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.
Updated Health and Safety Recommendations
Center for Disease Control preventative measures to stop the spread and contraction of COVID-19 have been updated to include:
- Stay at home, except for necessary outings to provide or obtain essential services.
- Avoiding close contact with other individuals who are not in the same household.
- Washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially when entering the household. Hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol is recommended when soap is not available.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth facemask when in public or highly populated areas. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Carrollton Shelter-in-place: Stay Home Stay Safe
The Carrollton City Council announced on April 7, 2020 that individuals living in Carrollton are required to stay at their place of residence, and public or private gatherings of any number of people outside a single household or living unit are prohibited until April 30, 2020. Residents may, however, leave for the following Essential Activities: obtaining medical supplies or medication, visiting a healthcare professional, or obtaining supplies needed to work from home; obtaining food, pet supply, and any other household consumer products, as well as products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences; walking, biking, hiking, or running provided the individuals comply with social distancing requirements of six feet; and providing essential products and services at an Essential Business. The City Council also stated that all in-person worship services are prohibited during this period. The full statement can be read here.
Increased SNAP Funding
Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) will provide $168 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funding to help Texans throughout the COVID-19 crisis. HHS has gotten federal approval to provide the maximum amount of benefits to families based on family size for the months of April and May. The increased funds will affect all Texas SNAP recipients.
Recipients do not need to take additional funds. Funds will begin being dispersed on April 9, and recipients will see additional funds on their Lone Star Card by April 15 for this month’s benefits and May 15 for next month’s benefits. More information can be found here.
Available Food Assistance Programs
Many federal, state, and private programs are providing food benefits and resources during the COVID-19 crisis.Texans who meet certain income eligibility guidelines can apply for various federal benefit programs. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides money for food, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children provides resources for pregnant women and people with children younger than 5. You can learn about your eligibility and benefits here.
Feeding Texas has a website where people can find 21 member food banks that can provide free groceries and a place to sign up for SNAP benefits. The website can be accessed here. Local organizations are looking for volunteers, food donations and monetary donations.
Meals on Wheels Texas is providing meals for elderly individuals. Meals can be picked up or delivered, and individuals can locate their local chapters for assistance here. Local chapters are also seeking volunteers and donations of certain items at this time.
Little Free Pantry is a nationwide network of local pantries providing food and resources to people experiencing food insecurity. Texans can find a map of pantries in their area here.
Employment Resources for Displaced Workers
The Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) has released a website that is focused on providing the necessary resources to help displaced workers in North Texas get back into the workforce during the COVID-19 crisis. The site offers leads for in-demand jobs, access to online courses to upskill into high-demand, well-paying jobs, childcare resources for parents involved in essential work, and links to help workers to file for unemployment claims. Job listings are updated in near real-time, and the list of employers is growing daily.
Similarly, Uber has released Uber Works, a website that connects shift workers looking for temporary employment opportunities with participating employers. Available industries include: general labor, customer service, production, and commercial cleaning. The site can be accessed here.
DCCCD Virtual Student Resources
The Dallas County Community College District has created a one-stop site designed to provide current and prospective students with a clear and simple resource navigating experience that makes it easy to find information about enrollment, paying for college, job openings and other student resources that support student success. The web page can be accessed here.
Additionally, the DCCCD colleges are donating medical supplies, including ventilators, and our 3D printers are producing face shields. You can read more of their work here.
Essential food retailers have extended special store hours for at-risk individuals.
Opportunities to Donate
Local food banks and pantries are seeking volunteers and monetary and food donations. Some organizations include: Feeding Texas, North Texas Food Bank, Metrocrest Services , Meals on Wheels Texas local chapters, and Little Free Pantry where individuals can list their own pantries, and more. Contact organizations directly to get involved.
The American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage due to cancellations of blood drives across the state and is urging people to give blood. People can sign up to give at various locations in Texas here.
Texas Diaper Bank is sending diapers to babies, seniors and others who need them. They are seeking monetary donations or diapers, menstrual pads and other products.
Dallas Animal Services are seeking fosters to take in animals and give them temporary homes before adoption during this crisis. They are also seeking monetary and supplies donations. To get involved, you can find more information about fostering and adopting here.