HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the city’s plan to restart live special events in Houston on Wednesday amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Turner said the Houston Health Department and the Mayor’s Office of Special events partnered together to formulate health and safety protocols for live special events. He said live events with controlled venues will now be able to have a small audience at 25% capacity.
Turner said as part of the protocol, guests must continue to wear masks while attending the event and screened for any signs or exposure of COVID-19.
He said uncontrolled spaces and venues will not be approved for the rest of the year. Here are the following examples of uncontrolled spaces or venues:
- Fun runs
- Biking events
Turner said there is good news as the city’s positivity rate is moving in the right direction. As of Wednesday, Houston’s positivity rate is at 6.6%, which is close to the mayor’s 5% goal. He said the city will reach its goal as long as residents continue to practice social distancing, good hygiene and wear their masks.
All live events requested in Houston will be closely monitored with strict guidelines prior to being approved, according to the mayor’s office.
* @HouSymphony will stage a concert series in Jones Hall. While this is a 3,000 seat venue, the Symphony will only allow a maximum of 150 guests to attend.
— Houston Mayor’s Office (@houmayor) September 9, 2020
Turner said while the Houston Health Department tracks the positivity rate, if at any point the case numbers spike or health conditions change, he will reevaluate the city’s current plan.
As of Wednesday, the Houston Health Department is reporting 223 new cases and eight new deaths. Turner said the demographics continue to show minorities are at greater risk and reflect the coronavirus impact.
Turner and HFD Chief Samuel Pena both discussed the recent death of Houston Fire Capt. Tommy Searcy. Both asked the city to keep Searcy’s loved ones and the department in its prayers.
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