7/3: Weekly COVID-19 update

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.

Statewide Face Covering Requirement

On July 2, 2020, Governor Abbott announced a statewide face covering requirement for residents and visitors. All individuals over the age of 10 are required to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when inside a building or indoor space open to the public or when in an outdoor public space, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household. Some exceptions apply, such as to those with a medical condition or disability or when consuming food or drink. The full order can be read here.

Staying Safe on July 4th

As the 4th of July quickly approaches, COVID-19 cases in Texas are increasing rapidly. 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. Many cities prohibit the use of fireworks and firing firearms; check with your city for restrictions before celebrating.

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 Federal Funding for Texas Hospitals

Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) today announced that $2.67 billion in federal funding has been approved to support Texas hospitals that provide care for people receiving Medicaid. The Uniform Hospital Rate Increase Program (UHRIP) is a statewide program that provides increased Medicaid payments to hospitals for inpatient and outpatient services provided to persons with Medicaid. The program aims to reduce the Medicaid shortfall for hospitals that serve people who receive Medicaid.

Local Utility Bill Payment Assistance Programs

The Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) provides  utility bill payment assistance (electric, natural gas or propane) for low income (150% of federal poverty guidelines) households or families affected by COVID-19. If you need assistance paying utility bills due to COVID-19, call the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services at 214-819-1848 or visit the 2-1-1 Texas website.

COVID-19 Pandemic Food Benefits For Families Deadline Extension

Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is extending the application deadline for the federal Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer program (P-EBT) to July 31. Extending the deadline will help ensure eligible families have time to apply for this one-time food benefit. Visit hhs.texas.gov/pebt to learn more about P-EBT. For questions regarding eligibility or to learn more, people may also contact the P-EBT Call Center at 833-613-6220, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central Standard Time. When applying, it is especially important to include a valid phone number on their application.

Dallas County Elections Health Protocols for Voters

Early voting for the July 14th, 2020 election is currently happening. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important that you remain protected while voting. Dallas County poll locations will be equipped with sanitation stations, sanitized stylus for voting, and social distancing measures and markers. Dallas County will also provide curbside voting options for those exhibiting COVID symptoms or that are unable to enter polling locations. More information about voting options and safety precautions can be found here.

6/26: Weekly COVID-19 update

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.

Temporary Pause on Reopening Texas

On June 26, 2020, Governor Abbott announced that bars will close on June 26 and that restaurants will return to operating at 50% capacity on June 29. Bars will be able to remain open for delivery and take-out. Rafting and tubing businesses must also close. Other businesses that are permitted to open under the previous phases can continue to operate at the designated occupancy levels and under the minimum standard health protocols provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services. The full order can be read here.

The governor has also put a temporary ban on elective surgeries in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties  to ensure hospital bed availability for COVID-19 patients as Texas faces an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Under this order, the Governor directs all hospitals in these counties to postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately, medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition or to preserve the life of a patient who without immediate performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient’s physician. The full order can be read here.

Free Masks at State-Run COVID-19 Mobile Testing Sites

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), in partnership with the Texas Military Department, will begin distributing 3-ply surgical masks to every Texan who undergoes COVID-19 testing at state-run mobile test collection sites. Beginning tomorrow, each Texan who receives a COVID-19 test at a state-run mobile testing site will be provided with four masks to take home with them. Texans can find a testing site near them by visiting the COVID-19 Test Collection Site map

Extension on Required Telemedicine Insurance Coverage

In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Texas Department of Insurance is extending the requirement that insurers cover telemedicine services in Texas, including mental health visits, at the same rate as in-person visits.

Spanish-Language COVID-19 PSA

The Office of the Governor and UT Southwestern Medical Center today released a new Spanish-language public service announcement on how Texans can protect themselves and others from COVID-19. In the PSA, Amneris Luque, MD, Professor of Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease and Geographic Medicine, advises Texans to wear a mask in public, avoid touching your face, wash your hands frequently and effectively, and practice social distancing. The PSA can be viewed here and a transcript of the video can be found here.

Pandemic EBTs due to COVID-19

Because of school closures from COVID-19, Texas received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide more than $1 billion in pandemic food benefits to families with children that have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals. Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) provides eligible families with a one-time payment for each child who previously received free or reduced-price meals. P-EBT works the same way Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits do and will help families get the food they need during the current pandemic. For more information about eligibility or to apply, go here.

Dallas County Elections Health Protocols for Voters

Early voting for the July 14th, 2020 election begins on June 29, 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important that you remain protected while voting. Dallas County poll locations will be equipped with sanitation stations, sanitized stylus for voting, and social distancing measures and markers. Dallas County will also provide curbside voting options for those exhibiting COVID symptoms or that are unable to enter polling locations. More information about voting options and safety precautions can be found here.

Tips for Coping with Stress

6/19: Weekly COVID-19 updates

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.

Texas Department of State Health Services 

Coronavirus is still spreading. Wear a face covering in public. Your face covering protects me. My face covering protects you. For more COVID-19 info and steps to take, visit dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus

Dallas County Businesses Mandated To Wear Masks

On June 19, 2020, the Dallas County commissioners voted to mandate the use of masks at Dallas County businesses for customers and anyone on their premises. Businesses that don’t comply face up to a $500 fine. Masks do not need to be worn while eating. For more information, you can read the entire order here.

Texas Renewed COVID-19 Disaster Proclamation

On June 11, 2020, Governor Abbott renewed the COVID-19 Disaster Proclamation originally issued on March 13th. Continuing the proclamation allows Governor Abbott to use all available resources of the state government and political divisions to cope with the disaster. For more information, visit the governor’s website here.

Health Mart Stores COVID-19 Testing

Health Mart pharmacies has launched a COVID-19 testing initiative in partnership with eTrueNorth, an experienced testing provider and coordinating contractor with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Test fees are handled directly with eTrueNorth and are offered at no cost for eligible patients or their personal insurance. For more information, visit eTrueNorth’s platform DoINeedACovid19Test.com where you can complete an assessment, determine eligibility, register and reserve a time slot at the pharmacy.

Coppell Mobile Testing Site

A mobile COVID-19 testing location will be set up at Coppell Town Center, 255 Parkway Blvd., this Saturday, June 20 from 10 am – 4 pm. Testing will be by appointment only.

Unemployment Work Search Requirement to be Reinstated

The Texas Workforce Commission has announced that the requirement that individuals receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits be required to seek work in order to retain benefits will be reinstated on Monday, July 6, 2020. This requirement has been suspended due to the COVID-19 crisis. The work search requirement is a federal requirement to receive Unemployment Insurance benefits. Guidelines for the work search process can be found here.

Job seekers are encouraged to visit WorkinTexas.com, the state’s job portal, for access to hundreds of thousands of public and private sector jobs, as well as links to education and training opportunities, resume assistance, and other resources. If you have questions regarding please contact Michael Britt, Director of Governmental Relations at 512-463-1802.

Dallas County Emergency Business Assistance Program

The Dallas County Emergency Small Business Assistance Program (EBAP) pre-application portal is open and will remain open through June 28. EBAP is funded with federal CARES Act dollars and is designed to rapidly provide financial assistance to small businesses located in Dallas County that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and that have been unable to obtain financial assistance to meet all of their business needs. Small businesses may be eligible to obtain a forgivable loan worth up to $15,000. For more information or to fill out the pre-application form, go here.

6/12: Weekly COVID-19 update

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.

Dallas County Emergency Business Assistance Program

Dallas County has announced the creation of its Emergency Small Business Assistance Program (EBAP). EBAP is funded with an allocation of $5 million in federal CARES Act dollars and is designed to rapidly provide financial assistance to small businesses located in Dallas County that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and that have been unable to obtain financial assistance to meet all of their business needs. 

Small businesses may be eligible to obtain a forgivable loan worth up to $15,000. Small businesses that are interested in applying for financial assistance through EBAP should visit the NDC EBAP website. Businesses that need assistance navigating the website may leave a voicemail message at (214) 845-7673 and they will receive a return phone call within one business day. Not all eligible businesses will be invited to submit a full loan application. Dallas County will begin accepting pre-applications for its Emergency Business Assistance Program (EBAP) on June 15, 2020. 

Dallas County Free Protester Pop-Up COVID-19 Testing

Protesters who participated in protests across Dallas and North Texas suburbs to rally against police brutality and racism qualify for a federally subsidized coronavirus test. Any person regardless of age, job or symptoms may be tested. A person who wants to be tested must have a photo ID; testing sites will not be sharing results with police or other law enforcement agencies. The tests are being conducted by the Parkland Hospital system.

Texas Health and Human Services COVID-19 Testing Map

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services has released an interactive map to help Texans find COVID-19 testing sites. The map can be accessed here.

Dallas Public Library Curbside Pickup

Dallas Public Library has launched “Curbside Pickup” in 16 library locations. Readers will be able to check out materials through the new Library To Go service, Tuesday through Saturday between 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Customers can request books, DVDs, CDs and hotspots through the library website or by phone. Once customers receive notification that their items are ready, they can call the designated location to schedule an appointment for pickup. Book return bins are open at the Library To Go locations only. Returned items will sit in quarantine for at least four days before they are checked in by staff. More information and a list of participating locations can be found here.

North Texas Behavioral Health Authority COVID-19 Rent Assistance

The North Texas Behavioral Health Authority is providing relief for Dallas County families and households at risk of facing eviction due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals will be asked to complete an application to properly identify the amount of subsidy needed. Applications are being processed on a first come first serve basis, and additional information will be requested in order to complete the process if the application is approved. More information can be found here.

City of Carrollton Facility Reopenings

5/29: Weekly COVID-19 update

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

On May 21, 2020, Governor Abbott suspended all COVID-19 travel restrictions put in place by Executive Order GA-20. All travel restrictions and mandatory post-travel quarantines are no longer in place. The full order can be read here.

Conversely, the Governor Abbott has prohibited all in-person visitations to county and municipal jails. People are also advised to avoid in-person visitations at closed jails. Restrictions do not include attorneys meeting with a client or religious leaders or members of the clergy. The full order can be read here.

Reopening Carrollton

The City of Carrollton will reopen limited public access to additional facilities on Monday, June 1, 2020. The City is putting safety measures in place such as restricting access to certain pieces of equipment from the Recreation Centers for social distancing, performing enhanced cleanings of high-touch areas at indoor facilities, deeply sanitizing specialized fitness equipment daily, installing sneeze guards on countertops to protect employees and the public, making hand sanitizer stations available, and applying floor decals to assist employees and patrons with proper social distancing. Additionally, staff attendants at each reopened facility will monitor the occupancy and regularly wipe down and disinfect frequently used surfaces. The City asks all employees and guests to stay home if symptomatic and encourages all high-risk citizens to utilize virtual services when possible.

Reopening Coppell

The City of Coppell will begin to once again open its doors to the public on Monday, May 11. Although most City of Coppell facilities will remain closed for the time being, a limited number of facilities will be accessible to the public on May 11. While the following City of Coppell facilities will be open to the public, the City continues to encourage residents to visit the website or call 972-462-0022 to conduct City business remotely. Additionally, please be aware that special hours or temporary processes and requirements may be in place to protect customers and employees. Hours of operation and other impacts are subject to change as circumstances warrant. The list of openings can be found here.

Irving Mobile COVID-19 Testing Site

DCHHS is partnering with the City of Irving and the State to have a mobile COVID-19 testing unit in Irving from 6/1 – 6/2 from 10am to 4pm. Tests are free and are provided on an appointment-based system. People may begin making appointments on Saturday (5/30). People must have one symptom of COVID-19 to get tested, such as a fever or a cough. The site will be located at the Lively Pointe Recreation Center (909 N O Connor Rd Irving, TX 75061). To register for testing, visit txcovidtest.org or call (512) 833-2400.

Time to Count: 2020 Census Information

The 2020 Census counts the population of the United States and five U.S. territories to provide critical data needed to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. The results of the census determine where billions of dollars in federal funding go,  the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and how congressional and state legislative districts will be drawn. Everyone living in the United States and its five territories is required by law to be counted in the 2020 Census. The Census Bureau is required by law to protect your answers; your responses are used only to produce statistics.

Each home has received an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire online, by phone, or by mail. The U.S. Census Bureau, in coordination with federal, state and local health officials, will begin to drop off 2020 Census questionnaire packets at front doors of households in Texas in the week of May 25. The census may also be completed online at: https://my2020census.gov. If you do not respond, the U.S. Census Bureau will follow up in person to collect your response.

Coppell Animal Services Pet Food Delivery

Coppell Animal Services is one of several agencies in the metro partnering with Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Texas Meals on Wheels/Hospice to make sure seniors and homebound residents get the food they need for their pets. Deliveries are being made on the third Saturday of the month. Visit vnatexas.org to learn more about how to get or give assistance. Coppell Animals Services gladly accepts donations of food, blankets, and other pet-related items along with monetary donations. Please call 972-304-3515 for more information.

Atmos Energy Financial Assistance

Atmos Energy has temporarily suspended natural gas disconnections for non-payment and offers payment installment plans to assist those struggling financially due to the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, financial help is available through their energy assistance programs.

5/22: Weekly COVID-19 Update

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

Updated Hours for Free COVID-19 Testing in Carrollton

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