Texas - COVID-19 Covered

Texas

Total Cases: 888,362 (October 25)
Fatalities: 17,915 (October 25)
Testing:
  • A list of Texas COVID-19 testing sites can be found here. 
  • Governor Abbott announced that the federally funded COVID-19 testing sites in Harris County will be extended through August 29. (August 12 

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 would provide approximately $196 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits for the month of October. (September 30) 
  • Governor Abbott announced over $171 million in CARES Act funding towards rental assistance. (September 25  
  • Governor Abbott announced the Texas Health & Human Services Commission would provide approximately $188 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits for the month of September. (August 31 
  • Governor Abbott announced the Texas Health & Human Services Commission would provide approximately $185 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits for the month of August. (July 30) 
  • Governor Abbott announced that the Texas Health & Human Services Commission would extend flexibilities to Medicaid and CHIP recipients and providers through October 23. (July 30 
  • Governor Abbott announced $41 million in federal COVID-19 emergency funding for local governments. (July 15 
  • Governor Abbott announced the Texas Health & Human Services Commission 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 & Human Services Commission has received approval from the US 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 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 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Abbott announced that the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Division of Emergency Management will deploy an additional 460 medical personnel to the El Paso region this week. (October 22) 
  • The Texas Workforce Commission 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 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 & 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 
  • 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 updated the disaster declaration for regions with high COVID-19 hospitalizations. (October 8) 
  • Governor Abbott issued an executive order to open bars and similar establishments at up to 50 percent capacity in conjunction with county officials. (October 7 
  • Governor Abbott extended the statewide disaster declaration for all Texas counties in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (September 7) 
  • Governor Abbott said he had no plans for another shutdown despite rising cases in Texas. (July 10) 
  • Governor Abbott established a statewide face covering requirement and issued a proclamation to limit gatherings. (July 2) 
  • 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 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 
  • Governor Abbott 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 3 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 an executive order terminating air travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. (May 21) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Texas created a new data stem to help Texas Public Schools navigate the pandemic. (August 22) 
  • Governor Abbott and the Texas Education Agency released a statement reaffirming that local school boards will make reopening decisions around schools. (July 31  
  • All schools in Bexar County will conduct remote learning through September 7. (July 17) 

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