Like most families in North Texas, I’m sure you are wanting to stay up-to-date with the latest news and information on the COVID-19 pandemic. My team will regularly update this page with the most important information as it becomes available to us.
Our most recent weekly update can be read by clicking here:
7/3 Weekly digest
6/26 Weekly digest
6/19 Weekly digest
6/12 Weekly digest
5/29 Weekly digest
The Texas Department of Health and Human Services has established a COVID-19 Call Center and an email box to receive incoming questions from the general public.
DSHS COVID-19 Call Center: Call 2-1-1 or 877.541.7905
Dallas County Health and Human Services has a hotline for COVID-19 Inquiries from the General Public.
DCCHS Hotline: Call (972) 692-2780
Check out our new Small Business Resource page to help small business owners during these difficult times. Click here to access.
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.
Unemployment Due to COVID-19
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is the state agency that oversees the state’s unemployment benefits. The Texas Unemployment Insurance (UI) program pays benefits to those individuals who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. TWC determines benefit eligibility based on past wages, why someone lost their job, and ongoing eligibility requirements. If your employment has been affected by COVID-19, you can apply for benefits either online at any time here or by calling TWC’s Tele-Center at 800-939-6631 from 8am–6pm CT Monday through Friday.
TWC will be waiving work search requirements for all claimants and the waiting week for those claimants affected by COVID-19. However, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) may be available at this time.
Job-seekers may visit www.WorkInTexas.com to search for opportunities in the area. Say Yes to Dallas and the Dallas Regional Chamber, with other North Texas partners, are connecting workers displaced by the COVID-19 outbreak. Click here for a list of job openings.
Food & Grocery Assistance
North Texas Food Bank has shifted to a box distribution model with partner agencies. For food assistance, call: 1-855-719-7627 or 214-269-0906.
Metrocrest Services serve individuals living in Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Addison, Coppell, and the city of Dallas in Denton County. For details on obtaining food from their food pantry, call 972-446-2100
Salvation Army Drive-Through Grocery Services: To find a list of drive-through grocery service locations and hours of operations, please visit www.salvationarmydfw.org/
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, popularly known as WIC, is a nutrition program for pregnant, breastfeeding women and families with children younger than 5.
Meals on Wheels operates in virtually every community in America to address senior hunger and isolation.
Part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act included a grant to help communities provide meals for older adults. For more information or to find available services near you, contact the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116 or visit eldercare.acl.gov.
Friendship House provides food, mentoring, financial needs and resources for individuals and families in need as they are able to. Call for an appointment: 972-512-3800.
Free grab-and-go meals are available for Carrollton Farmers Branch Independent School District (CFBISD), Dallas Independent School District (DISD), and Coppell (CISD) students. Some restrictions apply. For details, check each respective school district’s website:
Additionally, TEA updated https://txschools.gov/ to include the MealFinder Map, which Texans can utilize to see where and when their local education agency is providing free meals.
The TEA has also put together a list of resources for students and parents that can be accessed by clicking here.
Mental Health Resources
North Texas Behavioral Health Authority (NTBHA) has developed a dedicated COVID-19 mental health support line available to our system of care to provide trauma informed support and psychological first aid to those experiencing stress and anxiety during this time of crisis. This dedicated line will provide relief to our traditional crisis line while providing the necessary support within our community as we work through this specific crisis. The NTBHA COVID-19 Mental Health Support line can be reached at, 833-251-7544. Individuals who contact the COVID-19 support line needing a higher level of care will be transferred directly to our traditional 24/7 NTBHA crisis line at, 866-260-8000.
The Metrocare Coronavirus Support Line is available during our normal business hours Monday through Friday for those Dallas County residents experiencing high anxiety or depression during these turbulent times. Metrocare’s professionals will assist individuals in accessing our mental health services and provide referrals for other services that may be needed. The Metrocare Coronavirus Support Line for Dallas County is 214-743-1215.
National Support Lifelines
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1 (800) 273-8255
- Suicide Crisis Center – 24 hours – (214) 828-1000
- Crisis Text Line – Text the word HOME to 741741
- Crisis Text Line – Special keyword for students of color – Text the word STEVE to 741741
Rent and Utilities
Exelon brands (Constellation, Atlantic City Energy, BGE, ComEd, Delmarva Power, PECO) have suspended service disconnections and will waive late payment charges until at least May 1. Exelon has also committed to donating $1.15 million to local and national COVID-19 relief efforts.
Vistra Energy brands (TXU, Ambit, Tri-Eagle) is waiving late fees, extending payment due dates with no down payment required, and reducing down payments and deferring balances over five equal installments. TXU customers can also receive additional bill-payment assistance through its TXU Energy AidSM program.
Charter Communications is offering free access to Spectrum Broadband and Wi-Fi for 60 days for new K-12 and College Student households. Residents should call: 1-844-488-8395. Charter is also working with school districts to ensure that communication is provided about the free wi-fi; Charter continues to offer Spectrum Assist for households without school-aged children; Charter is also opening its Wi-Fi hotspots for public use.
Atmos Energy’s “Sharing the Warmth” program aids customers who are being financially impacted by COVID-19. To apply for the program, customers should visit https://www.atmosenergy.com/customer-service/get-help-paying-your-bill or call 888-286-6700.
All AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet, can use unlimited internet data. Additionally, AT&T will continue to offer internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through our Access from AT&T program. They have expanded eligibility to Access from AT&T to households participating in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start. Additionally, they are offering new Access from AT&T customers two months of free service.
Depending on the specific circumstances, Metrocrest Services can often provide utility assistance to help a family or individual. Call 972-446-2100 for details or to request an appointment.
Mortgage, Rent and Housing Resources
The City of Dallas Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization office has created a helpful guide with information on financial relief for mortgage payments, rent payments and more. You can access the information sheet here.
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs has support and resources on Foreclosure Prevention on their website. Call the HOPE for Homeowners Hotline 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) additional help.
The United Way has income resources available on their website in both spanish and english. There may be vouchers to assist those in need with paying their rent and government assistance with other needs, including lease application fees, information on low income housing and security deposits. Dial 1-877-541-7905 to find additional ways to get rent help.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers programs that can help you with paying your mortgage and also avoid foreclosure. Local resources, including government and non-profit assistance, can help qualified homeowners.
Depending on the specific circumstances, Metrocrest Services can often provide assistance to help a family or individual remain in their home. Call 972-446-2100 for details or to request an appointment.
The Texas Workforce Commission has approved multiple policy actions to support families and programs at this time and continues to move quickly to respond to child care needs across the state. A new Frontline Child Care Availability Portal can be accessed at https://find.frontlinechildcare.texas.gov. This will allow parents who are essential workers to search for available child care near their home or work, and it will display a map of licensed child care centers, licensed homes, and registered homes. If you are an essential worker, financial assistance for child care may also be available to you. Contact your Local Board to determine if you qualify and if funds are currently available.
Due to COVID-19, YMCA branches are currently closed. However, they continue to offer limited childcare programming on a daily basis, supporting the childcare needs of first responders, medical professionals, government officials, and those that must continue their work in this challenging time. This care will be offered until further notice, at 11 YMCA branches across the Dallas Metroplex, in accordance to state guidelines.Looking for more? Find the latest community resources information on COVID-19, use the 211 search engine here.