Texas - COVID-19 Covered

Texas

Total Cases: 2,227,789 (January 23)
Tests Administered: 16,596,622 (January 22)
Fatalities: 34,381 (January 23)
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 a $420 million reimbursement program for Texas schools to continue supporting remote learning. (November 18 
  • Governor Abbott announced that the Texas Health & Human Services Commission would provide approximately $202 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits for the month of November. (November 5 
  • 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 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:

  • 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:

  • 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