The Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce, which serves more than 500 businesses in the Northwest Houston area, announced Monday that it is cancelling all chamber-related events for at least the next four weeks in response to growing concerns about the spread of COVID-19.
In a letter emailed to chamber members, president Louie Gill wrote that the decision to suspend events will be revisited after four weeks. A spokesperson for the chamber said it will continue to operate during that time.
“While we regret having to make this decision, it is in the best interests of our members, staff and prospective members,” Gill wrote. “These are trying times. However, Houston has endured previous dreadful conditions such as Hurricane Harvey.”
Local government and health officials have urged residents to limit public gatherings in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, the upper-respiratory disease caused by the new strain of coronavirus. About 30 people in the Houston region have tested positive for the disease, including five within the city limits, according to government officials.
According to the World Health Organization, which last week declared the outbreak a pandemic, there have been more than 168,000 confirmed cases in 148 different countries since the initial outbreak in China in December. COVID-19 has led to more than 6,600 deaths globally, and health officials have said the elderly and those with underlying health conditions are at a higher risk of serious complications.
“On behalf of the Chamber Board of Directors and staff, we trust that you and your families will be safe,” Gill wrote.