Helpful Coronavirus Resources
- Stay Home, Stay Safe
- COVID-19 Vaccine
- Small Business
- Stimulus Payment
- Seniors and Nursing Home Resources
- En Espanol
I understand the concerns of the American people as to the spread of and seriousness of the virus, and I want to provide you some information.
There are now a number of confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Texas, with several cases here in our North Texas community.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the federal government and state and local health departments are working closely to organize our response to this unprecedented threat. Doctors and health professionals are also working hard to monitor and complete further testing to make sure we can properly mitigate the worst effects of this outbreak.
Congress passed three economic relief measures including a sweeping $2 trillion package that provides an unprecedented amount of resources to assist small businesses, unemployed workers and industries impacted by COVID-19. The bipartisan Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, which provides $8.3 billion in emergency funding to combat the coronavirus epidemic. Congress has also passed an additional economic relief package that will ensure testing is free for those who need it, expand emergency paid sick leave and help those with food insecurity. Congress also provided funding for direct payments to help people weather this crisis. Learn more about those here.
It will take all of us, working together, to ensure the continued health and well-being of all Americans. We must listen to the experts to combat and contain the spread of coronavirus.
Visit dallascountycovid.org for COVID-19 resources and information for Dallas County residents.
Wear a Mask
**The CDC now recommends wearing two masks to stop the spread of COVID-19. Visit the CDC's website for more information on how you can keep yourself and others safe.
To reduce the spread of COVID-19, CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
Cloth face coverings may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. Wearing a cloth face covering will help protect people around you, including those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and workers who frequently come into close contact with other people (e.g., in stores and restaurants). Cloth face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings. The spread of COVID-19 can be reduced when cloth face coverings are used along with other preventive measures, including social distancing, frequent handwashing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. Click here for more information from the CDC on cloth face coverings.
Dallas County Health and Human Services also recommends the following preventative measures to keep you and your loved ones healthy:
- Stay home as much as you can, especially when you are sick.
- Avoid close contact with others and try to maintain 6 feet of distance, especially with those who are sick.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and help children do the same. You can also use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a cleaning spray or wipe.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands).
Additionally, the CDC now recommends that gatherings and meetings over 10 people be canceled or held virtually. Dallas County and the City of Dallas have issued new directives to help reduce gatherings.
If you think you were exposed to COVID-19 and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should contact your healthcare provider first. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your symptoms, and cover your nose and mouth with a mask BEFORE you enter the healthcare facility for medical evaluation.
Please visit the DCHHS Novel Coronavirus webpage for FAQs and other resources that can be shared with members of the community. These resources include information for schools, health care providers, businesses, and several other helpful documents.
Additionally, the Texas Department of State Health Services has established a hotline to serve as an additional resource for any questions about novel coronavirus:
DSHS COVID-19 Call Center: 1-877-570-9779, Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Monday – Friday
The North Texas Behavioral Health Authority (NTBHA) has also developed a dedicated COVID-19 mental health support line to provide trauma informed support and psychological first aid to those experiencing stress and anxiety during this time of crisis. Individuals can contact the 24/7 COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line at 833-251-7544.
Again, this is a rapidly evolving situation, and it is important for everyone to continue to monitor the situation as new information becomes available. If you would like more information on the coronavirus or to read the most recent updates and situation, please visit the CDC website.
Additionally, my team is available to answer questions and provide helpful resources. Please call (972) 972-7949.
Who can get the vaccine now?
North Texas is currently in the first phase of vaccine rollout, Phase 1A, which prioritizes health care workers.
A limited supply is currently available for the next phase, Phase 1B, which includes North Texans 65 and older and those with underlying health conditions. Phase 1B will ramp up in the coming weeks.
When will everyone else be able to get the vaccine?
The state estimates that the vaccine will be widely available in the spring, pending vaccine production levels.
Do I have to register to receive a COVID-19 vaccine?
Registration is not required with the state. However, Dallas County Health and Human Services is taking registrations for individuals who meet the Phase 1A and 1B criteria. You can register on the DCHHS website or call the hotline at 469-749-9900.
Dallas County and UT Southwestern will contact registrants based on priority and availability when it is time to set up an appointment.
Tarrant County is also accepting COVID-19 vaccination requests to certify eligibility at this time. You can visit their website here.
Collin County has a vaccine waitlist for individuals who meet the Phase 1A and 1B criteria. You can visit their website here.
The City of Garland has a vaccine waitlist for individuals who meet the Phase 1A and 1B criteria and who are 18 years of age. You can visit their website here.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine free?
Yes. As part of the Cares Act, I helped to pass last spring, the COVID-19 vaccine is available free of cost to all individuals, regardless of insurance status. Check with your vaccine provider for any administrative fees.
Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The Texas division of Emergency Management has a statewide COVID-19 vaccine provider map of all Texas vaccine providers with available doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
Where can I get tested for COVID-19?
For a list of testing sites, please visit the Dallas County HHS website or the Tarrant County coronavirus website. If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate immediately and seek testing.
Now that there is a vaccine, do we still have to wear masks?
Yes. The COVID-19 vaccine is still in short supply. We must continue to wear a mask in public, practice social distancing and hand hygiene and avoid large gatherings.
If you lost your job due to COVID-19, you can apply for unemployment benefits by visiting the Texas Workforce Commission's website or by calling the Texas Workforce Commission’s at 800-939-6631, Sunday-Saturday from 7 AM-7 PM CST.
Texas received approval for emergency designation from the U.S. Small Business Administration's disaster loans. Small businesses impacted by COVID-19 should apply at https://sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19.
My office has also created a resource guide for small businesses to help them through this difficult time. You can access that document here: COVID-19 Small Business Resource Guide
- The Dallas/Fort Worth District Office’s Small Business Administration 2019-2020 Resource Guide
- Information on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act for Small Businesses
If you need help with your application, you can contact the local SBA district office:
SBA Dallas/Fort Worth District Office
150 Westpark Way Euless, TX 76040
You can also contact my office at 972-972-7949 if you need assistance contacting the SBA.
You can track your stimulus payment by using the IRS's Get My Payment tool. Those who do not usually file taxes can fill out a form on the IRS website to submit payment information for their stimulus check. If you didn’t get your Economic Impact Payment, or you received less than the full amount, you may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your taxes. Please visit the IRS website for more information on claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit.
Tax Day is April 15, 2021. Folks who earn less than $57,000 per year, have a disability, speak limited English, or are over 60 years old, can visit the IRS website for information on the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program. To find IRS-certified volunteers across North Texas who can help with tax preparation and filing, visit: https://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep.
Additionally, if your income is $72,000 or below, you can file your taxes for free using the IRS’ Free File program. More information can be found on the IRS website at www.irs.gov.
Nursing homes and long term care facilities represent some of the most vulnerable and at-risk populations to COVID-19. You should always know your rights and know how this virus could impact you. To get more information please see this FAQ from AARP on COVID-19. You can also learn more about your rights or get information about filing a complaint with a long term care facility with the Texas Attorney General's office here.
Nursing homes and other long-term care providers are regulated by the Texas Department of Aging and Disabilities (DADS). DADS licenses and inspects these facilities, which must meet stringent health and safety standards to maintain their good standing to provide long-term care in Texas.
Seniors or families with complaints about long-term care providers in Texas can contact DADS at (800) 458-9858 or e-mail CRSComplaints@dads.state.tx.us. DADS has the authority to investigate these complaints.
In addition, the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has the authority to investigate and prosecute cases involving possible criminal abuse, neglect or exploitation of residents in Medicaid-funded long-term care facilities. Possible criminal abuse, neglect or financial exploitation can be reported by calling (512) 463-2011, or toll-free (800) 252-8011, or by e-mailing email@example.com.
Dallas Area Agency on Aging: Help for Seniors and Caregivers
The Dallas Area Agency on Aging coordinates an integrated service system to ensure access to services provided to and for Dallas County older adults and their caregivers. The services provided include care coordination, family caregiver support, and benefits counseling. Contact the Agency on Aging at 214-871-5065 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benefits Counseling Program
Individual in-person counseling services at senior centers have been suspended until further notice. Benefits counseling is available by phone for information and assistance with Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other public benefits. Call to speak to a benefits counselor at 214-871-5064 or 1-800-252-9240 Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM.
Dallas: My Ride Transportation Program
My Ride Dallas can connect seniors to multiple transportation options through transportation options counseling, application assistance for transportation programs, and limited transportation vouchers. If you need assistance in creating a plan to travel to work, a doctor’s appointment, or other essential activities, call My Ride Dallas at 972-855-8084 to speak to a counselor or email at email@example.com.
North Central Texas Aging and Disability Resource Center
The NCTADRC is funded by Texas Health and Human Services and provides information and referral to long-term service and support programs for seniors in Collin County. The NCTADRC serves as a resource connection and can provide specialized knowledge of local, state, and federal programs including Medicaid waiver programs, Medicare, SNAP, Area Agency on Aging programs for people over age 60 and their family caregivers, Veterans Administration programs, and subsidized housing for low-income older and disabled persons. They can be reached at 1-855-937-2372.
If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get tested for COVID-19 no more than 3 days (72 hours) before you travel by air into the United States and show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight, or be prepared to show documentation of recovery (proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel). You must find a COVID-19 test facility on your own.
If you or a loved one are traveling or plan to travel outside of the United States, it is recommended that you register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. When registered, if you or a loved one have issues while traveling due to the coronavirus, the State Department will be able to contact you and provide up to date information.
- Dallas Independent School District: http://dallasisd.org/covid19
- Garland Independent School District: http://garlandisd.net/content/resources-coronavirus-covid-19
- Mesquite Independent School District: http://mesquiteisd.org/community/coronavirus-information-and-updates
- Highland Park Independent School District: http://hpisd.org/coronavirus
Richardson Independent School District: http://www.risd.org/Group/Parents/Health_Services/Coronavirus.html
Before visiting local VA medical facilities, community providers, urgent care centers, or emergency departments in their communities, veterans experiencing COVID-19 symptoms—such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath—are encouraged to call their VA medical facility or call MyVA311 (844-698-2311, press #3 to be connected). Veterans can also send secure messages to their health care providers via MyhealtheVet, VA’s online patient portal. VA clinicians will evaluate veterans’ symptoms and direct them to the most appropriate providers for further evaluation and treatment. This may include referral to state or local health departments for COVID-19 testing.
Please visit va.gov/coronavirus for more information.
I want to make sure that all the resources available are accessible to every North Texan, so if you, a loved one, or neighbor needs resources in Spanish, please share this with them.
Estamos unidos en la lucha contra el coronavirus (COVID-19). Tenemos que seguir los consejos de los expertos y cada persona tiene que hacer su parte en prevenir la propagación de COVID-19. Por favor consulte estos recursos útiles. Llame a mi oficina si necesita ayuda al 972-972-7949. Hablamos español y estamos dispuestos para contestar cualquier pregunta que usted tenga.
- Si tiene preguntas sobre el coronavirus o quisiera saber acciones preventivas para ayudar a prevenir la propagación del coronavirus, sigue la orden Quédate en Casa, Quédate a Salvo, lávese las manos con jabón durante al menos 20 segundos. Evita contacto cercano con otros y mantenga una distancia de seis pies. Si se siente enfermo, llame a su doctor.
- Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos de Dallas: https://www.dallascounty.org/departments/dchhs/dchhs2019-novel-coronavirus-sp.php
- Los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index-sp.html
- Si perdio su trabajo debido a COVID-19, puede solicitar beneficios de desempleo de la Comisión de la fuerza laboral de Texas: https://twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/servicios-de-beneficios-de-desempleo o lllamando al telefono al: 800-939-6631, de lunes a viernes de 8 am - 6 pm.
- Negocios pequeños impactados por COVID-19 pueden solicitar un préstamo de desastre en: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-orientacion-y-recursos-de-prestamos-para-pequenas-empresas. Si necesita ayuda con su aplicación, llame a mi oficina 972-972-7949.
- El Departamento de Estado emitió un aviso de nivel 4: No viaje, instando a los ciudadanos estadounidenses a evitar los viajes internacionales debido al impacto global de COVID-19. Si usted o un familiar están varados en el extranjero y desean regresar a los Estados Unidos, pueden llamar a mi oficina al 972-972-7949 para obtener ayuda.
- El Congreso proporcionó los fondos para pagos directos y poder ayudar a las personas superar esta crisis. Obtenga más información sobre esos detalles aquí.
- Si quiere saber más de los recursos disponibles para usted y su familia durante este momento difícil, haga clic aquí.