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.

Healthcare Virtual Town Hall Recording

On August 25, Representative Johnson hosted a town call discussion regarding health access, Medicaid expansion and so many other issues affecting access to care. You can watch the recorded discussion here.

State-Run COVID-19 Mobile Testing Sites

The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), in partnership with the Texas Military Department, is continuing to run COVID-19 testing locations across the state. They are also distributing four 3-ply surgical masks to every Texan who undergoes COVID-19 testing at state-run mobile test collection sites. Texans can find a testing site near them by visiting the COVID-19 Test Collection Site map.

Additional Lost Wage Assistance Funding

The federal government has approved nearly $1.4 billion in initial funds made available through the President’s Lost Wage Assistance Executive Order. This funding will provide an additional $300 per week in benefits for qualifying Texans receiving unemployment benefits. Claimants currently receiving unemployment through TWC should continue to request payments as normal. Eligible claimants should expect to receive the additional benefits on their first payment request on or after August 23, 2020. These funds will be backdated to the benefit week ending August 1, 2020. To apply for unemployment benefits or to request payment visit All claimants should keep their mailing and email addresses current in the unemployment benefits services system to prevent delays.

City of Dallas COVID-19 Rent Relief

Applications for past-due rent relief for Dallas residents are now open through DHA, Housing Solutions for North Texas. The Emergency Rent Assistance program, funded by the CARES Act, is a federally funded initiative designed to help low-income households and persons who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 through the loss of their employment income or who sustained a reduction in income and are delinquent in paying rent. Find out if you qualify and apply now here.

D-FW Student COVID-19 Data Challenge

The City of Dallas Office of Innovation has launched a student data challenge in partnership with Dallas County, PCCI, UTD, DISD and others to help young people assess and analyze COVID-19 data. The COVID-19 Data Challenge is open to students who live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in grades 6 through 12. Students selected for the challenge will work on a data project using real COVID-19 data for Dallas County cases. Students will be able to flex their math, data, and coding skills all while learning how COVID-19 is affecting their community. The deadline to join the challenge is September 3 and the challenge will run from September 8 through September 21. Winners will be announced on October 1. The application can be found here.

Election Poll Workers Needed in November

Are you interested in helping with the November Election? Consider becoming a poll worker! Poll workers are a critical component for keeping polling locations open. They verify ID’s, distribute ballots, help citizens with disabilities vote, and perform other tasks necessary to effectively run a polling site. Poll workers are needed throughout the entire period of early voting up until Election Day. Information about responsibilities, eligibility, and applications can be found on your county’s website.

Student Election Poll Workers Needed in November

High school students who are 16 years of age or older have the opportunity to participate by serving as election clerks at Dallas County polling locations on Election Day. Students must live in Dallas County, be U.S. citizens, and will receive $16/hour for working a 12-14 hour day. Information about the Student Election Clerk Program in Dallas County can be found here, and the deadline to apply for the November election is September 29, 2020. Information about Other counties may also have positions available, and information about the Student Election Clerk Program can be found here.

Annual Clear the Shelters Pet Adoption Event

Each year, thousands of shelters across the country participate in Clear the Shelters, a free adoption initiative designed to get available pets homes. Until Sunday, August 29, shelters such as Coppell Animal Services and the City of Carrollton Adoption Center will be waiving all adoption fees. Contact your local shelter to see if they’re participating and how to schedule an appointment.

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