COH H& D

Apr. 14, 2021

City Breaks Ground on Hillcroft Street Improvements, Mayor Turner Provides Update on Street Rehabilitation Program
HOUSTON - Mayor Sylvester Turner, joined Together for Safer Roads (TSR), City Council Members Edward Pollard and Mike Knox, along with community partners today at a groundbreaking to turn Hillcroft Avenue into a safer and more equitable road.

This is a game-changing project initiative that is inspiring both Vision Zero improvements around the city of Houston and bicycle improvements in adjacent neighborhoods.

In April 2019, the city of Houston joined with Together for Safer Roads, a coalition of leading companies, to launch a program called Houston Safer Streets Phase 1.

"Our goal is to make the city’s streets and roads safe for pedestrians, bus riders, bicyclists, drivers, wheelchair users and others," Mayor Sylvester Turner said. "The redesign of the Hillcroft area will provide safer transportation options for the Gulfton community, connecting commuters to different areas across town."

Construction is underway in some areas and the new safety improvement project for Hillcroft Avenue is broken into three segments:
Hillcroft between Gulfton & Westward
High Star between Rookin and Hillcroft
Westward between Hillcroft & Gulfton
The plans include wider sidewalks, adding shared-use bikeways and installing new traffic signals for safer pedestrian access. There will be improved access to METRO bus stops and a hike and bike trail on Westward St. Travel lanes will be reduced from 8-lanes to six.

“Hillcroft Avenue was once considered one of the most dangerous roads in Houston and was identified by the community as a priority for safety improvements, so we are honored to be an integral part of this work in Gulfton,” said TSR president David Braunstein. “TSR in collaboration with some of our generous members, including Anheuser-Busch, Republic Services, AT&T, Lyft and more, helped make this community improvement project a reality,” added Braunstein.

Once completed, the community will notice new color-coded crosswalks, curb ramps and sidewalks, so intersections are safer and more functional for everyone.

”This project represents another step towards reaching the goal of Vision Zero. Houston Public Works is committed to creating transportation equity for all users while we are rehabilitating roadways to give everyone a safer way to reach their destination. We can improve on Houston’s foundation to ensure safe transportation can thrive for the next generation," said Houston Public Works Director Carol Haddock, P.E.

The new vision for Hillcroft Avenue is also aligned with Houston’s Vision Zero program. As recommended in Gulfton’s Complete Communities Action Plan, it prioritizes safety and accessibility in street design for people of all ages and abilities.
"This Vision Zero-aligned project will improve road safety by prioritizing the lives of people who live, work, and travel through Gulfton every day over vehicle speed. This is important all throughout our City, but especially important in Gulfton where 40% of residents walk, bike, and ride transit," said Chief Transportation Planner David Fields. "This project recognizes the needs of the local community and makes a reality recommendations from Gulfton’s Complete Communities Action Plan: it prioritizes safety and access in street design for people of all ages and abilities"


Mayor Turner also provided an update on the city’s Street Rehabilitation Program announced last September. The program is designed to improve streets, curbs and gutters citywide.

When he took the oath of office in January 2020 for a second term, Mayor Turner announced fixing streets as one of his priorities, so that drivers could start to see noticeable changes.

The Street Rehabilitation Initiative is my vision for creating safer, more sustainable communities for Houstonians. I asked Public Works to change the way the City of Houston is doing business by taking a more holistic approach to how we use our streets as part of a Complete Community.

So far, Public Works has completed 191.4 lane miles at a cost of $32.4 million and we have another 51.7 lane-miles under construction.

The city is on target to meet the goal of 292 lane miles completed by the end of the fiscal year, which is double what crews accomplished last year and almost four times the amount three years ago.

Moving forward in FY 22, Public Works is taking a different approach on priorities. This includes elevating projects on the high injury network in line with Vision Zero and in Complete Communities.
In addition, we are working with our partners to leverage resources such as METRO’s Boost program.

"While the city is doing its part to make streets safer and we also need drivers to work with us,' said Mayor Turner. "That means drivers must slow down, do not drink and drive and avoid distractions while driving. Look out for yourself and your fellow Houstonians."

Apr. 12, 2021
Houston Health Department, partners announce free COVID-19 testing schedule for week of April 12

HOUSTON - The Houston Health Department and its agency partners are announcing the schedule for sites offering free COVID-19 tests the week of April 12, 2021. Twenty-one FREE+FAST+SAFE testing sites across Houston are on the schedule for the week.

Houston Health Department

The Houston Health Department will offer drive-thru testing at two surge sites affiliated with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Southwest Multi-Service Center, 6400 High Star Drive, and Houston Community College - North Forest, 6010 Little York Rd., will offer nasal self-swab tests.

The sites will open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.. The Southwest MSC will delay opening until noon on Tuesday.

Appointments are available at doineedacovid19test.com and on-site registration is also available. Each site has a daily capacity of 1,250 tests.

The department also offers free drive-thru testing via self-nasal swab at the Aramco Services Company, 9009 W. Loop South. The mega testing site will open Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

The site has a daily capacity of 250 tests. People wanting to get tested at the Aramco site can call the department’s COVID-19 Call Center at 832-393-4220.

The department will offer testing at three community sites that don't require appointments. Each has a daily capacity of 250 tests: 

  • Sunnyside Multi-Service Center, 9314 Cullen Blvd., Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., drive thru and walk-up, self-nasal swab,
  • Ingrando Community Center, 7302 Keller St., Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., drive thru or walk-up, self-nose swab,
  • Park Place Regional Library,  8145 Park Place Blvd., Tuesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., drive thru and walk-up, self-nose swab.

The department will also provide drive thru, self-nasal swab testing at the METRO Addicks Park & Ride, 14230 Katy Freeway, and the Multicultural Center, 951 Tristar Drive, city of Webster. Appointments are available by calling the department's call center at 832-393-4220.

Texas Division of Emergency Management

Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and the Houston Astros offer self-oral swab tests daily at Minute Maid Park (Lot C), 2208 Preston. The testing site’s capacity is 1,200 tests per day.

The site features eight drive-thru testing lanes and four walk-up testing lanes. It will open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

Visit curative.com to set an appointment or obtain more information. On-site registration is also available.

TDEM and the department will also operate drive-thru sites offering tests Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at:

  • HCC - Northeast Campus, 555 Community College Drive, self-mouth swab, and
  • HCC - South Campus, 1990 Airport Blvd., nasal swab by healthcare professionals.

TDEM and the department offer drive thru, nasal-swab tests administered by healthcare professionals at LeRoy Crump Stadium, 12321 Alief Clodine Rd. The site is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Appointments for TDEM sites are available at covidtest.tdem.texas.gov On-site registration is also available.

United Memorial Medical Center

United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) will offer nasal-swab testing by healthcare professionals at drive-thru test sites at:

  • PlazAmericas Mall, 7500 Bellaire Blvd.,
  • Houston Community College - Southeast, 6815 Rustic St.; Building B, and
  • UMMC Tidwell, 510 W. Tidwell Rd.

The sites don’t require appointments and will offer testing Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. or until reaching daily capacity of 300 tests.

People needing information about UMMC test sites can call 1-866-333-COVID or visit ummcscreening.com.

Curative

Curative will provide walk up testing daily at:

  • University of St. Thomas, 3800 Montrose Blvd., shallow nose self-swab, 8 a.m. -6 p.m.,
  • Memorial Park Conservancy, 1153 E. Memorial Loop Dr., mouth self-swab, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.,
  • Miller Outdoor Theater, 6000 Hermann Park Dr., mouth self-swab, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.,
  • Houston Metro West, 11555 Westpark Dr., mouth self-swab, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.,
  • Houston Metro Kashmere, 5700 Eastex Fwy., mouth self-swab, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m., and
  • Houston Metro Fallbrook, 111 Fallbrook Dr., mouth self-swab, 8 a.m. 6 p.m.

Appointments are available at curative.com and on-site registration is available. The sites have a 900 daily test capacity.

Federally Qualified Health Centers

The health department is providing test kits, lab access and equipment to local Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) so they can expand their COVID-19 testing capacity. The centers and phone numbers people can call to set up testing appointments are:

  • HOPE Clinic, 713-773-0803
  • Spring Branch Community Health Center, 713-462-6565
  • El Centro de Corazon, 713-660-1880
  • Avenue 360 Health and Wellness, 713-426-0027
  • Lone Star Circle of Care at the University of Houston, 346-348-1200, and
  • Scarsdale Family Health Center, 281-824-1480.

FQHC patients pay what they can afford, based on income and family size, and are not denied services due to inability to pay or lack of insurance.

The department and its agency partners may shift locations and schedules of test sites to better meet community needs. Houstonians can visit HoustonEmergency.org/covid19 for current Houston testing sites and information about stopping the spread of the virus.

Information obtained through testing, treatment or services will not be used against immigrants in their public charge evaluation. 

Flyer: COVID-19 testing sites for the week of April 12, 2021. 

Apr. 11, 2021
Mar. 21, 2021
 
Houston Health Department, partners announce free COVID-19 testing schedule for week of March 22

HOUSTON -  The Houston Health Department and its agency partners are announcing the schedule for sites offering free COVID-19 tests the week of March 22, 2021. Twenty FREE+FAST+SAFE testing sites across Houston are on the schedule for the week.

Houston Health Department
The Houston Health Department will offer drive-thru testing at two surge sites affiliated with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Southwest Multi-Service Center, 6400 High Star Drive, and Houston Community College - North Forest, 6010 Little York Rd., will offer nasal self-swab tests.

The sites will open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Appointments are available at doineedacovid19test.com and on-site registration is also available. Each site has a daily capacity of 1,250 tests.

The department also offers free drive-thru testing via self-nasal swab at the Aramco Services Company, 9009 W. Loop South. The mega testing site will open Tuesday and Thursday from10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The site has a daily capacity of 250 tests. People wanting to get tested at the Aramco site can call the department’s COVID-19 Call Center at 832-393-4220.

The department will offer testing Tuesday through Saturday at three community sites that don't require appointments. Each has a daily capacity of 250 tests:  

  • Kingwood Community Center, 4102 Rustic Woods Dr., 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., drive thru, self-nasal swab,
  • Greater First Baptist Church, 4441 Haygood St., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., drive thru or walk-up, self-nose swab, and
  • Johnson Neighborhood Library, 3517 Reed Rd., 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., drive thru or walk-up, self-nose swab.

The department will also provide drive thru, self-nasal swab testing at the METRO Addicks Park & Ride, 14230 Katy Freeway, and the Multicultural Center, 951 Tristar Drive, city of Webster. Appointments are available by calling the department's Call Center.

Texas Division of Emergency Management
Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and the Houston Astros offer self-oral swab tests daily at Minute Maid Park (Lot C), 2208 Preston. The testing site’s capacity is 1,200 tests per day.

The site features eight drive-thru testing lanes and four walk-up testing lanes. It will open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Spanish-speaking staff is available on-site.

Visit curative.com to set an appointment or obtain more information. On-site registration is also available.

TDEM and the department will also operate drive-thru sites offering tests Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at:

  • HCC - Northeast Campus, 555 Community College Drive, self-mouth swab, and
  • HCC - South Campus, 1990 Airport Blvd., nasal swab by healthcare professionals.

TDEM and the department offer drive thru, nasal-swab tests administered by healthcare professionals at LeRoy Crump Stadium, 12321 Alief Clodine Rd. The site is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Appointments for TDEM sites are available at covidtest.tdem.texas.gov On-site registration is also available.

United Memorial Medical Center
United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) will offer nasal-swab testing by healthcare professionals at drive-thru test sites at:

  • PlazAmericas Mall, 7500 Bellaire Blvd.
  • Houston Community College - Southeast, 6815 Rustic St.; Building B
  • UMMC Tidwell, 510 W. Tidwell Rd. 

The sites don’t require appointments and will offer testing Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. or until reaching daily capacity of 300 tests.

People needing information about UMMC test sites can call 1-866-333-COVID or visit ummcscreening.com.

Curative
Curative will provide walk up testing daily at four sites:

  • Memorial Park Conservancy, 1153 E. Memorial Loop Dr., mouth self-swab, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.,
  • Miller Outdoor Theater, 6000 Hermann Park Dr., mouth self-swab, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.,
  • Houston Metro West, 11555 Westpark Dr., mouth self-swab, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., and
  • University of St. Thomas, 3800 Montrose Blvd., shallow nose self-swab, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Curative will open a site at Kashmere Metro, 5700 Eastex Fwy. starting Tuesday, offering mouth-self swab tests daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Appointments are available at curative.com and on-site registration is available. The sites have a 900 daily test capacity.

Federally Qualified Health Centers
The health department is providing test kits, lab access and equipment to local Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) so they can expand their COVID-19 testing capacity. The centers and phone numbers people can call to set up testing appointments are:

  • HOPE Clinic, 713-773-0803
  • Spring Branch Community Health Center, 713-462-6565
  • El Centro de Corazon, 713-660-1880
  • Avenue 360 Health and Wellness, 713-426-0027
  • Lone Star Circle of Care at the University of Houston, 346-348-1200, and
  • Scarsdale Family Health Center, 281-824-1480.

FQHC patients pay what they can afford, based on income and family size, and are not denied services due to inability to pay or lack of insurance.

The department and its agency partners may shift locations and schedules of test sites to better meet community needs. Houstonians can visit HoustonEmergency.org/covid19 for current Houston testing sites and information about stopping the spread of the virus.

Information obtained through testing, treatment or services will not be used against immigrants in their public charge evaluation.

Flyer: COVID-19 Testing Sites - Week of March 22, 2021

Mar. 21, 2021
Houston Health Department opens 13,070 COVID-19 vaccination appointment slots for week of March 22

HOUSTON – The Houston Health Department opened 13,070 new COVID-19 vaccination appointment slots on Sunday for the week of March 22-27, 2021. The appointments are for Johnson & Johnson vaccine at Bayou City Event Center or first doses of Moderna vaccine at Delmar Stadium and The Parking Spot.
 
People eligible for vaccination under the Texas Department of State Health Services criteria can visit HoustonEmergency.org/covid19 or the following direct links to self-register.

 
The appointment portals will close when the slots are full.
 
Appointments are only confirmed upon receipt of an email or text message and confirmation numbers will be verified on site. People who show up without confirmed appointments will be turned away.
 
Appointment registration is also available by phone to people age 60 and older through the Area Agency on Aging at 832-393-4301. People with disabilities can call the Aging and Disability Resource Center at 832-393-5500. Anyone else needing registration assistance can contact the COVID-19 call center at 832-393-4220.
 
The department sent appointment invitations to the  approxmently 80,000 people on its vaccine waitlists with a response rate of approximately 35 percent. The waitlists are currently closed but appointment invitations will continue to go out to people on the lists. The department may reopen the waitlists in the future.
 
People can learn about new appointment opportunities through email, text message, voice call, or mobile app push notification by registering for the HoustonRecovers subscription of AlertHouston at AlertHouston.org.
 
Additional information is available at HoustonEmergency.org/covid19.