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COVID-19 Updates: Mid-County Tax Office employee tests positive for COVID-19; Harris County restricts outdoor gathers of 10+ people through Aug. 26

Here is a look at some of the latest coronavirus news and updates for Saturday.

BEAUMONT, Texas — BEAUMONT, Texas — This article contains ongoing U.S. and international updates on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects. Here are some key updates for Saturday, July 4, 2020. You can find more details by scrolling through the story which we are updating throughout the day. The newest items will be at the top. 

Today's Headlines:

  • Harris County restricts outdoor gathers of 10+ people through Aug. 26
  • Texas vehicle title and registration remains waived due to COVID-19
  • President Trump signs extension of COVID-relief fund for businesses
  • Lamar State College Port Arthur pauses reopening plan due to COVID-19

July 4, 2:00 p.m. —   An employee at the Mid-County Tax Office has tested positive for COVID-19, according to representative Allison Getz. She confirmed with 12news that the person went to get tested for "peace of mind," and was without symptoms. The tax office will be closed next week for cleaning, according to Getz. It will reopen the following week. 

July 4, 1:00 p.m. —  Outdoor gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited through Aug. 26, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said in an order issued Friday.

It follows an order Gov. Greg Abbott issued Thursday requiring all Texans residing in counties with more than 20 coronavirus cases to wear a face mask while in a commercial space or public buildings or when in an outdoor setting that does not allow for 6 feet of physical distancing.

July 4, 12:00 p.m. —   Texans are still getting a break from certain vehicle title and registration requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

TxDMV said the department will notify Texans when normal services resume and those with overdue titles or vehicle registrations will have 60 days to conduct those transactions. 

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a temporary waiver in March to the following services

  • Initial vehicle registration
  • Vehicle registration renewal
  • Vehicle titling
  • Renewal of permanent disabled parking placards
  • 30-day temporary permits

July 4, 9:50 a.m. —  President Donald Trump on Saturday signed into law a temporary extension of a subsidy program for small businesses battered by the coronavirus.About $130 billion of $660 billion approved for the program remains eligible for businesses to seek direct federal subsidies for payroll and other costs such as rent, though demand for the Paycheck Protection Program has pretty much dried up in recent weeks. Read more here.

July 4, 9:30 a.m. — Kimberly Guilfoyle, girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr. and a top Trump campaign official, has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Guilfoyle tested positive for the disease caused by the coronavirus while in South Dakota. It happened ahead of the July Fourth event held Friday at Mount Rushmore and attended by President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.

July 4, 9 a.m. — Lamar State College Port Arthur has announced it's pausing Phase II of their reopening plan as COVID-19 cases continue to rise

The school planned for all employees to begin traditional working schedules in July, but now the school is pushing back that start date to Monday, July 20.

Phase II guidelines will have the campus open to the public Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to a LSCPA news release. Staff will work from their offices until 5 p.m. Campus is closed on Fridays. Read more here.

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Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Help stop the spread of coronavirus 

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

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