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

Updated: 3.30.2020

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:

Public Hearings will be held on HTV and Facebook Live on Tuesday March 24th and 31st at 6:30pm. Tune In! Public comments will be received after a short presentation.

We want your feedback on strategic planning documents! The 5-Year Consolidated Plan and Annual Action Plan (Con Plan) outlines how HCDD will spend an estimated $250 million in federal grants and describes the geographic areas, needs, strategies, and activities that will be prioritized. The comment period extends from March 17, 2020 until April 17, 2020.

Send your comments about the by April 16, 2020. You can email them to hcddplanning@houstontx.gov or send them by mail to

Attn: Planning and Grants Management
City of Houston
Housing and Community Development Department 2100 Travis Street, 9th Floor
Houston, Texas 77002

Learn more about our strategic planning process.

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.[/su_spoiler

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:

In the wake of the Houston Independent School District’s decision to shut down its food distribution program, the Houston Parks and Recreation Department is clarifying how our Curbside Meal Program for Youth operates.  HPARD’s Curbside Meal Program for Youth is for ages 1 to 18.  It consists of a snack and lunch.  Food distribution takes place Monday-Friday from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at 50 HPARD Community Centers.

Read the full news release.

The Houston Parks and Recreation Department has enacted new restrictions concerning HPARD facilities in response to COVID-19. Closed Park Facilities:

  • The Memorial Park Tennis Center, Lee LeClear Tennis Center, and MacGregor Park Homer Ford Tennis Center (Note: neighborhood tennis courts will remain open).
  • All Municipal Golf Courses operated by HPARD and their driving ranges, including Gus Wortham, Hermann, Melrose, Memorial, Sharpstown, and the First Tee at FM Law Park.
  • All COH playgrounds, water playgrounds, skateparks, basketball courts, and outdoor exercise equipment.
  • All Houston Parks and Recreation Department Community Centers remain closed, including fitness centers, the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center, and the North Wayside Sports Center.
  • All public, produced, permitted, and sponsored events are cancelled through April 30th. In addition, all private events, private leagues, and private gatherings of 10 or more people are cancelled through April 30th. Cancellation fees are waived and HPARD will provide credit/refunds for permitted events, private leagues, and reservations through April 30th.
  • Department group-structured programs are cancelled until further notice.
  • Dog parks remain open until further notice.
  • Lake Houston Wilderness Park remains open, however, the Nature Center, cabins, and dining hall are closed. Visitors are urged to pack extra soap and hand sanitizer as a precaution. If you have been sick in the last two weeks, please stay home.
  • Curbside meals (snack and lunch) for youth (ages 1 to 18) will be provided at 50 HPARD community centers Monday-Friday between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.  To ensure social distancing is maintained throughout the curbside meal distribution, meals will be placed in the trunk of the recipient’s car.
  • Community Center staff will distribute each participant the lunch and snack at one time.
  • Each child will receive one lunch and one snack.
  • Only children who come to the site for pick-up can receive the lunch and snack.
  • A parent cannot take food for a child that is not present at the time of pick-up.
  • Fifty (50) meals will be available at each site.  There is the potential for an increase to a maximum of 200 meals per site based on participation.
  • The Curbside Meal Program is an adaption of the federally funded and state managed After-School Meal Program which operates through HPARD’s Community Centers.
  • Funding for the program comes from a grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture (T.D.A.) Child and Adult Care Food Program (C.A.C.F.P.)
  • All City parks and trails remain open and available for use.  Please observe the CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6′ from other persons at all times.
Spoiler title

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:

To our customers: The Planning Department is focused on minimizing your risk while continuing to provide excellent service. Therefore, we encourage you to forego face-to-face meetings and instead call or email our department for assistance with applications, projects or payments. You can find contact information for your service here. We will continue to keep you updated on key services via our website and social media pages. Thank you and stay healthy.click here.

For Plat Applicants:

The March 19 Planning Commission meeting is CANCELLED due to the COVID-19 health disaster declared by Mayor Sylvester Turner and Governor Greg Abbott. Planning experienced a similar meeting cancellation in 2019 due to Tropical Storm Imelda and adopted what is called the “Imelda Rule” about how applications pending on that posted agenda were impacted. It has been slightly modified here to address the uncertainty about future meetings. Please monitor the Plat Tracker page for Planning Commission updates.

Consent Plats and Replats

  • If the application meets the rules, subject to minor corrections and all staff comments; the item will be considered approved.
  • If the application does not meet the rules in some significant way; the item will be considered deferred to a future agenda.
  • If the application is deferred twice and does not meet the rules, the applicant can request to withdraw it, or it will be deferred again even if more than 30 days will lapse.

Replats requiring a public hearing will be deferred until the next meeting.

Variance, Special Exception and Reconsideration of Requirement requests will be deferred until the next meeting.

Hotel Motel Applications will be deferred until the next meeting.

SMLSA Applications will be deferred until the next meeting.

Establishing New Public Hearing dates for a future meeting may be delayed as public health concerns change.

Extensions of Plat Approval that meet the rules will be approved.

In an effort to limit one-on-one meetings and encourage social distancing, we are requesting that the recordation appointments be held over the phone. Once you have a scheduled appointment with a Planner, please send or bring your mylar to the front desk. We will process the mylar during the scheduled appointment and conduct the meeting over the phone. Provide your call back number while booking the appointments. You may choose to send all mylars for up to a week via the courier service. For more on recordation appointments, please visit
https://www.houstontx.gov/planning/DevelopRegs/Subdivision-Plat-Recordation.html.

For all inquiries and payments, contact Planning at 832-393-6600, planningdepartment@houstontx.gov.

Houston Public Works:

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:
DON offices are open to the public, with full services in person and by phone. The March 12 announcement of the closure of these offices to the public was recalled the following day.
Mayor's Office of Special Events:

The March 29 Sunday Streets has been postponed until further notice. View a full list of MOSE closures here: http://bit.ly/2Qq2itf

Municipal Courts Department:

Municipal Courts have suspended all Trials (Jury & Judge), Jury Duty, Arraignments, Hearings and Parking Adjudication Hearings to promote safe distancing in response to Covid-19, through Friday, May 1, 2020.  Courts are open for all other proceedings.

Read the Full News Release.

Houston Public Libraries:

All Houston Public Library locations will be closed through the end of the month in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The closures come in response to directives from Mayor Sylvester Turner as well as Harris County and federal guidelines. Learn more: http://bit.ly/33p5f2y

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 are in place effective March 18, 2020:

  • As of 7:00 PM Wednesday March 18, 2020, the West Gray Metropolitan Multi-Service Center will be closed to the public through Tuesday, March 31, 2020
  • 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’s verdant greenspaces are a welcome refuge to Houstonians during the COVID-19 crisis. However, with the surge in public use that Memorial Park is currently experiencing, the Conservancy wants to remind all Park users that they have a role to play in ensuring the community’s safety. View 10 safety practices to keep in mind on your next visit to the Park.

Cancelled Events:

List of cancellations and closures for schools and universities, city and regional events, parks and city venue, and sporting events. 

March 13-31: All District CIP meetings

March 11-31: All BARC off-site adoption events. BARC Adoption Center is open regular hours.

March 12-31: All Housing and Community Development Department open houses and public hearings

April 4-5: Children’s Festival, Sam Houston Park

May 2-3: Japan Festival Houston at Hermann Park, postponed potentially to the fall.