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Texas Information, Resources During COVID-19 Outbreak

Senior woman wearing glasses using laptop at home

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s March 31 order extending social distancing guidelines through the end of April means the Lone Star State will be operating in its new normal for at least one more month.

But Gov. Abbott assured Texans that we would be able to get through the coronavirus pandemic together.

“As we have seen in years past, when tested by fire, flood, or hurricane, Texans respond with resilience and calm resolve. And just as we overcame those challenges, we will over come this one,” he said.

AARP Texas is providing information and resources to help older residents and their caregivers protect themselves. The following is a list of resources for Texans, as well as some metro-area-specific resources.


General Information
AARP Coronavirus Response – Aggressive steps are being taken during the illness’ outbreak to inform and protect older Americans. AARP’s site provides the latest advice and resources, including our weekly live Coronavirus Information Tele-Town Hall on Thursdays at Noon Central Time. You can join by calling toll-free 855-274-9507.

Gov. Abbott’s office’s coronavirus page maintains the latest orders from the governor and provides tips and answers to common questions. State residents seeking information about what to do if they suspect they have COVID-19, testing, symptoms and prevention tips can call the statewide hotline at 2-1-1 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT daily.
https://gov.texas.gov/coronavirus

The Texas Department of State Health Services coronavirus page has daily statics on confirmed cases in the state, information on Gov. Abbott’s most recent executive orders, a list of drive-thru testing site locations and tips for preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus. The department is also running a 24/7 COVID-19 hotline that can be reached by dialing 2-1-1.
https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has up-to-date information on symptoms and what to do if you suspect you have COVID-19.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Baylor Scott & White Health has developed a digital COVID-19 symptoms screening that can be taken online or on the health system’s mobile app.
https://www.bswhealth.com/Pages/coronavirus-information.aspx

Local news outlets like The Texas Tribune and The Houston Chronicle are making their coverage of the coronavirus free for the public.

Tribune: https://www.texastribune.org/series/coronavirus-texas-cases-san-antonio/

Chronicle: https://www.texastribune.org/2020/04/01/coronavirus-texas-tenants-worry-rent-people-seeking-abortion-limbo/

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services has launched a 24/7 statewide mental health support line dedicated to COVID-19-related needs, which can be accessed by calling 833-986-1919. Individuals can text “HOME” to 741741 for support as well.


Austin and Travis County Resources
The City of Austin’s coronavirus (COVID-19) page has information for families, health providers, travelers, businesses, people who suspect they are sick and a link to community resources. The information is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Burmese, Urdu and Arabic.
http://www.austintexas.gov/COVID19

Austin Energy is offering deferred payment plans as well as assistance plans for customers with low income or who are medically vulnerable. Customers can contact the company’s customer care center at 512-494-9400.
https://austinenergy.com/ae/residential/your-bill/customer-assistance-programs

Atmos Energy, CenterPoint Energy and Texas Gas Service have all temporarily suspended non-payment disconnections of natural gas service.

Atmos: https://www.atmosenergy.com/safety/covid-19

CenterPoint: https://www.centerpointenergy.com/en-us/pages/selfid.aspx

Texas Gas: https://www.texasgasservice.com/coronavirus

The Neighborhood Housing and Community Development coronavirus resources page has information for those seeking help with rent payments as well as organizations that focus on housing services.
http://austintexas.gov/housing-resources

ConnectATX provides information about emergency food pantry services and food delivery by ZIP codes.
http://www.connectatx.org/


Brownsville and Cameron County Resources
The city of Brownsville’s website has information on COVID-19 prevention, what to do if you think you have the disease, informative videos as well as the most up-to-date information regarding the city’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
https://www.cob.us/2066/Coronavirus-Updates

The Cameron County Public Health website has up-to-date countywide coronavirus case counts as well as information in English and Spanish on how to prevent COVID-19 and what the symptoms of the disease are. The county is also operating a 24/7 COVID-19 helpline that can be reached at 956-247-3650.
http://www.cameroncounty.us/publichealth/index.php/coronavirus/

Dallas and Dallas County Resources
The Dallas County website provides up-to-date counts of COVID-19 cases as well as information on testing locations, closures and the latest county orders.
https://www.dallascounty.org/covid-19/

The city of Dallas’ website contains a list of resources for financial assistance, utility bill payments, unemployment needs, food and health and wellness.
https://dallascityhall.com/Pages/Coronavirus-Resources.aspx

Dallas Water Utilities have suspended service disconnections until further notice. Customers who need financial assistance can call the service to arrange payments at 214-651-1441.
TXU Energy is offering bill payment assistance to its customers through its TXU Energy Aid program. To find out more about the program, call 2-1-1.
https://www.txu.com/help-center/covid-19.aspx

Dallas County Health and Human Services is providing meal deliveries for seniors as well as a hot meal drive-thru program at all county senior centers. To enroll in the meal delivery service, call 214-819-1860.

Fort Worth and Tarrant County Resources
The city of Fort Worth’s website contains information about the latest city declarations, resources, answers to frequently asked questions and prevention information. Individuals who have Fort Worth-specific questions can contact the city at 817-392-8478.
https://fortworthtexas.gov/COVID-19/

Tarrant County’s website has addition county-wide information about COVID-19 in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
http://www.tarrantcounty.com/content/main/en/county/tarrant-county-covid-19-information.html

Meals on Wheels Inc. of Tarrant County is providing delivered meals for seniors. To sign up, visit the program’s website or call 817-336-0912.
https://mealsonwheels.org/april-1-2020-covid-19-update/


San Antonio and Bexar County Resources

The City of San Antonio health district coronavirus page has San Antonio- and Bexar County-specific case counts and trackers, information from the mayor’s office and a link to an online self-assessment if you suspect you have COVID-19. The city is operating a hotline for residents at 210-207-5779. It’s open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT on the weekend.
https://www.sanantonio.gov/Health/News/Alerts/CoronaVirus

CPS Energy and the San Antonio Water System are temporarily banning utility disconnections for missed payments. And city-provided free Wi-Fi is available at several city parks.
https://www.sanantonio.gov/Health/News/Alerts/CoronaVirus#281783839-resident-assistance

The city’s Fair Housing and Emergency Assistance program is accepting emergency rent and mortgage assistance referrals, and further assistance with housing payments and support can be found at several organizations listed on the city’s website.
https://www.sanantonio.gov/Health/News/Alerts/CoronaVirus#281783839-resident-assistance

The San Antonio Food Bank is offering drive up food distribution on a first come first serve basis. Individuals who do not want to travel or who don’t have transportation can contact the food bank’s helpline at 210-431-8326.
https://safoodbank.org/cvresponse/

Meals on Wheels San Antonio will continue to be delivered Monday through Thursday. Individuals who are interested in the meal delivery service can sign up using the program’s online form or by calling 210-735-5115.
https://www.mowsatx.org/get-meals


Houston and Harris County Resources

The City of Houston’s Emergency Operations Center coronavirus page has Houston- and Harris County-specific case counts, information on the latest stay-home-stay-safe orders, a list of testing sites in the area and a link to an online self-assessment if you suspect you have COVID-19. The city is also operating a hotline for residents at 832-393-4220. It’s one from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT on the weekend.
https://houstonemergency.org/covid19

The City of Houston Public Works department announced it will temporarily suspend water service disconnections through April 30, but late fees will still be applied to bills. Individuals can pay their bills by calling 713-371-1265 or speak to a customer service representative by calling 713-371-1400.
https://houstonrecovers.org/covid19/

The Houston Food Bank will remain open during the statewide social distancing order. To find a food bank near you, text “FOOD” to 855-308-2282 or call the food bank’s helpline at 832-369-9390.
https://www.houstonfoodbank.org/covid19/

Gallery Furniture is also offering free delivery of care packages for seniors and citizens with disabilities. The packages will include toiletries and non-perishable food items. Individuals can sign up for the care package service online at: https://www.galleryfurniture.com/gf-covid-19.html?utm_source=website&utm_medium=org&utm_campaign=covid19&utm_term=l_covid19&utm_content=gf

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