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 Festive this Winter
With Winter holidays 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 holiday activities. Large, indoor gatherings and activities that bring you face-to-face with people should be avoided. Instead, officials recommend hosting virtual movie nights with family and friends, virtual cookie decorating competitions, and looking at neighborhood light displays in cars with household family members. More information about guidelines can be found hosting celebrations here and general holiday guidelines here or here in video format.
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.
COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Updates
This week, Governor Abbott visited the White House to attend a briefing on Operation Warp Speed with Vice President Mike Pence and other state and federal leaders. During the briefing, the leaders discussed the ongoing COVID-19 response and the vaccine distribution currently taking place across the country and in Texas. The first shipments of COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Texas this week. In total, Texas was allocated 224,250 doses of vaccine to be shipped to 110 providers across the state in Week 1. Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary. Front-line health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities are the first groups to be vaccinated, and the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel will make recommendations about subsequent groups. DSHS has created a video explaining who in Texas will be getting the vaccines first here.
Governor Abbott also announced that the State of Texas will participate in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, a federal program to vaccinate residents and staff of long-term care facilities against COVID-19. The program is free of charge to facilities and sends staff and Pfizer vaccines from partnering Walgreens and CVS locations to these facilities. The program will begin December 28, 2020. The announcement can be read here.
Mental Health Support During Challenging Times
The Texas Health and Human Services 24/7 statewide mental health support line helps Texans experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Call the COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week toll-free at 833-986-1919. More information can be found here.
Drivers License and ID Expiration Waiver Endings April 14
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has announced that the waiver on expiration dates for driver licenses (DLs) and identification cards (IDs) ends on April 14, 2021. The waiver, granted by Governor Abbott in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, applied to DLs, commercial DLs, commercial learner permits, ID cards and election identification certificates that expired on or after March 13, 2020. Customers who need to renew are urged to make an appointment today. More information about the change and ways to renew can be found here.
City of Dallas Eviction Assistance
The City of Dallas Office of Equity and Inclusion in partnership with Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas is establishing an eviction assistance initiative consisting of education, training and legal representation to Dallas residential rental tenants who are negatively impacted by COVID-19 and unable to pay rent to remain in their homes. Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas will provide renters services such as advice and brief services, full legal representation, outreach and community education and referrals to partner agencies. To qualify for assistance, you must reside in the city of Dallas, have been negatively impacted by COVID-19, and meet Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas’ financial eligibility guidelines. Eligible Dallas residential tenants can apply for assistance starting Monday, Nov. 30, by calling the Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas hotline at 1-888-529-5277 or by visiting Legal Aid’s website here. Full eligibility guidelines and resources for non-Dallas residents can be found here.
Holiday Events in and around Coppell
The City of Coppell has compiled a list of city-hosted and community-hosted holiday events for December. Events vary from online competitions, virtual game nights, holiday light events, and more! The full list can be accessed here.
Metrocrest Services Donations Request
Metrocrest Services needs help to provide basic necessities in short supply to communities in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, they are in high need of donations of adult incontinence products, household cleaning items, and toothpaste/denture cleaners. Information about dropoff locations and times can be found below.
City of Coppell Fa La La La Lights Competition
The City of Coppell is hosting a home and business lights competition that residents and visitors can vote in! Families and Individuals can visit Fa La La La Lights homes and businesses to vote for the Cindy Lou Who Citizens’ Choice award. After you take in the sights, stop by their Facebook “Fa La La La Lights Contest Voting” photo album and LIKE the house/display you’d like to win! View the interactive map and print-friendly map here. Voting closes at noon on Monday, December 21. Winners will be announced that afternoon!
City of Carrollton Holiday Recycling Tips
The City of Carrollton has compiled information about what types of gift wrapping are recyclable ahead of this gift-giving season. Find the answers to some common questions about what can and can’t be recycled in this video. More recycling tips can be found here.