Just days after raising Harris County’s COVID-19 threat level to red — or severe — Judge Lina Hidalgo announced that she has been exposed to the virus.
Hidalgo has not shown any symptoms and is self-quarantining after being potentially exposed last week, according to a statement. The exposure came on Monday, June 22, via a member of her office; the staffer has tested positive and is also self-isolating, according to Hidalgo’s office.
Due to the exposure, Hidalgo and other staff who were potentially exposed will self-quarantine for 14 days until July 6, in accordance with guidelines from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
“Given what we have learned, I will be quarantining at home,” said Hidalgo in a statement. “The reality of it is, there are thousands of residents across Harris County that are increasingly finding themselves in the same position I am in today.
“There are rising numbers of residents testing positive for this virus, and more and more requiring hospitalization. We are at Threat Level 1 - Red - and I continue to call on everyone to stay home except for essential activities. That is the only way we avoid a crisis in our hospital system and put our community in a position to reopen in a smarter and more sustainable way. We will beat this threat together as a community and I will continue to ensure we are pursuing every option we have to bring this back under control.”
As for how this will affect her current workload, Hidalgo reports that she will continue her duties virtually; normal county operations will continue without interruption.
The statement adds that most county judge staff have already been following work-from-home protocols. Others in the office have been wearing masks and maintaining social distancing practices.