These weekly updates will provide the latest news and information on what our community, the state, and the federal government are doing as we face an unprecedented pandemic.

Early Voting for November Election: Happening Now

Early Voting for the upcoming November 3rd general election will continue through October 30. Voters are encouraged to follow social distancing guidelines while at the polls. DART will be offering free rides for voters on all DART bus, light rail, Dallas Streetcar, GoLink and Paratransit service, and on the Trinity Railway Express between EBJ Union Station and CentrePort/DFW Airport Station on October 17, October 24, and on November 3. For those voting by mail, there is the option to hand deliver ballots at your County Elections Department. Each county is offering different drop-off hours, so visit your county’s elections website for more information. You can find more information about how to vote in Texas here.

State-Run COVID-19 Mobile Testing Sites

The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), in partnership with the Texas Military Department, is continuing to run COVID-19 testing locations across the state. Texans can find a testing site near them by visiting the COVID-19 Test Collection Site map.

Approaching Flu Season and Illness Prevention

With cold and flu season beginning and COVID-19 still spreading in Texas, now is a perfect time to get a flu shot. While the flu shot won’t prevent COVID-19, it will slow the circulation of flu in Texas and keep people out of the hospital, conserving medical resources needed to care for COVID-19 patients. DSHS encourages people to seek treatment promptly if they are experiencing flu symptoms. Antiviral drugs may help shorten the duration or lessen the severity of the flu if started within 48 hours of when symptoms begin.

TWA Reinstatement of Work Search Requirement

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has announced that as the Texas economy continues to open, TWC will reinstate state work search requirements on November 1, 2020. Work search is a federal requirement to receive unemployment benefits. Individuals will continue to receive benefits but must show an active effort to obtain new employment. A wide variety of activities qualify as a work search.

Furloughed workers with a definite return to work date that is within 12 weeks of the layoff are exempt from work search requirements. Return to work dates beyond 12 weeks can result in the waiver of work search at the discretion of TWC. While Self-employed individuals who intend to reopen their business do not need to complete work search activities, they do need to take steps to reopen their business. Self-employed individuals who do not intend to reopen their business will need to complete work search activities. For additional information, contact Michael Britt, Director of Governmental Relations at 512-463-1802. 

COVID-19 Rapid Testing Pilot Program in Texas School Systems

Governor Greg Abbot has announced the creation of a COVID-19 Rapid Testing Pilot Program for Texas school systems. This program will help schools conduct rapid tests of district employees and students — with the written permission of their parents — to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campuses. Through this pilot program, TDEM will provide participating school systems with COVID-19 rapid antigen tests that will be administered to students, teachers, and staff who choose to participate. Schools enrolled in the program will also receive personal protective equipment (PPE) to safely administer the rapid tests, which produce reliable results within 15 minutes. Participating school systems include: Bob Hope School (Port Arthur), Fabens ISD, Grace Community School (Tyler), Granger ISD, Lampasas ISD, Longview ISD, Harlingen Consolidated ISD, and Ysleta ISD.

City of Irving Emergency Business Assistance Program

The City of Irving has created the Emergency Business Assistance Program to help Irving small businesses access the working capital and technical assistance they need to assist with business expenses during these difficult times. This program is open to Irving businesses, including sole proprietorships, independently owned franchises and home-based businesses. Small businesses may receive financial assistance up to $50,000 in the form of a grant. Irving businesses are invited to submit the program’s pre-application to determine  eligibility. If the submitter appears to be eligible, additional questions will be presented that must be completed for the pre-application to be considered. The entire process should take about 15 minutes. More information about eligibility and the application can be found here.

DART Silver Line Community Meetings

DART is hosting a series of community meetings regarding the DART Silver Line Regional Rail Project. These meetings will be an opportunity for the community to receive an update on the progress of the Silver Line Rail Project and ask questions related to the project.  Due to the on-going pandemic, these meetings will be conducted virtually via a Microsoft TEAMS Live Event. On November 9, there will be a meeting for Coppell/Cypress Waters from 6:30-8:30pm. On November 11, there will be a meeting for Carrollton from 6:30-8:30pm. Credentials for participating in these virtual meetings will be posted to their website soon. For more information on the DART Silver Line Regional Rail Project, please visit here.

Historic Downtown Carrollton Socially Distanced Fall Fun

Celebrate All Hallows Eve at the second annual Ghost Town event on Saturday, October 24 from 4:30-6 p.m. in Historic Downtown Carrollton (1106 S. Broadway Street) – If You Dare! There will be a drive-through trick or treat, halloween movie presentation, scavenger hunt, virtual costume contest, and more. All fall City programs and events are offered with the community’s health and safety top of mind. Social distancing and frequent sanitization are performed for onsite programs. More information about activities can be found here.

Coppell Socially Distanced Fall Fun

Come out in your spookiest Halloween costumes to trick-or-treat in Old Town, 768 W. Main Street, on Saturday, October 24 for Scare on the Square, hosted by Old Town businesses! From 11 am – 2 pm, participating local businesses will be handing out treats to little ghosts and ghouls. More information can be found here.

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