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.

Lowered Dallas County COVID-19 Threat Level

For the first time since May, Dallas County has lowered the COVID-19 threat level to “Orange”, meaning that people should now use “extreme caution” and continue to socially distance when leaving the house for various activities, such as dining at restaurants or going to the movies. Officials agreed to lower the threat level after hospital and ICU admissions showed a progressive decrease over more than two weeks and after deaths from the illness trended downward over the same period. Public health officials still recommend remaining cautious as numbers can increase dramatically if social distancing precautions aren’t maintained. More information about the threat level ranking system and current guidelines can be found here.

Staying Safe this Labor Day Weekend

As Labor Day quickly approaches, COVID-19 cases in Texas are still high. It is vital that all Texans take precautions and continue social distancing to keep themselves and their communities safe. The CDC recommends staying at home and celebrating from a distance. There are many ways to celebrate from home, such as video calls with family and friends, takeout and delivery options from restaurants, barbecuing at home, and more. If you do choose to go out in public to celebrate, maintain a distance of six feet from people not in your party, wear a mask, and wash your hands regularly.

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.

New Allocation of SNAP Benefits Funding

Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will provide approximately $188 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits for the month of September as Texas continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 972,000 SNAP households will see the additional amount on their Lone Star Card by September 15. HHSC also received federal approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend the maximum, allowable amount of SNAP benefits to recipients based on family size. Texans in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP and Medicaid, at YourTexasBenefits.com or use the Your Texas Benefits mobile app to manage their benefits.

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 Governor’s Small Business Webinar Series continues to be highly attended. The team plans on delivering additional webinars, and previous recordings can be found here.

Coppell Kaleidoscope: A Celebration of Art and Cultures

This year, Kaleidoscope: A Celebration of Art and Cultures will be observed virtually throughout the entire month of October. From September 1 through September 21, email stories and/or photos of cherished elements of your culture (from cuisine to traditional dress to home décor) to parks@coppelltx.gov. You can also send recipes for a favorite dish, or a sentence or two highlighting favorite things are about your culture. The city will create a Coppell Cultural Scrapbook using the information submitted and share it on their Kaleidoscope webpage.

Carrollton PD Community Listening Sessions

Carrollton Texas Police Department will be holding community a series of community listening sessions. All COVID-19 safety guidelines will be followed, including wearing a mask and social distancing 6 feet from those not in the same household. If you can’t make the session but would like to contribute, send comments and concerns to: communityvoice@cityofcarrollton.com. You can find more information 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.

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