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 September 17, Governor Abbott issued Executive Orders expanding occupancy levels to 75% for restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms and exercise facilities and classes, museums, and libraries, and re-authorizing elective surgeries for a majority of the state of Texas. The Governor also announced new guidance related to visitations at nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the state. Under the new rules, residents will be allowed to designate up to two essential family caregivers who will be provided necessary training to allow them to safely go inside a facility for a scheduled visit, including in the resident’s room, to help ensure their loved one’s physical, social, and emotional needs are being met. You can read the order regarding expanded capacities here and the order regarding hospital capacies here.

Hispanic Heritage Month 2020

Starting on September 15 and running until October 15, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month! This month commemorates Hispanic and Latino American Culture, Heritage and Contributions to society. You can learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month and its celebrations through an informative video 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. Texans can find a testing site near them by visiting the COVID-19 Test Collection Site map.

CDC Guides for Staying Safe

Flu season is fast approaching, and the CDC has many tips for staying safe throughout flu season and the coronavirus pandemic. To learn about the similarities and differences between the Flu and COVID-19, go here. For information about what to do if you are sick or are caring for family with COVID-19, go here. If you find yourself with COVID-19 symptoms or testing positive, visit here for information and tips.

Governor Abbott’s Flu Shot PSA

Governor Greg Abbott today released a new public service announcement (PSA) encouraging Texans to get a flu shot. Getting a flu shot is especially important this season to help keep hospitalizations down during the state’s ongoing response to COVID-19. In the PSA, the Governor notes that the flu vaccine is an effective way to reduce the chances of contracting and spreading the flu. The video is available on YouTube and can be downloaded here.

Financial Assistance for Irving Residents

The City of Irving has multiple programs offering financial assistance for Irving residents struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Available programs include childcare funding, emergency rent and utility assistance, and funding for childcare providers. More information about the assistance programs and qualifications can be found here.

Financial Assistance for Collin County Residents

Collin County residents and businesses who have been directly financially impacted by COVID-19 are encouraged to apply for the Collin County CARES Economic Recovery and Assistance Programs. These programs include financial help for eligible small businesses, families, and individuals who are struggling due to the pandemic. More information about available programs and qualifications can be found here.

Women’s Business Center Grant Opportunity

The Small Business Administration is offering grants to provide funding for up to twenty-five (25) private, non-profit organizations that will provide entrepreneurial development services to women, with an emphasis on socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs in locations that are outside of the geographical areas of existing WBCs. Eligible applicants must be private, non-profit organizations with 501(c) tax exempt status from the U.S. Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service. More information about the application and eligibility requirements can be found here.

Governor’s Small Business Webinar Series

To stay connected to small business and community partners across the state, the Economic Development and Tourism teams in the Office of the Governor have been going virtual to maintain outreach and support. The next webinar will be hosted on Wednesday, September 23, 2020, 1:00-2:00 PM Central Time, and is titled Resources for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs. It will focus on connecting veterans with the people and resources they need to be successful in their entrepreneurial endeavors, addressing a variety of key business topics and challenges. Small businesses in all stages—startups to established companies—are welcome to join for this informative webinar and live Q&A with the experts. You can sign up here, and previous recordings can be found here.

2020 Census Deadline Approaching

The deadline to complete the 2020 Census is September 30, 2020. The census data helps shape the future of our schools, healthcare system and so much more. Everyone is required to participate, and all answers are confidential. Take the census today here.

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