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.

Texas Plan to Allocate COVID-19 Vaccines

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has announced the guiding principles for Texas’ COVID-19 vaccine allocation process, which will serve as a foundation for the state’s initial distribution for COVID-19 vaccines expected as early as next month. These principles make recommendations on vaccine allocation decisions, including identifying groups that should be vaccinated first to provide the most protection to vulnerable populations. Texas will initially allocate COVID-19 vaccines based on the following criteria: protecting health care workers, protecting frontline workers, protecting vulnerable populations, mitigating health inequities, data-driven allocations, geographic diversity, and transparency. The full announcement can be found here.

Texas COVID-19 Treatment Medicines Allocation Update

According to Governor Abbott, the State of Texas has allocated the initial shipment of bamlanivimab to acute care hospitals across Texas with additional doses expected to be shipped each week. DSHS prioritized communities with high COVID-19 disease burden for this initial allotment through a formula that included total new case counts in the area, new COVID-19 hospital admissions and total COVID-19 hospital patients. The antibody drug, called bamlanivimab, that has been shown to improve the symptoms of people who contract the virus and prevent hospitalizations. The drug is authorized for patients at high risk of progressing to severe COVID-19, including people 65 and older, or who have certain pre-existing medical conditions. More information about the state’s preparations can be found here.

SNAP Benefits Defective Cards Alert

If you are a SNAP benefit recipient and received a Lone Star Card in the mail between Nov. 9–17, your card may not work properly. You can expect to receive a new one in the mail. If you have a defective card, the number can be entered manually at stores to make purchases.

Holiday Comfort Food Packages for Youth and Families

The state’s Holiday Comfort Food Care Package (CFCP) program, in partnership with the Texas Restaurant Association, will provide holiday meals for at-risk youth and families in communities across Texas, while also supporting local restaurants. The program encourages Texans to purchase a holiday meal for a family in need while patronizing their favorite restaurant. Each care package contains enough food to feed a family of 5 to 6 and will be delivered to the recipients’ home. The Holiday Comfort Food Care Package program utilizes the following steps:

  1. Participating restaurants list CFCPs on their online ordering system for customers to purchase on behalf of at-risk families and youth in the community. 
  2. Customers add CFCPs to their orders and purchase.
  3. Participating service providers identify families and shelters who have the most need and work with participating restaurants to get the meals delivered. 

Restaurants interested in participating in the program can sign up on the Texas Restaurant Association website. Families in need of food can find additional help here.

Veteran Meal Assistance

Honor Veterans Now provides consistent access to healthy, daily meals for veterans under age 60 & are struggling financially. The Fund for Veteran’s Assistance supports Honor Veterans Now. Apply for meal assistance at here.

City of Irving District 3 Election Runoff: Open through Dec. 8

The City of Irving is currently hosting a runoff election in single-member District 3 between Mark Zeske and Abdul Khabeer ending 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.

City of Coppell Place 5 Election Runoff: Open through Dec. 8

The City of Coppell  is currently hosting a runoff election in single-member City Council Place 5 between Jim Walker and John Jun ending on December 8, 2020. Dallas County residents should vote at Coppell Town Center, 255 Parkway Blvd. Denton County residents should vote at Flower Mound Community Activity Center, 1200 Gerault Rd. Polls will be closed November 26-27 for the Thanksgiving holiday. Denton County polls are closed Sunday. Information about voting locations and candidates can be found here.

City of Carrollton: Virtual Santa on the Square

Celebrate the sights and sounds of the holiday season in Carrollton with a festive lineup of virtual and socially-distanced fun designed with safety in mind. The annual Santa on the Square on Saturday, December 5 will have mostly virtual activities, a Grab & Go craft kit, and pre-event activities including a mobile scavenger hunt, virtual ugly sweater contest, a webcam chat with Santa the day of the event, and more. The A. W. Perry Homestead Museum will be decked out with Victorian Christmas decorations and invites residents to sign up for the tour Thursdays, December 3, 10, and 17. The Carrollton Public Library will also offer Twelve Days of Winter Break Grab & Go Kits and a Winter Reading Challenge both beginning Monday, December 21. More information about holiday celebrations in Carrollton can be found here.

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