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.
Reopening Texas Updates
On May 18, 2020, Governor Abbott announced the next phase of reopening the state. In-store retail, movie theatres, shopping malls, museums, libraries, wedding venues, Non-CISA manufacturing services, and gyms (locker rooms and showers are to remain closed) may operate at 25% capacity. As of May 22, dine-in restaurants may operate at 50% capacity, and bars, aquariums, natural caverns and similar facilities, bowling alleys, bingo halls, simulcast racing (to the extent allowed by law), skating rinks, rodeos, and equestrian facilities may operate at 25% capacity. Starting May 29, massage establishments, personal-care and beauty services not already open (including tattoo parlors, piercing studios, hair removal services and hair loss treatment and growth services) may operate but must maintain at least six feet of social distancing between work stations. Also on May 29, outdoor areas of zoos may operate up to 25% capacity and child-care services other than youth camps can operate. Starting May 31, certain professional sporting events with no spectators physical present on the premises and as approved by DSHS and youth camps and summer camps, including both daytime and overnight, may operate. There are some restrictions in place for Deaf Smith, El Paso, Moore, Potter, and Randall Counties until further notice.
Texans should continue to minimize social gatherings and in person contact with those who are not in the same household except where necessary to provide or obtain “Covered Services”. Social distancing guidelines should still be followed. People over the age of 65 are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, and individuals are encouraged to maintain at least 6 feet of separation from those 65 and older. Texans are also still asked to not visit nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, and long-term care facilities at this time. The full order can be read here.
Dallas County “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Order Extensions
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has extended the previously expired “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order until June 12, 2020. The order specifies garnishment prohibitions for CARES Act payments, requires all COVID-19 testing laboratories in Dallas County to report testing each day, prohibits door-to-door solicitation, requires all members of a household to self-isolate if a single member tests positive for COVID-19, requires all public and private learning institutions to provide a safety plan to Dallas County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management 72 hours before students return to a classroom setting, and prohibits non-essential visitors from accessing nursing homes, retirement, and long-term care facilities. The full order can be read here.
Judge Jenkins has also issued an order regarding new requirements for food processing plants. All food processing and manufacturing plants must implement plans whereby all employees take their temperature at home, and upon arriving at work, must be screened for new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, feeling feverish or an onsite measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit, or known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19. Any employee who meets any of these criteria must be sent home. Employees must wash or disinfect hands frequently and wear cloth face coverings over the nose and mouth. Plants should frequently disinfect regularly touched surfaces and implement a system by which all employees maintain at least 6 feet separation. The order will be in place until June 12, 2020 and can be read here.
Judge Jenkins also issued an order regarding long-term care facilities. The order stipulates that if a resident of a long-term care facility tests positive for COVID-19, the facility must notify all staff, residents who are mentally competent, family members and responsible parties of all residents, and the Dallas County Probate Court. A notification statement of diagnosis of COVID-19 in a resident shall also be posted for public access at the main entrance of the facility and facility website within 30 minutes of identification of a case. The order also specifies testing requirements, staff procedures, and requirements for new admissions after a COVID-19 case is discovered at a facility. The full order can be accessed here.
PS Driver License Offices Limited Reopening Update
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will begin a phased opening of driver license offices starting May 26th with limited service offerings. As part of this opening plan, DPS will launch a statewide driver license appointment system that allows customers to book appointments up to six months in advance. There will be four phrases of reopening, and the limited services being offered will be by appointment only.
- Phase 1: Offices in DPS’ Northwest and West Texas regions will reopen with limited services beginning May 26, 2020. Customers who currently do not possess a Texas DL, CDL, learner permit or ID card, as well those who are in need of a drive test, can begin scheduling appointments in these two regions on May 22 at 1 p.m.
- Phase 2: Offices in DPS’ South and Central Texas regions will reopen with limited services beginning May 29, 2020. Customers who currently do not possess a Texas DL, CDL, learner permit or ID card, as well those who are in need of a drive test, can begin scheduling appointments in these two regions on May 26 at 1 p.m.
- Phase 3: Offices in DPS’ North and Southeast Texas regions will reopen with limited services beginning June 3, 2020. Customers who currently do not possess a Texas DL, CDL, learner permit or ID card, as well those who are in need of a drive test, can begin scheduling appointments in these two regions on May 29 at 1 p.m.
- Phase 4: will allow customers to schedule an appointment for all DL office transactions anywhere in the state and is expected to begin midsummer. DPS will announce details on this phase at a later date.
New CVS Health COVID-19 Drive-Thru Test Sites In Texas
Governor Abbott has announced that CVS Health will open 44 new COVID-19 test sites at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations across Texas. The sites will utilize self-swab tests and will be available to individuals who meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, in addition to age guidelines. Patients must register in advance at CVS.com beginning Friday, May 22 to schedule an appointment. Local locations include:
- CVS Pharmacy, 4100 State Highway 121, Carrollton, TX 75010
- CVS Pharmacy, 6915 West Avenue, Castle Hills, TX 78213
- CVS Pharmacy, 3133 East Lemmon Avenue, Dallas, TX 75204
- CVS Pharmacy, 5401 Lebanon Road, Frisco, TX 75034
- CVS Pharmacy, 2101 West Spring Creek Parkway, Plano, TX 75023
- CVS Pharmacy, 605 West Campbell Road, Richardson, TX 75080