Texas - COVID-19 Covered

Texas

Total Cases: 506,008 (August 10)
Tests Administered: 4,025,864 (January 1)
Fatalities: 9,177 (August 10)
Testing:
  • Governor Abbott announced that the Houston Astros and the Texas Division of Emergency Management will open a free COVID-19 testing site at Minute Maid Park in Houston beginning August 8. (August 6 
  • Governor Abbott announced that the federal government has granted his request to extend operations of Community Based Testing Sites across Texas. (June 26 
  • Governor Abbott 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. (June 24 
  • You can find your closest Texas COVID-19 testing site here. 
  • Governor Abbott announced that CVS Health will open 44 new COVID-19 test sites at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations across Texas. (May 21 

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • Essential services include healthcare, grocery stores, banking and financial services, utilities, childcare for essential service employees, and government services. (March 31) 

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Texas released official reopening “Minimum Recommended Health Protocols” for businesses. Details for select businesses can be found here.   

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Abbott announced the Texas Health & Human Services Commission will provide approximately $185 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits for the month of August. (July 30) 
  • Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced that the Health Equity Task Force has joined forces with the Medical Care Subcommittee and Faith Community Leaders Subcommittee to distribute food and masks to the community. The COVID-19 Essentials Drive will occur July 25 at the Norte Dame Catholic Church. (July 22) 
  • Governor Abbott announced $41 million in federal COVID-19 emergency funding for local governments. (July 15 
  • Governor Abbott announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will provide approximately $182 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits for the month of July. (July 2 
  • Governor Abbott announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will provide $177 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits for the month of June in response to the COVID-19 crisis. (June 4 
  • Governor Abbott announced the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has received more than $3 million in federal funding to provide shelter and services to survivors of family and domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. (May 14 
  • The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide more than $1 billion in food benefits through the federal Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program to families with children who have temporarily lost access to free or discounted school meals due to COVID-19 related school closures. (May 12 
  • Governor Abbott and the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) announced that HOME Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) will be made available to Texans experiencing housing challenges due to COVID-19. (April 24 
  • The Texas Workforce Commission paid out over $20 million in benefits on April 23 to those who are eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. (April 24)  
  • Governor Abbott announced that the Public Safety Office (PSO) will provide $38 million in federal funds to local units of government in Texas. (April 15 
  • The Austin City Council approved $15 million in economic relief funds to assist people hit by the economic collapse caused by COVID-19. (April 10) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has extended payment deadlines for designated reimbursing employers that are required to pay a share of unemployment benefits. (May 22 
  • Governor Abbott is allowing Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) license and permit renewals to occur after the current 30-day grace period after an expiration date without any late fees. (May 20 
  • Governor Abbott’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism launched the Governor’s Small Business Webinar Series to provide small business owners and entrepreneurs with relevant and actionable information on COVID-19 recovery resources. (April 16 
  • Texas airports will receive an $811.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. (April 14 
  • Governor Abbott announced that Goldman Sachs and the LiftFund, along with other community development financial institutions (CDFIs), are partnering to provide $50 million in loans to small businesses. (April 13) 
  • Employers facing reduced business due to COVID-19 can submit a shared work plan to the state, which offers employers an alternative to layoffs. (TX Workforce Commission) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • Governor Abbott said he had no plans for another shutdown despite rising cases in Texas. (July 10) 
  • Governor Abbott extended the state’s COVID-19 disaster declaration. (July 10) 
  • Governor Abbott established a statewide face covering requirement and issued a proclamation to limit gatherings. (July 2) 
  • Governor Abbott issued a proclamation to expand hospital capacity in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties. (June 30)   
  • Governor Abbott announced that the 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. (June 29)  
  • Governor Abbott issued an executive order limiting certain businesses and services as part of the state’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. (June 26)  
  • Governor Abbott issued an Executive Order to ensure hospital bed availability for COVID-19 patients as Texas faces an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. The order suspends elective surgeries at hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties.  (June 25 
  • Governor Abbott announced that Texas will pause any further phases to reopen as the state responds to the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. (June 25)  
  • As COVID-19 cases rise in Texas, Governor Abbott has expanded the ability of mayors and county judges to impose restrictions on outdoor gatherings of over 100 people. (June 23)  
  • Governor Abbott signed an executive order implementing Phase III of the state’s reopening plan. The order includes maintaining a ban on visitation of nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, and long term care facilities and allowing public schools to resume operations under minimum standard health protocols issued by the Texas Education Agency. (June 3 
  • Governor Abbott issued Executive Order (GA-24), terminating air travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. (May 21 
  • Governor Abbott issued a proclamation, extending the Disaster Declaration for all Texas counties. (May 12 
  • Governor Abbott issued an executive order to expand the openings of certain businesses and activities, such as restaurants, movie theaters, and shopping malls. (May 5 
  • The city of Galveston will partially reopen public beaches on April 27 for exercise purposes only. (April 24 
  • State parks will reopen April 20, but visitors will be required to wear face coverings. (April 17) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Governor Abbott announced federally funded COVID-19 testing sites in Harris County. (August 7 
  • Governor Abbott announced that the Houston Astros and the Texas Division of Emergency Management will open a free COVID-19 testing site at Minute Maid Park in Houston beginning August 8. (August 6 
  • Governor Abbott announced that the federal government has granted his request to extend operations of Community Based Testing Sites across Texas. (June 26 
  • Governor Abbott 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. (June 24 
  • You can find your closest Texas COVID-19 testing site here. 
  • Governor Abbott announced that CVS Health will open 44 new COVID-19 test sites at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations across Texas. (May 21 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Texas universities and colleges planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com