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 Dallas County Shelter-In-Place Order
Judge Clay Jenkins issued the current Shelter-In-Place order for Dallas from March 23 to April 3. The order will now be extended to go through April 30. To see the latest on Dallas County COVID-19 information or updates you can visit: https://www.dallascounty.org/covid-19/
Post-Travel Mandatory Quarantines
On March 26 and March 30, Gov. Abbott issued several self-quarantine edicts for travelers returning from certain locations within the United States:
- All road travelers from Louisiana must self-quarantine for 14 days after they arrive.
- All air travelers from California; Louisiana; Washington; Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; and Miami, Florida must for 14 days after they arrive.
- All air travelers from the tri-state area near New York City and from New Orleans to self-quarantine for 14 days after they arrive.
The full order can be found here.
On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the CARES Act, a $2 trillion stimulus package that will battle the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation. The bill focuses on providing aids for families, businesses, and for federal, state and local public health agencies in their response to the pandemic.
Specifically, the bill expands unemployment benefits for an additional 13 weeks, and provides temporary unemployment compensation of $600 per week, which is in addition to and the same time as regular state and federal UI benefits.
It also creates direct payments of up to $1,200 for individual taxpayers and $500 for each dependent child under 17, phased out when incomes exceed $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples filing jointly. Anyone making over $99,000 would not get a payment ($198,000 for couples). Money is expected to go out by April 6th.
For businesses, it creates a $500 billion lending fund for businesses, cities and states, including $29 billion for loans to U.S. airlines and related businesses. Stock buybacks and executive compensation would be restricted. The CARES Act also provide $349 billion in low-interest small business loans that can be partially forgiven.
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 8am–6pm 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, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) may be available at this time.
Financial Housing Assistance Updates
The Governor has waived statutes relating to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) HOME Investments Partnership program. This will allow Texas greater flexibility to use program funds to help certain Texans pay their rent.
In addition, TDHCA has sent a letter to HUD requesting federal waivers to allow greater flexibility to Texas to reprogram these funds for that purpose. If these waivers are granted, Texas will reprogram these funds to provide financial housing assistance to certain Texans enduring economic hardships related to COVID-19.
Youth and Family Comfort Food Care Packages
Governor Greg Abbott today announced the Comfort Food Care Package (CFCP) program to provide meals for at-risk youth and families in communities across Texas as the state responds to COVID-19. Participating restaurants will offer packages for patrons to purchase on behalf of families and youth in need. Each care package contains enough food to feed a family of 5 to 6 and will be delivered to recipients’ homes.
- Participating restaurants list CFCPs on their online ordering system for customers to purchase on behalf of at-risk families and youth in the community.
- Customers add CFCPs to their orders and purchase.
- Family and Youth Success Programs identify families and shelters who have the most need and work with participating restaurants and Favor to get the meals delivered.
Families interested in utilizing the CFCP program should contact their local Family and Youth Success Program for more information. Restaurants interested in participating in the program can sign up on the Texas Restaurant Association website.