Texas - COVID-19 Covered

Texas

Total Cases: 2,978,351 (June 15)
Tests Administered: 2,686,818 (March 7)
Fatalities: 51,940 (June 15)
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:

  • Governor Abbot announced that Texas healthcare and frontline workers will be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. (November 23) 
  • 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 $208 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program food benefits for the month of June. (June 2) 
  • Governor Abbott announced over $171 million in CARES Act funding for rental assistance. (September 25) 
  • 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 had 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) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Abbot and the Texas Division of Emergency Management expanded the COVID-19 Small Business Rapid Testing Program through the dedication of one million BinaxNow Rapid Tests. (January 22) 
  • The Texas Workforce Commission extended payment deadlines for designated reimbursing employers that are required to pay a share of unemployment benefits. (May 22) 
  • Governor Abbott allowed 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:

  • Over one million COVID-19 vaccines were shipped to Texas the week of March 8, including almost a quarter million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. (March 5) 
  • Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and El Paso leaders announced that masks would be required at city-owned spaces, such as libraries, police and fire departments, and convention centers. (March 4) 
  • The Texas Department of State Health Services announced that school and childcare workers are now eligible for vaccination. (March 3) 
  • Governor Abbott issued an executive order lifting the state’s mask mandate and increasing capacity for all businesses and facilities to 100 percent. (March 2) 
  • Approximately 600,000 first dose COVID-19 vaccinewould be allocated to 593 Texas providers beginning February 22. Nearly 517,000 second doses would be available in the following weeks. (February 22) 
  • Governor Abbot announced that FEMA would establish vaccination sites at AT&T Stadium, Fair Park, and NRG Stadium Operation beginning February 24. (February 10) 
  • Dozens of Texas CVS Pharmacies were authorized to administer COVID-19 vaccinations. (February 8) 
  • The Texas Division of Emergency Management created the State Mobile Vaccine Pilot Program, which will deploy the National Guard to DeWitt, Marion, Real, Sherman and Starr counties to administer vaccines. (January 27) 
  • The Texas Division of Emergency Management has opened a COVID-19 therapeutic infusion center in Lubbock. The center will use Regeneron and Bamlanivim to treat patients with COVID-19. (January 20) 
  • The Texas Department of State Health Services announced 234 providers would receive their first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccines. In total, 158,825 doses would be shipped to these locations. Distribution would focus on vaccinating health care workers, people 65 and older and those with bronchial-related medical conditions. (January 10) 
  • Governor Abbott announced Texas would participate in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, which sets the schedule for COVID-19 vaccinations for residents and staff of long-term care facilities. (December 11) 
  • Governor Abbot announced that Texas healthcare and frontline workers would be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. (November 23) 
  • Governor Abbott announced that 13 additional counties would be required to reduce their maximum business occupancy rate from 75 percent to 50 percent. (November 23) 
  • Governor Abbott renewed the state disaster declaration for COVID-19 in November 2020. (November 6) 
  • 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 established a statewide face covering requirement and issued a proclamation to limit gatherings. (July 2) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • A COVID-19 rapid testing program has been created for Texas youth summer camps. Any camp licensed by the Texas Department of State Health Services can register for the program here. 
  • The Texas Education Agency has launched a grant application of up to $1,500 for students with cognitive disabilities impacted by COVID-19. (January 28) 
  • 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 [email protected]