A great number of our industry partners have expressed concern about a Harris County-wide quarantine and mobility restriction order. The rumor mill, fueled by social media, is running rampant right now and I want to take a moment to address those questions.
First, there are no plans or discussions to “lockdown”, quarantine, or order a shelter-in-place that would restrict the essential operations of life line sectors. There is broad recognition within the country that critical infrastructure and industries must continue to operate. Shutting down our industrial sector would cripple our already fragile economy and severely limit the availability of goods necessary to sustain basic needs (fuel, food, etc.)
While it is not inconceivable that additional measures might be necessary to the response, and we have seen such efforts in New York and California, exceptions can and will be made for those who keep critical industries running.
Second, this means that we have no plans to implement the industry credentialing system for facility access or ride-out teams. In all candor, given the current level of support to the public health response, HCOHSEM lacks the capacity to meet the demand that effort would place on us. We are trusting you to make the best decisions on behalf of your key employees and contractors.
These are troubling and trying times for us all. It is recommended you promote and reiterate the importance of protective measures to your employees. We know that you excel in taking care of your personnel and expect no less now. Please encourage them, both at work and at home, to adhere to the CDC and Harris County Public Health social distancing guidelines, and the Orders imposed by the Governor and County Judges. And, just as crucially, make sure you are relying on trusted partners for factual information. The stakes are too high to react to rumors.
I hope this helps to ease concerns. Stay safe and healthy. Call me if you need to further discuss.
Sent by Pamela Parker, EHCMA, on behalf of:
Harris Co Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Mgmt