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.
Shelter-in-place: Stay Home Stay Safe
On Tuesday, March 24, Dallas County’s Judge Clay Jenkins amended the latest order in response to COVID-19 to a ‘Shelter-In-Place’ order for the entire county through April 3. This order requires all individuals currently living within Dallas County to shelter at their place of residence. All businesses deemed ‘essential’ are able to remain open and all ‘non-essential’ businesses are required to cease all activities at facilities. To see the order in it’s entirety, click here.
For Frequently Asked Questions on the order, click here.
Two new COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites open over the weekend in Dallas. These sites are open to all individuals presenting the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Must show a temperature of 99.6 or higher
Currently the sites are open to all ages, but depending on the availability of tests the City of Dallas could add restrictions to who can be tested. To keep up with the latest information on criteria, visit the Dallas County Health & Human Services’’ website: https://www.dallascounty.org/covid-19/testing-locations.php
- American Airlines Center, Parking Lot E: 2500 Victory Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75219
- The Ellis Davis Field House: 9191 South Polk Street, Dallas, TX 75232
- Both sites operate from 8 am to 8 pm, or until the test limit is reached.
Grant for Senior Citizen Meals
This week Texas received a $16.2 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Administration for Community Living (ACL) to help communities provide meals for older adults.
The grant was part of a $250 million dollar outlay authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed into law on March 18. Originally created by the Older Americans Act (OAA) of 1965, these programs provide meals to more than 2.4 million older adults nationwide each year, both through home delivery and in places like community centers.
This grant will be critical to ensure that programs serving our elderly Texans have the additional resources to handle increased need during this public health crisis. Texas will receive its proportional grant this week for further distribution to local meal providers.
Older adults who need assistance can contact the Eldercare Locator to find services available in their community. The Eldercare Locator can be reached at 1-800-677-1116 or https://eldercare.acl.gov/
Unemployment Due to COVID-19
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is the state agency that oversees the state’s unemployment benefits. The Texas Unemployment Insurance (UI) program pays benefits to those individuals who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. TWC determines benefit eligibility based on past wages, why someone lost their job, and ongoing eligibility requirements. If your employment has been affected by COVID-19, you can apply for benefits either online at any time here or by calling TWC’s Tele-Center at 800-939-6631 from 8 am – 6 pm CT Monday through Friday.
TWC will be waiving work search requirements for all claimants and the waiting week for those claimants affected by COVID-19. However, Extended Benefits (EB) and Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) are NOT available at this time.
Personal Protective Equipment
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is needed now more than ever for our first responders and healthcare workers. To aid in this effort, the governor announced the creation of a temporary Supply Chain Strike Force. The Supply Chain Strike Force will be tasked with guiding collaboration between the public and private sectors to ensure health care facilities have the supplies and resources they need to respond to COVID-19. In addition to working with the federal government and businesses to secure necessary personal protective equipment, the team will work to ensure day-to-day resources (including food) are available for Texas’ medical personnel, first responders and those who have contracted COVID-19.
An online portal run by the Supply Chain Strike Force to streamline the process and validation of leads for more supplies was also announced this week. The portal, accessible through www.texas.gov , will serve as an intake process for those wanting to provide valid leads on PPE and donations. The portal also serves as a portal for those wanting to donate supplies, services, or your time—including medical professionals and nurses looking to volunteer.
To help on a local level, Dallas County created its own website site to help connect the county’s first responders and healthcare workers with critical resources. Click here to access.