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Mayor Turner still won't rule out curfew in Houston to help slow spread of COVID-19

Mayor Turner said there is still time to manage the virus and will rely on health officials to help determine if a curfew needs to be instituted.

HOUSTON — Houston mayor Sylvester Turner on Friday repeated he won't rule out a curfew like Bexar County’s lasting through Thanksgiving weekend to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Starting Thursday, Bexar County implemented a curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. each night through Nov. 30, prohibiting residents from gathering outside their homes after 10 p.m., with exceptions for traveling to essential businesses like grocery stores. Violations are punishable with a fine of up to $1,000.

Mayor Turner said there is still time to manage the virus and will rely on health officials to help determine if a curfew needs to be instituted.

“If it gets to the point…in talking with the healthcare professionals…if they say to me that we just have to utilize some additional steps, then I’m going to listen, and sometimes you have to make the hard call,” Mayor Turner said. “It is important that we do everything we can to protect the health and safety and welfare of the people in our city.”

Mayor Turner said local government leaders are limited in what they can do, but a curfew is one of the few things they can implement.

The mayor said local hospitalizations are at 888, up 111 percent from last month. However, he said capacity remains high, and Houston is still in phase 1 of hospitalizations. The city was in phase 2 during the big summer spike.

Turner wants those who traveled outside of the city of Houston for Thanksgiving to self-quarantine upon return or get a COVID-19 test after four or five days.

“My hope is there won’t be a huge surge. That’s my hope, but I am concerned about what happens two weeks from now,” Mayor Turner said.