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.
Dallas County “Safer at Home” Order Extension
On April 21, 2020, the Dallas County Commissioners voted to extend the county’s “Safer at Home” order until May 15. The order limits the number of people allowed at public gatherings, which business can open, and halts non-essential medical procedures. It also recommends that people stay at home when not conducting essential business like medical appointments or buying food. The Commissioners also granted a $120 a week pay raise to essential county workers who continue on the job through the disaster.
Carrollton Ends Health and Safety Ordinance
On April 21, 2020, the Carrollton City Council voted to terminate the existing city-wide health and safety ordinance in an attempt to align themselves with the evolving statewide and other local regulations. Residents of Carrollton should now follow their county and statewide regulations. The Council vote caused their previous health and safety ordinance to expire on April 22, 2020 rather than on April 30, 2020, the originally scheduled expiration date.
Reopening Texas Updates
On April 17, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott announced an effort to begin the process of reopening the state. Beginning Friday, April 24, retail outlets in Texas can reopen and deliver items to customer’s cars, homes, or other locations to minimize contact. Restrictions on surgeries have also been loosened to allow procedures that: would not deplete the hospital capacity or the PPE needed to cope with COVID-19 or are performed in a licensed health care facility that will reserve at least 25% of its hospital capacity for treatment of COVID-19 patients and will not request any PPE from any public source for the duration of the COVID-19 disaster.
On Monday, April 20, state parks reopened. Visitors are still required to wear face coverings, maintain a six-foot distance from individuals outside of their party, and avoid gatherings of groups larger than five. In an effort to limit the amount of visitors, the Katy Trail in Dallas is advising people whose last names begin with A through L are asked to use the Katy Trail only on Thursday and Saturday and those whose last names begin with M through Z to use the trail on Friday and Sunday. Anyone may use the trails Monday through Wednesday.
Additional Congressional Funding Passes
On April 23, 2020, Congress passed a $484 billion spending bill to combat the economic effects of COVID-19. The bill will replenish about $310 billion into the Paycheck Protection Program, a forgivable loan fund earmarked for small businesses, and provide an additional $60 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which is a grant set up to serve as a company’s life support while it awaits a larger small-business loan. Congress also allocated $75 billion to support hospitals and $25 billion for additional coronavirus tesing. The President is expected to sign the bill into law in the coming days.
For additional guidance from the SBA on COVID-19 resources, visit their website here. Please continue to check with your local and regional economic development organization for local resources which may be available, as well as your local financial institutions.
Newly Announced Funding to Assist Older Texans
On April 23, 2020, it was announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will receive nearly $54 million in federal funds to support older Texans and people with disabilities throughout the COVID-19 response. The funds will support state programs and services such as home delivered meals, household chore assistance, grocery assistance, respite care, and Long-Term Care Ombudsman.
New Texas National Guard COVID-19 Testing Sites
On April 20, 2020, Governor Abbott announced that the Texas National Guard will be mobilizing 1,200 personnel as a part of COVID-19 mobile testing teams. The teams will be positioned throughout the state in an effort to increase medical testing accessibility. Each team will have the ability to test up to 150 people per day. The first two teams are deployed to Fredericksburg and Floresville, Texas. The remaining 23 teams will be deployed to other locations based on DSHS assessments in the coming weeks.
Catholic Charities Dallas Essential Emergency Assistance
Catholic Charities Dallas is offering emergency assistance for families who have been financially impacted by COVID-19. Available services include partial rent and utility assistance. To qualify, you must have one of the following:
- Letter from employer stating reduction of hours or loss of job
- Pre and post COVID-19 pay stubs showing reduction of hours
- Medical letter showing inability to work during COVID-19 high-risk
- For single-parent households: proof of school or childcare closure
If you believe you may qualify or want more information about available services, call or email Catholic Charities Dallas at 214-257-0657 or CCDdisaster@ccdallas.org. Please only leave a single message and begin gathering the proof and the bills or lease that you need assistance with while you wait for a response.