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.

Staying Safe While Staying Spooky this Halloween

With Halloween fast approaching, state and local officials have issued guidance for how to have socially distanced fun during the coronavirus pandemic. Officials do not advise participating in traditional Halloween activities. Large, indoor gatherings and activities that bring you face-to-face with people should be avoided. Instead, the committee recommends online costume or pumpkin carving parties and contests, car parades where individuals can show off their costumes, home or drive-in movie nights, scavenger hunt style candy searches with household members, and more. If dressing up, build protective masks into costume masks to make a customized, protective mask. Similar distancing guidelines should be followed for Día de los Muertos. More information about guidelines can be found here or here.

Election Day: Coming November 3rd

The last day to vote in the November general election is Election Day: Tuesday, November 3rd. 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 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 track the status of your mail-in ballot at Vote America’s online tool here. 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.

Hiring Red, White, and You: Veteran Job Fair

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is hosting its annual veteran job fair on November 5, 2020. Multiple events will be held through virtual platforms throughout the state, with certain in-person services and resources also available at some sites. Each year, this job fair connections thousands of veterans with employers. More information about the DFW locations and times can be found here.

Dallas Cares Act Rental Assistance

The City of Dallas is offering Dallas residents who suffered job loss or financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19 rental assistance. Eligible individuals can receive up to $5,000 in rental assistance through Dallas’ COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program. Eligibility requirements and the application can be found at DallasCaresActRent.org.

Microsoft Expanding Education and Skillsets in TX

Microsoft Corp., in collaboration with the state of Texas, announced new programs and events to address the need for digital and technical skills in the workforce. The digital alliance is intended to create new economic opportunity, close equity and digital skills gaps, and prepare a workforce for the 21st century. Programs will include a range of digital skills programs across the state to address a variety of needs including STEM engagement and talent pipeline growth for students in K-12; professional development for K-16 educators, thought leaders and the education NGO ecosystem; and workforce development for high school and college students, as well as parents seeking opportunities to enhance their technical skills and business acumen. More information about current and future opportunities can be found here.

Texas Open Educational Research Grant Opportunity

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is seeking applications (RFA) for the Open Educational Resources (OER) Course Development and Implementation Grant Program. The competitive grant program will enhance the quality of online course offerings and reduce the costs of educational materials for students at Texas public and independent institutions of higher education. Matching grants will support teams of faculty engaged in the development of new OER materials for online delivery and the redesign of courses using existing OER. Texas institutions can apply for development or implementation grants and can apply here.

Dallas Heritage Village Socially Distanced Fall Fun

Join the City of Dallas and Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Adam Medrano for a contactless drive-thru Candy Caravan this Halloween. Pull up in your car, caravan with us and leave with a bag of treats. This event is outside and attendees must remain in their car at all times. You can register for this free event here.

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