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.
Staying Safe this Thanksgiving
With Thanksgiving less than a week away, the CDC and DSHS is advising that people celebrate with only household members and refrain from attending large gatherings. Instead, virtual celebrations can provide a safe and fun way to connect with those you care about. Other safe activities include watching parades, sports and holiday movies at home or making a meal for a neighbor and delivering it without direct contact. For Black Friday, consider ordering online or using curbside pickup options at your favorite retailers. More information about how to celebrate Thanksgiving safely can be found here and here. A COVID-19 risk assessment chart for common winter activities can be found here.
TEA School Remote Learning Reimbursement Program
Governor Abbott has announced a $420 million reimbursement program to cover costs incurred by Texas public schools that purchased Wi-Fi hotspots and/or eLearning devices (such as laptops, tablets, and Chromebooks) so students could learn remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, jointly administered by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) using federal CARES Act dollars, will reimburse districts for costs incurred since the 2019-20 school year if the district locally purchased eLearning devices and/or WiFi hotspots. This reimbursement program builds on the progress made by Operation Connectivity, which has provided Texas schools with more than 2 million eLearning devices and more than 800,000 WiFi hotspots.
CareCenter Ministries’ Thanksgiving Care Box Giveaway
On November 21st at 10:30am, Dallas families in need are invited to pick up a free care box which will include goods to create a Thanksgiving dinner from CareCenter Ministries. Registration is not necessary, and all boxes are first come first serve. More information about the event can be found here.
City of Dallas: Deck the Plaza
Deck the Plaza is BACK in a safer format to prevent the spread of COVID-19! This year’s festival of lights will be contactless, socially distant and full of holiday cheer. Celebrate on Saturday, November 21 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. More information about the event can be found here
City of Irving District 3 Election Runoff: December 8
The City of Irving will be hosting a runoff election in single-member District 3 between Mark Zeske and Abdul Khabeer on December 8, 2020. Irving operates under a council-manager form of government where the council sets city policy and the city manager is responsible for organizational operations. Residents elect a mayor and eight council members to serve the city. All council members are elected for three-year terms. Elected officials are under a mixed system of single-member districts and at-large seats.
Advancing Racial Equity in Dallas
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, alongside Dallas Citizens Council, the Dallas Regional Chamber and Boston Consulting Group, has launched a coalition to combat systemic racism and inequity in the Dallas area. In doing so, they hope to make Dallas a model for other cities nationwide, enabling them to replicate our work to build a more equitable America. The coalition brings together civic, business and philanthropic leaders in a multiyear effort to catalyze broad and lasting social change in our community through groundbreaking and creative interventions. This equity effort will live under Aspire United 2030, their community plan for transformative change in the area of education, income and health over the next decade. More information and volunteer opportunities can be found here.
DPS Providing Resources to Dallas Police Department
At the request of the Dallas Police Department (DPD), Governor Abbott has directed the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to provide direct support to DPD in their efforts to reduce violent crime and protect the communities in the city of Dallas. DPS will be deploying multiple resources to support this operation, including DPS Special Agents, State Troopers to support DPS gang and drug investigative operations, and a team of DPS Intelligence Analysts. DPS will also provide two helicopters and two patrol planes to provide direct air support and a team of Texas Rangers to support DPD homicide investigations. Additional resources will be made available should they be requested. The full announcement can be found here.