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.

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

Voter Registration Deadline for November Election

The last day to register to vote in the November 3, 2020 Presidential/Joint Election is Monday, October 5. If you’re newly eligible, have moved recently or just haven’t checked in a while, make sure you’re registered to vote in your county. Eligible voters can check their registration status here and find more information about how to register to vote here.

CARES Act Funding Allocated for Rental Assistance

Governor Greg Abbott has announced the allocation of over $171 million in funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which will primarily be used for targeted rental assistance for Texans at risk of becoming homeless due to eviction. The funding will also allow the Supreme Court of Texas, the Office of Court Administration, and the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) to work in partnership with local governments, nonprofits, and the newly created Texas Eviction Diversion Program to help renters stay in their homes, catch up on missed rental payments, and avoid an eviction on their records.

Coppell CARES Business Rent/Mortgage Assistance Grant

The City of Coppell has established a new Coppell CARES Business Rent/Mortgage Assistance Grant to assist local businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This new program REPLACES the Coppell CARES Restaurant Assistance Grant and Coppell CARES Business Retrofit Grant that were launched in July. There will be a continuous application period from September 28 until all funds have been distributed or through October 30. Grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis with higher priority given to those businesses that have not yet received a grant from the City of Coppell. More information about eligibility and applying can be found here.

Emergency SNAP Benefits Extended for October 2020

Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will provide approximately $196 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits for the month of October as the state continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Texans in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP and Medicaid, at YourTexasBenefits.com or use the Your Texas Benefits mobile app to manage their benefits.

Governor’s Small Business Webinar Series

To stay connected to small business and community partners across the state, the Economic Development and Tourism teams in the Office of the Governor have been going virtual to maintain outreach and support. The next webinar will be hosted on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, 1:00-2:00 PM Central Time and will provide small businesses and entrepreneurs with information and resources to create a sustainable vision for their business. This webinar will help small businesses enhance their business planning and cash flow management strategy to increase resiliency and maintain a competitive edge. You can sign up here, and previous recordings can be found here.

Las Colinas Office Al Fresco

The Las Colinas Association is hosting a free outdoor workspace with must-have office perks at Office Al Fresco on Thursday, October 8th from 9 am-5 pm in Texas Lottery Plaza® at Toyota Music Factory. Felicia Johnson will be giving insight on Reinventing your Career During a Pandemic. A limited number of free professional headshots are also available to those who pre-register. Reserve an individual or collaborative space in the morning or afternoon. Free workspaces will feature a variety of seating options, including Vari desks, complimentary Wi-Fi, snacks and beverages, office swag and more. More information and registration can be found here.

Undesign the Red Line Dallas Virtual Tour

The Undesign the Redline project explores the history of systemic racism and the future of undoing structural inequities. The Dallas community is invited to join one of the four virtual tours that are scheduled to take place between Oct. 6 to Nov. 12. More information and tickets can be found here.

State Fair of Texas Drive-Thru Experience

The State Fair of Texas is officially open for a progressive Fair food experience on the grounds of the great State Fair of Texas. Visitors will drive through the grounds, which are decked out in State Fair style, picking up Fair food favorites along the way. At Big Tex circle, visitors will park and exit their cars to have their annual pictures taken by a professional photographer. The experience will then continue with a drive along to Lagoon to pick up some of the sweeter offerings and have a bit of Midway fun! The Drive-Thru experience will be open on weekends throughout October, and there are a variety of ticket packages available. More information and ticket options can be found here.

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. The Texas Department of State Health Services encourages everyone to protect themselves, their families and their communities against respiratory illness throughout the flu season by getting immunized as soon as possible. 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.

Dallas County Elections Department Receives Grant for COVID-19 Response and Preparedness

The Dallas County Elections Department has been awarded $15,130,433 from the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) to assist with critical resources and staffing needed in preparation for what’s expected to be an historic election this November. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges to administering elections safely and securely, and the grant from CTCL will allow Dallas County to hire additional personnel, purchase additional voting and mail ballot sorting equipment, open and operate more Early Voting and Election Day locations, ensure sanitization of voting equipment and purchase sufficient PPE for both poll-workers and voters. More information about the Center for Tech and Civic Life and their COVID-19 Response Fund can be found here.

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