Many City Services Have Amended Operations for COVID-19 Response:

Updated: 5.30.2020

Emergency Services (Police and Fire):
Open and Operating

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo has issued a Directive to officers on Stay Home, Work Safe Order. 

Houston 311:
 Open and Operating
Houston Airport System:

Open & Operating
Intercontinental Airport
Hobby Airport

Houston Airports (HAS) remains committed to maintain the health and well-being of its employees and the traveling public. HAS with public health organizations and its federal, state and local partners are taking concrete actions to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus and keep the community safe. You can find updates on our COVID-19 response efforts at fly2houston.com/COVID-19

For a live update on international processing times go to: https://www.fly2houston.com/iah/international-travel/

Administration & Regulatory Affairs Department - VFH Permitting:
The City recognizes that vehicle-for-hire operations in Houston have been impacted by the COVD-19 outbreak. To provide relief to this critical part of our transportation industry, the City of Houston is extending taxicab and pedicab permit renewal dates to August 1, 2020.  If you have any questions, please contact our office at 832-394-8803 or email ARAVehiclesforHire@houstontx.gov.

In addition, renewal of all vehicle-for-hire drivers licenses set to expire between March 11, 2020 and May 31, 2020 will be extended to August 1, 2020.  All drivers whose  City of Houston vehicle-for-hire licenses expire during this period will be mailed a temporary license to use with the picture license.  If you have any questions please call 832-394-8803 or email ARAVehiclesforHire@Houstontx.gov

BARC Animal Shelters & Adoptions:
We appreciate your support and help during this challenging time. Your hard work and devotion to BARC animals has a daily impact on the quality of their lives and their ability to be adoptable animals. During this period of community spread of the COVID-19 virus, BARC has remained in contact with other Texas animal shelters and animal health professionals to continually update our daily safety measures for the protection of the public, our employees, our volunteers and the animals in our care.

In the interest of maximizing social distancing while providing the opportunity for adoptions, wellness and other BARC services to continue to the public, effective immediately, BARC is implementing the following procedural changes:

  • Animal intake/ drop-off on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday from 12pm – 4pm will be a drive-thru service only until further notice. BARC will not turn away any sick or injured animals.
    • We ask the community to assist by not picking any stray animals unless citizens are prepared to care for them at home.
    • We also request that non-emergency, owner surrenders (i.e. turning in an owned pet) be postponed allowing BARC the resources to deal with emergency surrenders resulting from the current crisis.
    • BARC is providing pet food and crates, as available, to all citizens to support them in keeping animals in their possession. Other resources are available as well.
  • Public Wellness/ Foster Clinic/ Surgery Pick-ups will all be a drive-thru service until further notice.
  • Lost Pets/ Return to Owners will park vehicles and walk-through BARC.
  • Foster and Rescue Pick-up will sign-in to online service and animals will be brought to vehicles in the parking lot. Visit www.houstontx.gov/barc for more details on fostering a pet. 
  • Animal Adoptions is limiting the number of visitors inside campus facilities at any given time.  We are currently exploring the feasibility of setting appointments for adoptions to facilitate the ability of potential adopters to spend time with a desired pet rather than standing in line outside the shelter. Visit www.houstontx.gov/barc for more details on adoptions. 
  • We are temporarily asking volunteers to stay home to allow us to maintain social distancing within the shelter.This is a temporary measure only and it is intended to protect you as well as our employees. This will allow you to remain healthy for your return to the shelter if the animal census spikes.

We apologize for any inconvenience these new measures may cause and we ask for your patience and understanding as we do everything we can to maintain the health and safety of our customers, our employees, our volunteers and the animals in our care.   *Please note that all though we currently will not have volunteers on property, we will need everyone’s help once we return to normal business operations.

Read more on BARC’s site: https://www.houstontx.gov/barc/

Housing & Community Development Department:

The Housing and Community Development Department is open for business. During the COVID-19 health crisis, we are:

  • Social distancing
  • Holding limited face-to-face meetings
  • Available for document pickup and drop-off
  • Providing online documents – coming soon

Learn more on HCD’s website: https://houstontx.gov/housing/

Houston Health Department:

Houston Health Department providing core services with temporary modifications

To help contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Houston Health Department modified some services to protect the health and well-being of the community. Read the News Release.

The Houston Health Department closed its Bureau of Vital Statistics (birth and death records) office to the public until further notice, effective March 17, 2020. The closure is a measure to help contain and mitigate COVID-19 spread.

The health department will continue to offer online birth and death record ordering services via HoustonHealth.org and will waive the standard shipping fee.

Park Houston:

With the temporary suspension of face-to-face parking adjudication hearings at the Municipal Court, and in an effort to continue to encourage the health and safety of the public from the spread of the COVID-19, ParkHouston has extended the time frame to dispute parking citations online from 7 days from citation issuance date to 60 days from citation issuance date.

Please be advised while the time to protest online is being extended, delinquent fees will still be assessed per city ordinance.  As updated directives are received, this timeline is subject to change.  For questions please contact ParkHouston at 832-393-8690 from 8am-5pm, M-F.

Houston Parks & Recreation Department:

The Houston Parks and Recreation Department has announced its plan for the Summer Enrichment Program.  The program will operate out of 19 City of Houston Community Centers which provide enough space for physical distancing to ensure the safety of youth participation and staff.  The decision was made following consultation with health experts focused on safety concerns related to COVID-19.  Registration for the Summer Enrichment Camp is available online at www.houstonparks.org.  Please note that the 19 community centers will only be open for Summer Enrichment Program youth and staff — all other programming and facility use will remain closed.

The Summer Enrichment Program will operate from June 1, 2020 – August 7, 2020, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. for ages 6-13.  Online registration is currently available at www.houstonparks.org and the cost is $30 per child per week with waivers available for qualified persons.  Programs and activities offered during the department’s Summer Enrichment Program have been developed based on Centers for Disease Control, National Recreation and Parks Association, the State of Texas Minimum Standard Health Protocols for Day Youth Operators and Staff, and the City of Houston Administrative Procedure 3-39, Access to City Buildings or Facilities During a Medical Epidemic or Pandemic guidelines.

“We know how important our Summer Enrichment Program is to our families.  So, we’re happy to be able to offer it again this year, albeit in a somewhat streamlined form,” said Steve Wright, Director, Houston Parks and Recreation Department.  “But these are difficult times we’re all facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.  It’s forced everyone, including the Parks Department, to change the way we do things.  That’s why we have to use precaution in our gradual move back to normalcy.”

Summer Enrichment Program locations include:
Candlelight, 1520 Candlelight, 7018
Denver Harbor, 6402 Market, 77020
Emancipation, 3018 Emancipation, 77004
Freed, 6818 Shady Villa, 77055
Hartman, 9311 E. Avenue P, 77012
Love, 1000 West 12th, 77008
Marian, 11101 South Gessner, 77071
Mason, 541 South 75th, 77023
Melrose, 1001 Canino, 77076
Moody, 3725 Fulton, 77009
Judson Robinson, Jr., 2020 Hermann Drive, 77004
Judson Robinson, Sr., 1422 Ledwicke, 77029
Sagemont, 11507 Hughes, 77089
Sharpstown, 6600 Harbor Town, 77036
Stude, 1031 Stude, 77007
Sunnyside, 3502 Bellfort, 77051
Tidwell, 9720 Spaudling, 77016
Townwood, 3403 Simsbrook, 77045
Woodland, 212 Parkview, 77009

The department’s Curbside Meal Program for Youth will operate at 49 Parks Department Community Centers.  This includes the 19 Summer Enrichment sites, as well as the 30 sites that remain closed, with meals being offered from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., beginning June 1, 2020 and ending August 7, 2020, Monday through Friday, for ages 18 and under.  For a list of all Summer Enrichment Program sites, as well as Curbside Meal Program sites visit www.houstonparks.org.

Mayor Sylvester Turner has announced that all City swimming pools and splashpads will remain closed until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The difficult decision comes following careful consultation with local health experts and a consensus that public pools are a particularly difficult venue to protect persons from viral spread.

Read the full news release.

For a list of HPARD Curbside Meal Distribution Sites click here.
For information concerning the Gus Wortham Golf Course please visit http://www.guswortham.org/
For information concerning the Hermann Park Golf Course please visit http://www.hermannparkgc.com/
To read Houston BCycle’s press release visit Houston BCycle

Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs:

The City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) is soliciting artist qualifications for artworks to become part of the City Art Collection at the new Alief Community Center. Read the full news release.

All cultural gatherings, classes and events are cancelled/rescheduled through April.

The Houston Arts Alliance has compiled a list of resources to help artists and non-profits navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. HAA has also launched a survey designed to collect information about the financial and human impacts that the spread of the coronavirus have had on arts and cultural organizations and artists since that date.

The CARES Act creates a temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program to provide payment to those not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits (self-employed, independent contractors, and those with limited work history) who are unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus public health emergency. We urge you to apply now.

For an FAQ about how to apply, visit https://ready.haatx.com/covid-19#/unemployment/.

Permitting Center:

The Houston Permitting Center is moving most services online beginning Monday, March 23. The Permitting Center is doing this to maintain operations while protecting the community by reducing the number of customers in waiting areas.

All services (including permits, certificates of occupancy and temporary certificates of occupancy) are available online, except for:

  • Fire Prevention permits (Houston Fire Department)
  • Auto Dealers & Identification (Houston Police Department)
  • Boiler Operator’s Testing
  • Stationary Engineer’s Testing

Customers will have limited access to the Houston Permitting Center building. In-person visits will only be scheduled by appointment. Read Houston Public Works’ full release.

BEGIN THE ONLINE PROCESS
Visit houstonpermittingcenter.org

Planning Department:

Planning Commission meetings have moved online as a part of social distancing efforts to keep everyone safe and healthy!

You can participate online via a meeting link or watch on HTV. For meeting instructions on how to join the meeting and give public comment, visit the Planning Commission page at https://www.houstontx.gov/planning/Commissions/commiss_plan.html.

For questions, contact us at 832-393-6600 or planningdepartment@houstontx.gov.

Stay safe and healthy and remember to complete the 2020 Census Survey online at My2020Census.gov!

Houston Public Works:

As businesses reopen after prolonged shutdown, Houston Water would like to remind customers flush their water system. Customer should flush their water system by running cold-water faucets for at least one minute, cleaning automatic ice makers by making and discarding several batches of ice, and running water softeners through a regeneration cycle.

After flushing the water system, if there are concerns with taste, odor or color of drinking water, contact 311.

Houston’s Water is SAFE! Please help stop the social media rumors of contamination. Houston Water conducts over 15,000 tests of water each month to ensure the City’s drinking water meets all federal and state standards.

If you have concerns about your water, please call 311. More details can be found in the City’s Water Quality Reports: www.publicworks.houstontx.gov/pud/consumer-confidence.html

Department of Neighborhoods:

The Department of Neighborhoods offices are open, and we continue to provide core services to residents through our four divisions, including inspections and code enforcement, citizen assistance, services to immigrant and refugee communities, and programs for youth at risk of gang involvement.

To practice social distancing as a way of reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19, we encourage residents and the general public to reach us by phone or email. For full information about our services, please visit www.houstontx.gov/neighborhoods.

For questions regarding residential code violations and notices issued by our department, please call our Inspections and Public Service Call Center at 832-394-0600. To reach our main office, call 832-393-1038 or email us at contact.don@houstontx.gov. To request public records, please email your request to don.openrecords@houstontx.gov.

Mayor's Office of Special Events:

Due to COVID-19, the Mayor’s Office of Special Events will not permit events or applications through May 31.

View a full list of MOSE events here: https://www.houstontx.gov/specialevents/event-calendar.pdf

Municipal Courts Department:

n an effort to continue to encourage the health and safety of the public and court staff members from the spread of the COVID-19, the City of Houston Municipal Courts Department has extended the suspension of ALL JURY TRIALS through August 3, 2020 in conjunction with the Texas Supreme Court’s Order. The Court remains open for all other proceedings.

Members of the public should contact a health care provider and not come to court if they are experiencing symptoms similar to COVID-19. Once cleared by a physician, individuals may visit any City of Houston court location to speak with an Annex Judge to reset a case.  Masks/facial coverings must be worn at all times within the courthouse facility.  Temperatures will be taken before entry is granted. Please visit the Municipal Courts’ website at www.houstontx.gov/courts for continued updates on all court locations and hours of operation.

If your jury trial was scheduled from June 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020, resets will be given in person at all City of Houston court locations beginning Wednesday,July 1, 2020 through Friday, September 4, 2020 until 5 p.m.  Please visit the Municipal Courts’ website at www.houstontx.gov/courts for information on all court locations and hours of operation.  It is important to note that if an individual fails to reset their case(s) when Municipal Court resumes operations, an arrest warrant may be issued.

Through August 3, 2020, there will be:

  • NO JURY TRIALS. If you are a DEFENDANT scheduled for jury trial during this period, you do not have to appear. You must reschedule your setting in person no later than Friday, September 4, 2020 until 5:00 p.m., to receive a new court date. All jury trials will resume on Monday, August 3, 2020 unless further notification is provided.  It is important to note that if an individual fails to reset their case(s) during the reset period by September 4, 2020, an arrest warrant may be issued.
  • NO JURY DUTY.  If you have been scheduled for Jury Duty at the City of Houston Municipal Courts during the period of June 1, 2020-June 19, 2020 at the Central location at 1400 Lubbock or the Westside location at 3202 South Dairy Ashford, you do not have to appear, and you do not have to reschedule your jury service.  Jury duty will resume Monday, August 3, 2020 unless further notification is provided.

For additional announcements and information please call the City of Houston Helpline at 3-1-1, or 713.837.0311 if outside of the City of Houston, or visit the Municipal Courts website at www.houstontx.gov/courts.

Houston Public Libraries:

HPL TO GO is at your service beginning Monday, June 1st. It’s like a food take-out service, but for library materials that will be delivered directly to your vehicle. To utilize the service, the public can reserve books, music, or movies online or by phone and pick up the items at any one of the ten neighborhood libraries open for curbside service. Library employees will prepare and deliver the items directly to customers’ vehicles.

The HPL TO GO curbside service is easy to use. Customers can place their materials on hold at www.houstonlibrary.org or by calling 832-393-1313. They will then receive notification by mail or by phone when materials are ready. Once customer arrives at a library, they simply call inside and HPL staff will deliver the materials and place items directly in the trunk of the car or through a passenger window.

HPL is making the safety and well-being of customers and employees a priority while offering this service. To maintain social distancing and to enhance safety, HPL staff will wear protective masks and gloves at all times. Also, all returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours before being made available for aadditional checkout.

No car, no problem. Customers that have been notified and are walking or riding a bike can also pick up reserved materials. They can simply call the library upon arrival and an employee will deliver the requested materials.

HPL to GO – curbside service will be offered only at the following HPL locations:
Bracewell Neighborhood Library,
9002 Kingspoint Dr., 77075, 832-393-2580
Collier Regional Library,
6200 Pinemont, 77092, 832-393-1740
Heights Neighborhood Library,
1302 Heights Blvd., 77008, 832-393-1810
Jungman Neighborhood Library,
5830 Westheimer Rd., 77057, 832-393-1860
McGovern-Stella Link Regional Library,
7405 Stella Link, 77025, 832-393-2630
Park Place Regional Library,
8145 Park Place, 77017, 832-393-1970
Robinson-Westchase Neighborhood Library,
3223 Wilcrest, 77042, 832-393-2011
Scenic Woods Regional Library,
10677 Homestead Rd., 77016, 832-393-2030
Tuttle Neighborhood Library,
702 Kress, 77020, 832-393-2100
Young Neighborhood Library,
5107 Griggs Rd., 77021, 832-393-2140

Hours of service at each library location will be:
Monday 12pm – 7pm, Wednesday 9am – 4pm,
Friday 9am – 4pm, and Saturday 10am – 4pm.

The BOOKLINK book dispenser located in One Allen Center, Downtown will also be a pick up location for materials requested from the Central Library collection.

Other recently added HPL services include the reopening of its Book Drops, and while HPL neighborhood libraries remain closed, Houstonians can continue enjoying their library in the comfort of their homes. HPL has added a robust collection of online resources that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for kids, teens, and adults. Visit www.houstonlibrary.org to find virtual programs, and digital resources including e-books, e-audiobooks, streaming music and videos, online learning, online tutoring, and more.

Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities:

Community Based Testing Sites Screening for Those with Disabilities:

  • Step 1 – Use the self-assessment tool at ReadyHarris.org or call 832-393-4220 to be screened.
  • Step 2 – You will receive a unique ID code & instructions on where to go. People who show up without a code will not be tested.
  • Step 3 – After completing the pre-screening process, go to the assigned testing site to be tested.
  • Step 4 – If you can’t access drive-through testing because of a disability, contact MOPD at 832-394-0814 or mopdmail@houstontx.gov to make other arrangements.
  • Step 5 – More information is available on HoustonEmergency.org/COVID19 in over a dozen languages, including ASL.

West Gray Metropolitan Multi-Service Center:

The West Gray Metropolitan Multi-Service Center (MMSC) team, including the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD), have been closely monitoring community developments in regards to the operations of the MMSC during this public health emergency. To decrease the community spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the following measures were put into effect March 18, 2020:

  • The West Gray Metropolitan Multi-Service Center is closed until further notice
  • All HPARD and MOPD led events and activities at the MMSC will be cancelled through Thursday, April 30, 2020
  • Consistent with Mayor Sylvester Turner’s emergency declaration and guidance from the Houston Health Department (HHD), private events, private leagues and private gatherings with 10 people or more are cancelled through Thursday, April 30, 2020
  • Houstonians with disabilities can still contact MOPD staff for referrals and constituent services by calling 832-394-0814 or by emailing mopdmail@houstontx.gov during normal business hours
  • MMSC outdoor amenities (tennis courts, trail, ball field and playground) will remain open to the public

Any changes to these procedures will be communicated through our social media channels and on our website. Houstonians should visit www.houstonemergency.org/covid19 for updated information about local risk, routine protective actions, frequently asked questions, communication resources, rumor control, emergency preparedness tips, and more.

Hermann Park:
Hermann Park is open to the public for normal hours. However, effective Saturday, March 14, the train and pedal boats will be closed until April 3 due to the emergency health declaration by Mayor Sylvester Turner for the City of Houston. The health and well-being of our park visitors is our primary concern. While Hermann Park remains open, please make sure to follow social distancing precautions and allow six feet between yourself and others in the Park. In addition, please only visit with your family or by yourself.

The McGovern Centennial Gardens will remain open 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Pinewood Café will be open for takeout only 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

In addition, the Kite Festival and Hats in the Park are both canceled. All group volunteering events and public programming are also canceled through April 30.
Please stay tuned to our website and social media, as operational status could change as conditions evolve.

Memorial Park:

MEMORIAL PARK IS CURRENTLY OPEN, AND THE CONSERVANCY IS CLOSELY MONITORING OPERATIONS IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19. FOR THE LATEST CONSERVANCY INFORMATION, VISIT their COVID-19 SAFETY PAGE AND FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER.