure social distancing is maintained throughout the curbside meal distribution, meals will be placed in the trunk of the recipient’s car.

For additional information, visit www.houstontx.gov/parks/pdfs/2020/HPARDCurbsideMealDistributionProgram_NewInfo.pdf.
Resources
For up-to-date information about the COVID-10 pandemic, visit the following sites:
City of Houston: houstonemergency.org/covid19
Harris County: publichealth.harriscountytx.gov/Resources/2019-Novel-

Coronavirus
CDC: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
WHO: www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Seniors to benefit from food events

Lt. Jerry Garcia, candidate for the position of Harris County Precinct 2 constable, Hilton Furniture & Mattress and the South Belt Leader will host a food collection drive Saturday, April 4, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Hilton location adjacent to Almeda Mall at 12100 Gulf Freeway.

“Many seniors are without transportation and family members,” Garcia said.

“During our stay-home order, many seniors are unable to go to grocery stores and are unable to provide for themselves. Those who do have transportation should not be endangering themselves by going grocery shopping since our seniors are most vulnerable to succumbing to the coronavirus due to their other health issues that might hinder their ability to fight off the virus.”

Volunteers will be outside Hilton Furniture, where drivers will pull up and pop their trunks. Helpers will receive items. There will be no direct contact with people, limiting any possible spread of the disease.

Once removed from the trunk, all items will be placed on a table, where they will be disinfected. They will then be organized according to food type, and boxes will be made to pre-selected recipients on Sunday, April 5.

Desired items include non-perishable canned goods, beans, rice, vegetables, soups, fruits, canned chicken, canned tuna, sausages, cereal, oatmeal, pancake mix, syrup, dry milk, pasta, spaghetti, sauce, peanut butter, jelly, protein bars, bottled water, soap, toiletries, toilet paper and hand wipes.
Anyone who needs assistance or who would like to donate is asked to email adoptasenior2020@yahoo.com.

Another Senior drive
Mayor Sylvester Turner joined the Kroger Company and Mattress Mack of Gallery Furniture Friday, March 27, to announce a partnership to feed over 10,000 seniors in need during the City of Houston’s COVID-19 health crisis response.

They announced the donation drive during a Facebook Live chat that was viewed by thousands of people Friday morning.
“We are living in an unprecedented time that is affecting various areas of our communities in different ways. Many Houstonians are asking ‘what can we do to help?’” said Turner. “This is one easy way you can support those in need within our local community, whether it’s through donating food and supplies or volunteering your time. We are Houston Strong, and helping is what we do best.’

Customers can donate non-perishable food at any Houston area Kroger store or Gallery Furniture 6006 N. Freeway or Gallery Furniture Grand Parkway every day from 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Gallery Furniture is also accepting donations of cleaning supplies and toiletries.

“There is an extremely large number of housebound seniors in our community who don’t have access to the food and supplies they need.” Said Joe Kelley, president of Kroger Houston. “While many people can make a weekly trip to the grocery store, this specific group of individuals cannot. We want to make sure that our seniors are taken care of by ensuring they are fed and their pantries are full. These are people’s parents and grandparents – and they need our help. That’s why we wanted to get involved in the senior drive alongside Mack and Mayor Turner. Together, we can make a bigger impact in fighting hunger in our communities.”

Hundreds of volunteers at the Gallery Furniture I-45 location are working to put together care packages and distribute them to several thousand food-insecure seniors.

“I want to personally thank Kroger and the City of Houston for the incredible donations and continued support.” said Mattress Mack. “Thousands have already benefited from the generosity of amazing Houstonians, and we will continue to do our best to continue these efforts. Stay strong, friends, and remember the essence of living is giving.”


E-mail mynews@southbeltleader.com with news items of interest.

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