[COVID-19] RESOURCES

In addition, to follow are links to COVID-19 information from HD 101 area local governments, medical providers, institutions of higher education and school districts. For information from the Department of State Health Services, click here.

[UPDATED: JULY 6, 2020]

ALL TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE SCHOOL YEAR.

ARLINGTON ISD

MEALS INFORMATION:
Meal Information, pick up locations and menu: https://www.aisd.net/coronavirus/student-meal-plan-during-school-closure/

PICK-UP DAYS ARE MONDAYS & THURSDAYS ONLY BETWEEN 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM. Arlington ISD Food and Nutrition Service personnel will be distributing frozen or refrigerated food that is packaged much like you’d get at a grocery store.

    • The Arlington ISD will provide a menu as a suggestion for how to use the food items, but families will be able to choose when and what combination of food to eat as preferred.
    • Mondays families will pick up three breakfasts and three lunches per child 18 and under; Thursdays families will pick up four breakfasts and four lunches per child 18 and under.
    • Meals will continue to be distributed from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Monday and Thursday ONLY.
    • Drivers are asked to open the trunk or rear hatch so an Arlington ISD staff member can place the items in the car.
    • If you’re not planning to eat the food immediately, please follow these guidelines to make sure food remains safe to eat at a later time:
      • Discard all perishable foods and beverages that have been left out longer than 2 hours
      • Refrigerate or freeze, as appropriate, foods and beverages as soon as possible but always within 2 hours.
    • No student ID or other form of identification is required if child is present.
    • The USDA has waived the requirement that the child be present to receive the meal. A district now has the option to allow parents/guardians to pick up meals for their children who are not present if appropriate documentation is shown.ANYONE REQUESTING MEALS FOR A CHILD WHO IS NOT PRESENT WITH THEM MUST SHOW ONE OF THE FOLLOWING FORMS OF IDENTIFICATION:
      • Student ID badge from the child’s school
      • Student report card from the 2019-20 school year
      • Birth certificate
      • An official letter/email from a district, charter or private school showing children in the household

     

MANSFIELD ISD

MISD: Student Nutrition

To ensure that children continue receiving delicious and nutritious meals throughout the summer, Mansfield ISD will kick off its sixth annual free summer meals program.

Starting May 29, all kids up to age 18 and adults with special needs up to age 21 will receive the free food from 9 to 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays. (Three breakfast meals and three lunch meals will be provided on those days.)

The food distribution sites are:

  • Glenn Harmon Elementary School
  • D.P. Morris Elementary School
  • Annette Perry Elementary School
  • Mary Jo Sheppard Elementary School
  • Della Icenhower Intermediate School
  • Lake Ridge High School

View the menu.

Children do not have to be an MISD student to receive the meals, and families can visit any of the participating sites.

The packaged meals are distributed in a drive-thru fashion. Walkers and bike riders are also welcome to grab a meal to go.

No one will need to exit their personal vehicles; and if the child is not present, a form of ID or proof of enrollment will need to be presented on site.

Examples of ID and proof of enrollment are:

  • An official Letter/email from school that shows children as enrolled
  • An individual student report cards
  • An attendance record from parent portal of school website
  • A birth certificate for children not in school
  • A student ID card

The last day of service will be Friday, July 31.

For meals locations across Texas, visit: txschools.gov

Daycare Information:  New Emergency Rules for Day Care Operations

 

Fall Reopening 2020

Parents, please note that the deadline to submit your child’s application for the MISD Virtual Learning Academy has been extended to Monday, July 20. The district asks that parents submit their decision by that date for planning and staffing purposes.

 


GOVERNOR’S EXECUTIVE ORDERS

DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES

TEXAS HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING BOARD
Site includes lists of all public institutions of higher education and the status of each institution. A list of private institutions is in the process of being compiled.

TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY

TEXAS WORKFORCE COMMISSION
Unemployment benefits
Help for Jobseekers
Help for Employers
Child Care Information

Your Texas Benefits

  • SNAP: Helps families buy food for good health.
  • TANF: Helps families with children age 18 and younger pay for basic needs.
  • CHIP/Medicaid: Helps cover visits to doctors, dentists, and hospitals. Also covers medicines ordered by doctors and dentists.
  • Support Services: Helps people with daily living needs, caregivers, and people with mental health, drug or alcohol issues.
  • WIC: Helps pregnant, breastfeeding women and families with children younger than 5 buy healthy foods.



UT ARLINGTON
To ensure the health and safety of UTA students, faculty and staff, the University will continue all instruction in an online format through Maymester and the Summer 2020 Term. There will be no in-person instruction during this time.

Students are encouraged to take the Online Learning Technology and Preparedness Survey to inform faculty and staff of technological capabilities as the University prepares to deliver instruction and services through online platforms.

TARRANT COUNTY COLLEGE
UPDATED 4/9: TCC will continue to operate virtually through the end of the Summer term. MORE DETAILS

  • TCC will continue to operate virtually through the end of the Summer term; specific details will be sent to students, faculty, and staff in the coming days.
  • TCC has made the decision to offer Fall 2020 classes predominantly online.

ATMOS ENERGY
Atmos Energy understands that the coronavirus outbreak may cause some of our valued customers to experience financial difficulty, whether because of illness, quarantine or a disruption at work. As part of its commitment to serving and working with its customers throughout this difficult time, Atmos Energy has temporarily suspended natural gas disconnections. For more information, visit: https://www.atmosenergy.com/customer-service/get-help-paying-your-bill

ELECTRIC, WATER & WASTEWATER
On March 26, the Public Utility Commission of Texas ordered a temporary moratorium on disconnections of electricity, water and wastewater for those unable to pay their bills. More details, click here. The moratorium continues through July 17.

Texas COVID-19 Electricity Relief Program: https://txcovid19erp.org/

TXU
If a customer is unable to pay their bill, we’re here to help. To take advantage of this assistance, TXU Energy customers should call 1-800-242-9113.

INTERNET PROVIDERS

  • Altice USA, providers of Suddenlink services, is offering free broadband for 60 days to families with school-aged kids who don’t currently have home internet. Eligible households should call 888-633-0030 to enroll.
  • Charter, providers of Spectrum services, says it will expand access to high-speed broadband for households with school-age children and college students. Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband at any level and Wi-Fi access to those who don’t already have a Spectrum subscription. To enroll, call 844-488-8395.
  • Comcast, providers of Xfinity, says it’ll offer its Internet Essentials service, normally $9.95 per month, free for 60 days to new qualifying households. Comcast also says it increased the speed and people won’t be charged an additional fee.
  • All AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet, can use unlimited internet data.  Additionally, we’ll continue to offer internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through our Access from AT&T program. We’ve expanded eligibility to Access from AT&T to households participating in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start. Additionally, we’re offering new Access from AT&T customers two months of free service.

The following is a list of organizations helping our community by providing aid for those in need to food, housing, health services and more. This list is for those who need help or would like to find ways to help others. As we receive new and updated information, we will update this list.

Name & Website Services Hours Phone Number Address Current Needs (4/8)
211 Agency Referrals N/A 2-1-1 or
(877) 541-7905
N/A
American Red Cross Blood donation Appointments online or by phone (214) 678-4800 2055 Kendall Drive, Dallas, TX 75235 Severe blood shortage due to Coronavirus
Arlington Charities Food Bank, Clothing, Toiletries Call for Appointment:
Monday – Friday: 9:15 AM – 1 PM
817.275.1511 811 Secretary Drive, Arlington, Texas 76015 Offering meals by drive-thru
Arlington DFW Child Care Provider Association Child Care listing and resources N/A 214-986-1912 P.O. Box 180552, Arlington, TX 76096 NEED: Bleach, hand soap, paper towels, toiletries, class/ information on infectious diseases, hazard pay, consolidated resources.
Arlington Hearts & Hands Food Pantry at North Davis Church of Christ Monday – Friday: 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Wednesday: 6pm – 7pm

(817)  459-4950 1601 North Davis Drive, Arlington, TX 76012 NEED: Pinto beans, cereal
Arlington Housing Authority Homeless Services, Rental Assistance Monday to Friday: 8:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m. 817-275-3351 501 W Sanford Street, Suite 20, Arlington, TX 76011 Operating as usual but encouraging online options
Arlington Life Shelter Shelter Services, Employment, Health Services 24-hour services to address COVID-19 817-548-9885 Arlington Life Shelter: 325 W. Division St., Arlington, Texas 76011
Epworth UMC: 1400 S. Cooper St., Arlington, TX 76013
Still doing intake, at capacity of 50 people/ day, will increase capacity by June 1; NEED: operating funds, extra staff, face masks, cleaning supplies, PPE, twin sized blankets.
Arlington Urban Ministries Emergency Financial Assistance, Homelessness Prevention, Food Monday – Thursday: 9am – 5pm (817) 861-8585 701 Dugan Street, Arlington, Texas 76010 15-20 applications/day; NEED: sack lunches, bottled water, easy to eat food, snacks, etc.
Carter BloodCare Blood donation N/A 1-800 Donate 4 2205 Highway 121, Bedford, Texas 76021 Reminder that COVID-19 is not blood transmissible and they need donations.
Catholic Charities FW Transportation, Immigration, and Dental Clinic services will continue at Main Campus Monday – Friday: 7:30am-5:00pm 817.534.0814 249 West Thornhill Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76115 Assembled Emergency Response Team for continuity of service
Center for Transforming Lives Homelessness services, Child Care 24/7 (817) 332-6191 512 West 4th Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102
Common Ground Mansfield Food services, Donations for MISD N/A (866) 526-7069 PO Box 1049, Mansfield, TX 76063 Money and meals for kids
Grand Prairie United Charities Food Bank Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri:  9am – 1pm 972-262-2014 1417 Densman Street, Grand Prairie, Texas 75051  Money and food
Harvesting in Mansfield Food Pantry Tuesday: 9:30am – Noon
2nd Thursday: 5:30pm – 7:30pm
4th Saturday: 9:00 – 11:00 am
(817) 453-3663 150 S 6th Ave, Mansfield, TX 76063 500-600 families/week, capacity to reach up to 1,000/week; NEED: funding and meals for children
Lifeline Shelter for Families Housing Assistance in GP Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm 972-237-5546 2341 S. Belt Line Road, Grand Prairie, TX 75051 NEED: money, diapers, formula, baby-related needs
Meals on Wheels Meals for Seniors Monday – Thursday: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
817-336-0912 5740 Airport Freeway, Haltom City, TX 76117 NEED: help funding meals.
Mission Arlington Emergency Financial Assistance, Food, Transportation Volunteer Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Mon-Sat)
Drop-Off Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Mon-Sat)
Emergency Assistance:
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Mon-Fri).
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Sat).
817-277-6620 210 W South St, Arlington, TX 76010 They are close to reaching capacity; NEED: food, diapers, money for rent aid.
North Texas Food Bank Food bank; Donations Monday -Saturday: 8:30am-4:30pm General
(214) 330-1396
Food Assistance:
1-855-719-7627; 214-269-0906
3677 Mapleshade Ln, Plano, TX 75075 Operating as usual; Focused on elderly, children of low-income households, families without supplies
One Safe Place Food, Clothing, Healthcare, Counseling (domestic violence oriented) Monday – Friday: 8am-7pm 817-885-7774 1100 Hemphill Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76104 Operating under interim guidelines but continuing service
SafeHaven TC Counseling, Transitional Housing, Emergency Shelter (Women & Children affected by domestic violence) 24/7 Hotline: 1-877-701-SAFE 817-535-6462 1010 N Center St, Arlington, TX 76011 At capacity; NEED: help publicizing hotline number.
Salvation Army Shelter Services, Food Monday – Saturday: 10am-6pm (817) 860-1836 712 W. Abram Street, Arlington, TX 76013 Served over 1,000 families, at or over capacity; NEED: money dry goods, canned goods, peanut butter, fruit, soups, vegetables, pasta sauces, snacks, granola, bedding, laundry detergent, bedroom/ bathroom items. Click here for more.
Sixty & Better Meals for Seniors Monday – Friday: 8am-5pm (817) 413-4949 1400 Circle Drive, Suite 300, Fort Worth, TX 76119 Trying to find a way to continue serving meals even though all activity centers are closed
Tarrant Area Food Bank Food bank; Donations Monday – Thursday: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

817-857-7100 2600 Cullen Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107 Still packaging food for the community and delivering it through their partners
Tarrant County Coronavirus Information Hotline Coronavirus Information Monday – Friday 8am-5pm Hotline: 817-248-6299 100 E. Weatherford, Fort Worth, Texas 76196
Tarrant County Homeless Coalition Housing, Transportation, Medical, Shelter, Employment Resources Monday – Friday: 8am-5pm (817) 996-8800 300 S Beach St, Fort Worth, TX 76105 Operating as usual
The Women’s Center of Tarrant County Counseling, Crisis Hotline, Employment Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm Main Office: 817.927.4040

Satellite Office: 817.548.1663

Main Office: 1723 Hemphill, Fort Worth, TX 76110

Satellite Office: 401 West Sanford, Ste. 1200, Arlington, TX 76011

Doing their best to continue service
United Way of Tarrant County Funding meals for seniors Monday – Friday 8am-5pm Main Office:
(817) 258-8000Arlington Office:
(817) 548-9595
Main Office
1500 N. Main, Ste. 200
Fort Worth, TX 76164-0448Arlington Office
401 W. Sanford St.
Arlington, TX 76011
Purchasing non-perishable meals for elderly and funding delivery services for meds

Four Days

If you’re like me, you’re tired of being at home! We all want to get out and most importantly, we all want to see all businesses reopened as quickly as possible, so all Texans can get back to work. Unfortunately, I fear Governor Abbott’s confusing, haphazard and disorganized plan is doing more harm than good.

Phase 1 of Abbott’s plan went into effect Friday. He said retail stores, restaurants and movie theaters could operate at 25% capacity. This was to be followed by a phase 2 that would go into effect no sooner than May 18th — once there was a couple of weeks of data and the state had determined that it is safe to move forward with increased occupancy rates and allowing additional types of businesses to open.

With Dallas County reporting its highest single-day increase with 237 new positive COVID-19 cases just three days following the start of phase 1 and Friday Tarrant County reporting 144 new positive cases, the data didn’t seem to be heading in the right direction.

I guess the Governor has information we’re just not privy to, because four days [read: not two weeks] after phase 1 took effectGovernor Abbott jumped ahead to phase 2.

So, starting tomorrow, swimming pools; barber shops; hair, nail and tanning salons will be permitted to open. On May 18th, gyms and other workout facilities will be added to that list, and as of Tuesday, outdoor seating at restaurants don’t have to comply with the 25 percent capacity rule.

There’s no other way to say it — these are dangerous decisions that will result in a spike in cases and more people getting sick.

Yesterday, I was on a call with local leaders and the discussion turned to whether or not these decisions could be reversed if there’s a spike in cases. In response, a public health expert said, “it will be very hard to put the genie back in the bottle.” He’s right. Unfortunately, there’s likely no turning back.

The premature nature of these decisions is coupled with the fact that there are few requirements that businesses must follow to keep employees and customers protected. Abbott’s plan lists only “minimum recommended” guidelines for cleaning, personal protection equipment (PPE) and other safety precautions. Because his executive order preempts local decision-making, cities’ and counties’ hands are tied and they can no longer do things like require people to wear masks. It’s a shame, because it will be the cities and counties and their public health departments that will absorb much of the impact when we see an increase in positive tests.

To be clear, I want everything reopened as soon as possible.

I am, however, opposed to doing so in a rushed and haphazard way, without the data trending in the right direction, before we have adequate testing and contact tracing in place, and before addressing the need for more PPE.

Yes, we may now be permitted to eat out, go to a movie and get a haircut. All of which sound pretty wonderful after nearly two months of staying at home.

Unfortunately, it’s too soon when the virus is still spreading quickly. For the safety of others and ourselves, let’s continue to stay home as much as possible.

IN THE NEWS: APRIL 24, 2020

As a friend and supporter, I want to keep you updated on the work that my fellow House Democrats and I are doing in response to COVID-19.

Below are some recent news clips that may be of interest to you.

Stay safe.

Chris


Texas House Democrats Want to Reopen Economy:
First, Abbott Must Increase
COVID-19 Testing & Expand Medicaid

KVUE / April 22, 2020
‘Texas is way behind’ | State lawmaker weighs in on lack of testing as Central 
Texas clinics ramp up efforts
“We have to have much more robust testing for COVID-19,” said Rep. Chris Turner (D-Texas 101). “We all want the economy reopened as quickly as possible.”


Baytown Sun / April 18, 2020
San Marcos Daily Record / Texas Press Association / April 21, 2020
Governor’s Orders Move State Toward Reopening
After Abbott’s news conference, Texas House Democratic Caucus Chairman Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, said, “We want the Texas economy to fully reopen as soon as possible, and public health experts agree that can only happen with robust testing in place. When it comes to decisions on how to defeat COVID-19, we have to continue to follow doctors’ orders.” Story also featured: The Colorado County Citizen / April 22, 2020Kilgore News Herald / April 22, 2020

Chambers Co. unable to secure virus tests, PPE
Rep. Chris Turner (D-Grand Prairie) sits as the Chair of the Democratic Caucus and called for additional testing in the state.

“Texas continues to be in the bottom three states when it comes to COVID-19 testing per capita, and Gov. Abbott has failed to provide a clear plan for how Texas will increase testing. We have heard that there are ‘encouraging signs’ more testing is coming, but it never seems to happen. We need to dramatically increase testing right now.”

NBC DFW / April 17, 2020
State Representative Says More Coronavirus Testing is Needed Before Texas Opens Businesses

“Before we can do that we’ve got to have widespread testing available,” Texas House Democratic caucus chairman Representative Chris Turner said. “We’ve got to improve our testing capacity because we just don’t know how widespread this COVID-19 virus is in Texas.”

Fort Worth Star-Telegram / April 17, 2020
Abbott unveils guidelines to reopen Texas businesses; schools closed for academic year
“We have heard for weeks that there are ‘encouraging signs’ more testing is coming, but it never seems to happen, We need to dramatically increase testing, right now,” Rep. Chris Turner, a Democrat from Grand Prairie and chair of the House Democratic Caucus, said in a statement after Abbott’s announcementStory also featured: MSN.com / April 17, 2020

Texas Tribune / April 17, 2020
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces team to restart the economy, loosens some restrictions

After the news conference, state Rep. Chris Turner, the chair of the House Democratic Caucus, issued a statement saying Abbott has failed to “provide a clear plan for how Texas will increase testing.” Story also featured: Corsicana Daily Sun / April 21, 2020

Austin American Statesman / April 17, 2020
Abbott faces crosswinds as he prepares plan to reopen Texas

“The governor is the chief executive of our state. He should be guided by science and make the right decisions no matter how many different places he feels pressure from, and it’s just vitally important that whatever decisions he’s made are in in the interests of the public health and are guided by public health experts and not by ideologically driven motivations which seem to be what some of the voices are driven by that we’re hearing,” said state Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

Dallas Observer / April 17, 2020
With Abbott On Deck, Democrats Roll Out Their Own Conditions for Getting Texas Reopened
“Here’s our concern today: On Tuesday this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who, of course, is our country’s top infectious disease expert, publicly warned that the nation was not ready to ease stay-at-home orders,” said Grand Prairie Democrat Chris Turner, the head of the Texas House Democratic Caucus. “His stance has been echoed by Texas public health experts, doctors and hospital officials … The bottom line is this: Texas needs to follow doctors’ orders when it comes to fighting the coronavirus. We all want business to reopen as soon as possible, but that can only happen when it is safe to do so.”

El Paso Times / April 17, 2020
Gov. Greg Abbott to open Texas economy in stages during COVID-19 crisis
“Texas needs to follow the doctor’s orders when it comes to fighting the coronavirus. We all want business to reopen as soon as possible, but that can only happen when it is safe to do so,” state Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, the House Democrat Caucus chair.

KVUE / April 16, 2020
Texas House Democrats call on Gov. Abbott to take action before reopening businesses
“The bottom line is this: Texas needs to follow doctor’s orders when it comes to fighting the coronavirus,” State Rep. Chris Turner (D-Grand Prairie), chair of the Texas House Democratic Caucus, said.

KXAN / Nexstar TV / April 16, 2020
Democrats, Republicans host town halls ahead of Gov. Abbott’s Friday address 
“We all want businesses to be able to open…but that can only happen when it’s safe to do so. These are things that are essential that Governor Abbott has to get right before we reopen,” Rep. Turner said.

NBC DFW / April 5, 2020
Lone Star Politics
“I think there’s a lot of work yet to be done. We know that Texas does need to obtain more PPE to get out to health care providers, hospitals and first responders and we learned yesterday or last week from president Trump that there’s not much in the federal stockpile, and not much made available to states, which is a complete failure of leadership on the federal level.”

Other News

Fort Worth Star-Telegram / April 21, 2020
Texas approved to let SNAP recipients get their groceries delivered amid coronavirus

And it comes weeks after 45 state lawmakers had sent a letter to Abbott on April 3, urging him to direct HHSC to take part in the pilot program. From the Tarrant County area, Reps. Chris Turner, a Democrat from Grand Prairie, Nicole Collier, a Democrat from Fort Worth, and Ramon Romero, a Democrat from Fort Worth, signed on.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram / April 16, 2020
More delays in the Census could affect redistricting and response rates in Texas
In each of the last two decades, state lawmakers have tackled redistricting in special sessions, and Rep. Chris Turner, a Democrat from Grand Prairie and vice-chair of the House Redistricting Committee, said if need be, the legislature can adapt.

“Ultimately if that was the situation that we found ourselves in, I’m confident that legislators would step up and confront the challenge and hopefully get the people’s business done,” Turner said.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram / April 15, 2020
GOP lawmakers call on Abbott to loosen restrictions, restart economy amid coronavirus
“This is crazy and completely contrary to all guidance being provided by public health experts and medical professionals,” Turner wrote. “It’s also disgraceful that members of the Texas House are using racial, dogwhistle language like ‘Wuhan virus.’”

Austin American Statesman / April 14, 2020
Census delay may lead to Summer 2021 redistricting session
“Historically, every time new decennial census data is released, the Texas Legislature has met and made the effort to draw maps,” Turner said. “This time will be no different.”

[COVID-19] Stay Home! And other Updates

First off, I hope you and your family are healthy, safe and staying at home as much as possible.

These are difficult and uncertain times, with information changing at what seems like a lightning-fast pace. Over the course of the past few weeks, my staff and I have been in daily communication with state and local officials about the COVID-19 crisis and doing all we can to keep the residents of District 101 updated.

To follow is some key information regarding the state and local response, as well as resources for those in need of help and for those willing to help. This is not an exhaustive list, and more COVID-19 information and resources may be found on my website by clicking here.

LOCAL RESPONSE TO COVID-19: Stay Home!
On Tuesday, Tarrant County and the cities of Arlington and Fort Worth instituted stay-at-home orders. As the strain on our medical facilities and health care providers increases, this was a critical step to slow the spread of the virus. I commend Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price for their leadership and for making this hard, but prudent decision that will save lives. I also thank my mayor, Ron Jensen of Grand Prairie, for his leadership and working with both Dallas and Tarrant Counties on these orders.

The orders require residents to remain at their homes unless they are engaging in “essential activities,” such as shopping for groceries, getting gas, visiting a pharmacy or picking up food or merchandise from a business. Businesses deemed “non-essential” are closed to the public or must operate on a pick-up/take-out only model. To view the entire order, click here.

Employees who work in “essential businesses” or government are permitted to travel to their work location, if necessary.

Additionally, gatherings outside of a single household are prohibited. Everyone is allowed — and encouraged — to go outdoors for exercise and fresh air; just maintain a distance of at least six feet from others.

These rules, which cover all of District 101, are in effect through at least April 7th.

To ensure that children in our community have access to nutritious meals, local school districts, including Arlington and Mansfield ISDs are providing food for any child 18 years old or younger. There is no requirement that the child attend an AISD or MISD school. For more information and locations, click here.

STATE RESPONSE TO COVID-19
The same day Tarrant County, Arlington, Fort Worth, and several other communities across Texas implemented stay-at-home orders, I spearheaded the effort to have the House Democratic Caucus, which I chair, call on Governor Greg Abbott to issue a statewide stay-home order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed in a matter of weeks. Doing so would also provide consistency across the state. To read the letter, click here.

Additionally, the Dallas Morning News has a good summary of our efforts here. Unfortunately, Gov. Abbott has so far declined to use his authority to take this action, but I remain hopeful that he will do so soon.

The state has taken steps to help address medical care and personnel needs related to COVID-19. By the end of the week, Texas will begin receiving more personal protective equipment (PPE), including 100,000 masks per week.

To help add to the pool of medical providers, the state has fast-tracked the temporary licensing of out-of-state physicians and physician assistants, as well as certain retired physicians and nurses. Hospitals are also being allowed to increase their capacity without the customary application or fees. To allow patients to consult their doctors without contributing to the spread of COVID-19, telemedicine visits will be covered like in-office visits for any individuals covered by state-regulated insurance plans.

For those who have lost their employment or whose hours have been reduced as a result of the virus, certain regulations related to applying for unemployment insurance have been lifted, including no longer having to wait to apply or be actively searching for employment to be eligible. If you think you may be eligible, but are unsure, visit the Texas Workforce Commission website or contact my office by calling 817-459-2800.

For a full list of regulatory changes to address COVID-19 emergency needs, click here.

If you need guidance about state services related to Medicaid, drivers licenses, car registration, and more, visit Texas.gov.

WHERE TO GO IF YOU NEED HELP OR HAVE HELP TO GIVE
Organizations across our community are working to provide assistance with food, clothing, housing, and counseling. If you are in need of services or are looking for organizations that need your help, a list of local community resources may be found here.

If you are a medical or dental professional with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available for donation, please consider gifting them to your local hospital or use the State of Texas Portal for COVID-19 donations.

Right now, one of the most important things you can do is to donate blood. The social distancing necessitated by COVID-19 has left blood banks and hospitals at critically low levels. COVID-19 is not blood transmissible, so please consider contacting Carter BloodCare or the American Red Cross to donate today.

AID TO SMALL BUSINESSES
Small business owners in need of help may apply to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program from the U.S. Small Business Administration for a loan of up to $2 million.

DOING OUR PART TO SLOW THE SPREAD
The easiest and most important thing we can do to help slow the spread of COVID-19 is to follow these simple guidelines:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  3. Avoid shaking hands and having unnecessary physical contact with others.
  4. Disinfect high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, remotes, phones and light switches.
  5. Do not overbuy when shopping at the grocery store.
  6. Stay at home as much as possible, especially if you are feeling ill.

By staying home, we will keep ourselves and our families healthy.

If there is anything we can do to assist during this difficult time, please call my office at 817-459-2800 or email chris.turner@house.texas.gov. This is one of the most challenging times any of us have ever lived through, but I am fully confident in the strength and resilience of our nation, of Texas and of our North Texas community.

Stay safe.

[COVID-19] TELE-TOWN HALL & YOUR QUESTIONS

On Monday, March 16, state Representative Chris Turner hosted a tele-town hall for residents of District 101. He was joined by Tarrant County Commissioner Devan Allen, Tarrant County Public Health Director Dr. Vinny Taneja, Arlington Fire Chief Don Crowson, Andrew Fortune with the City of Grand Prairie, AISD Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos, and MISD Superintendent Kimberley Cantu.

Listen to the recording:

The following are questions and corresponding questions asked prior to and during the tele-town hall event. Please note: due to the rapidly changing nature of this situation, the answers to many of these questions may change over time. These answers are current as of Wednesday, March 25. 2020; Noon

Q: WILL TARRANT COUNTY CITIES FOLLOW DALLAS’ LEAD AND CLOSE SOME BUSINESSES, E.G. DINE-IN RESTAURANTS, GYMS, BARS, THEATERS? – MARI V
A: On Tuesday, March 24, the Tarrant County Commissioners Court and the cities of Arlington and Fort Worth announced stay-at-home orders for our community to go into effect at 11:59 PM. These orders, which have been adopted in many of state’s counties, are aimed at limiting the amount of contact among individuals or order to reduce the strain on hospitals and other medical providers. To read the order, visit:
https://www.tarrantcounty.com/content/dam/main/global/Covid-19/covid-19-EO-stay-at-home-amended-signed03-24-20.pdf

On March 19, Governor Abbott announced a new executive order with provisions mirroring those adopted in several cities and counties. These directives were  implemented statewide beginning March 20:

  • Restaurants will be limited to to-go and drive-thru only
  • Gyms and bars closed
  • No gatherings of more than 10 people
  • No visitors at nursing/retirement homes, unless there for medical aid
  • Schools will be closed until at least April 3rd
  • Only essential employees should go into work

Q: WILL ARLINGTON’S VOTE COMING UP EARLY MAY ABOUT SALES TAX INCREASE BE SUSPENDED? – DAVID A.
A: On March 18, Governor Abbott issued a proclamation that would allow political subdivisions to move the May 2, 2020 elections to November 3, 2020. “I strongly encourage local election officials to take advantage of these waivers and postpone their elections until November,” said Governor Abbott. “Right now, the state’s focus is responding to COVID-19 — including social distancing and avoiding large gatherings. By delaying this election, our local election officials can assist in that effort.” The decision regarding when the election will take place and when this specific item will be considered will be made by the City of Arlington. https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-issues-proclamation-allowing-for-postponement-of-local-elections-set-for-may-2nd

Q: IN MOVING TOWARDS BEING MORE PROACTIVE – HOW ARE WE GOING TO HANDLE SITUATION AT GROCERY STORES. THEY SEE A TREND. IS THERE ANY MOVEMENT TOWARDS SHIFT SHOPPING? THIS AGE GROUP NOW AND ANOTHER LATER. – ISAAC
A: Many grocery stores have reduced their hours and have been limiting the number of people within the store at one time. There are also a number of stores that are designating certain hours for older adults as well as people in at-risk groups, including Target, Tom Thumb, Albertsons, Dollar General, and others. Continue to monitor local news sources for stores with special hours. https://dfw.cbslocal.com/2020/03/18/target-whole-foods-dollar-general-designate-shopping-time-for-seniors/


Q: DAY CARE FACILITIES ARE STILL OPEN. WILL THERE BE A MANDATE TO CLOSE THEM? – AUDREY
A: At this time, there is no plan to close daycare facilities. State Health and Human Services regulates these daycare centers. New state regulations mandate checking the temperature of each child at drop-off. Any child with a temperature over 100.4 will not be able to be cared for at the facility that day. https://hhs.texas.gov/about-hhs/communications-events/news/2020/03/hhs-monitors-covid-19-provides-new-guidance-child-care-facilities

Q: WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH GRADUATION? – ANNA T.
A: From Mansfield ISD — Current graduation dates and times have not changed. MISD will continue to monitor this situation and communicate with the community if the guidance from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) changes.

We will post information from Arlington ISD once available. 

Q: WILL THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS BE EXTENDING THE CLOSURE LONGER NOW AFTER WHAT DALLAS COUNTY JUST ANNOUNCED? — MARI V.
A: As a result of the Governor’s March 19th Executive Order all Texas schools will be closed until at least April 3, 2020.

Q: WHAT ARE THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO STUDENTS WHO DO NOT HAVE INTERNET ACCESS OR OTHER DIGITAL EQUIPMENT? – MARVA D.
A: Both Arlington ISD and Mansfield ISD are looking into partnerships with internet service providers that deliver internet service at a discounted rate to low-income residents. Spectrum and AT&T recently announced that they will offer 60 days of internet access to families with children attending schools impacted by COVID-19.

Q: DR. CANTU [MANSFIELD ISD], IF WE HAVE TEENAGE KIDS WHO ARE ABLE TO DRIVE CAN THEY BRING THEIR YOUNGER SIBLINGS WITHOUT PARENTS? WHEN WILL WE HAVE AN UPDATE REGARDING THE REMAINDER OF THE SCHOOL YEAR?
A: Yes. Teenage children may drive younger siblings to designated food delivery sites.

Q: HOW ARE SCHOOL DISTRICTS GOING TO PROVIDE INSTRUCTIONS TO CHILDREN WITH MORE SIGNIFICANT SPECIAL NEEDS AND WHO ARE GOING TO BE PLACED IN MORE CONTAINED SETTINGS? – DEBBIE W.
A: Schools are required to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to all students in the district or school who receive special education and related services. Schools that close campuses and establish virtual learning environments or other alternative educational delivery methods, must ensure that planning addresses the provision of all services required in each student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), including both instructional and related services. TEA will provide further guidance as it becomes available. TEA Link Here

Q: WHAT IS THE PROBABILITY OF HEALTH DEPARTMENT SHUTTING DOWN THE SCHOOLS FOR MORE THAN TWO WEEKS?  — JASON R.
A: As a result of the Governor’s March 19th Executive order all Texas schools will be closed until at least April 3, 2020.

Q: IF THE SCHOOL CONTINUES TO BE CLOSED, WHAT PLAN DO THEY HAVE FOR THE KIDS TO DO THEIR WORK? ARE THEY PLANNING ON ASSIGNMENTS OR CLASSES ONLINE? WHAT’RE WE GOING TO DO? – RACHEL A.
A: MISD spent the week of March 16th preparing teachers and principals for distance learning. Students and parents will be contacted by March 23rd. (https://www.mansfieldisd.org/parents-students/covid-19/distance-learning)

AISD has created an at-home learning hub, sectioned by grade level, with resources for students and parents to use so that students are able to continue their academic growth. (https://www.aisd.net/students/at-home-learning/)

Q: WHAT ABOUT DAYCARE FACILITIES WHO ARE REQUIRING PARENTS TO PAY EVEN THOUGH THE CHILDREN AREN’T ALLOWED AT DAYCARE? – MEAGAN K.
A: Situations such as this may come down to the contractual relationship between the parent and childcare facility. However, if the facility has an agreement for subsidized care through the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), they may be able to intervene.

Q: CHILDCARE PROVIDERS IN ARLINGTON AND SURROUNDING AREAS ARE STILL OPERATING, BUT WE HAVE A LOT MORE KIDS BECAUSE SCHOOLS ARE SHUT DOWN. THEY ARE GETTING PHONE CALLS LOOKING FOR OPEN DAYCARE SLOTS. IF THEY ARE TO REMAIN OPEN, CAN HEALTH DEPARTMENT CONDUCT A WEBINAR? – JERLETHA M.
A: Because this situation is rapidly evolving, childcare providers are highly encouraged to contact the Child Care Licensing (CCL) team at MSC@hhsc.state.tx.us. CCL is prepared to answer questions, provide technical assistance, and grant regulatory flexibility to operations when needed to protect children in care. Additionally, the currently published guidance may be found at: https://hhs.texas.gov/about-hhs/communications-events/news/2020/03/hhs-monitors-covid-19-provides-new-guidance-child-care-facilities

Additional direction/information from HHSC (added 3/25): COVID-19 House Advisory_Childcare Center Launch Guidance TO LEAs (1)

Q: WHERE CAN SOMEONE BE TESTED IF THEY DO NOT HAVE A PCP/INSURANCE? – MELISSA D.
A: Please call a JPS Community Based Clinic. JPS has requested those seeking tests do not go directly to the JPS emergency room. https://www.jpshealthnet.org/locations

Q: REGARD TO DRIVE UP TESTING, WILL THE SITES IN TEXAS BE OPEN TO TARRANT AND DALLAS COUNTY RESIDENTS? HOW WILL YOU KNOW YOU’RE ELIGIBLE FOR TESTING AT ONE OF THESE DRIVE THRUS?
A: There are no drive-thru testing locations in Tarrant County at this time. In order to be tested, one must have a doctor’s order. Those without a PCP or insurance should call a JPS Community Based Clinic.

Q: WILL THE DOCTOR PLEASE TALK ABOUT PEOPLE AT A HIGHER RISK? IS SOMEONE WITH AUTISM, DIABETES, OBESITY AT INCREASED RISK? – CHRISTINE P.
A: The CDC currently identifies anyone 65 years of age and older as well as people of any age with the following conditions: blood disorders, kidney disease, liver disease, compromised immune system including those taking high doses of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressant medications, current or recent pregnancy, endocrine disorders including diabetes, metabolic disorders, heart, lung disease neurological and neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions [including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders), stroke, intellectual disability, moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/community-mitigation-strategy.pdf 

Q: I FEEL THAT MY MOTHER HAS THE CORONAVIRUS AND THE HOSPITALS IN TARRANT COUNTY ARE REFUSING TO TEST HER? WHAT IS THEIR RESPONSE TO HOSPITALS REFUSING TO TEST HER EVEN THOUGH SHE MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS LIKE HER FEVER? – KELSEY
A: Anyone requesting a test would need an order from a doctor to be eligible to be tested. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html 

Q: WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19? HOW MANY PEOPLE IN THE ARLINGTON AREA HAVE BEEN AFFECTED? — LOYD
A: Fever, cough, and shortness of breath may occur 2-14 days following exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Emergency warning signs that you need immediate medical attention include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face. More information, click here.

On March 25 (11:15 AM), the Tarrant County Public Health Department reported 90 confirmed cases and one death. The person who passed away was an Arlington resident. http://www.tarrantcounty.com/en/public-health/disease-control—prevention/coronaviruas.html?link location=home carousel linkname=COVID-19

Q: HER DOG GOES INTO THE YARD. CAN AN ANIMAL CONTRACT COVID AND TRANSMIT IT TO THE PERSON? – SHIRLEY C.
A: There have been no reports of pets or livestock becoming ill or spreading the coronavirus in the U.S. Likewise, the World Health Organization has stated that there is no evidence that dogs or cats have become ill with this particular virus. https://www.aspca.org/news/coronavirus-keeping-your-pets-safe-during-covid-19-crisis

Q: IS THERE A VACCINE AVAILABLE? HOW SOON WOULD IT COME TO THE U.S. AND BE AVAILABLE WIDELY? – AZUL R.
A: There is not a vaccine available yet. Most estimates predict it will be at least a year before there’s a vaccine that could potentially be used. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html

Q: WHAT ARE DETAILS ABOUT CHILDREN CARRYING THE DISEASE WITHOUT BEING SICK? DOES THIS CHANGE WITH ASTHMA OR OTHER PRE-EXISTING CONDITION? ARE THERE ANY SYMPTOMS TO BE AWARE OF IF A CHILD HAS JUST GOTTEN BACK FROM A CRUISE? – RAQUEL S.
A: What has been noted is that children have had a milder form of the illness. They’re young, they’re healthy, their bodies are resilient, so it makes sense that we see that happen. The disease is not dormant, there are just often mild symptoms that are seen at this time of year anyway, like a cough or mild fever. Regardless, children need to take the same precautions as any other person, as they can still become seriously ill and/or transmit the virus to others.

Q: DOES THE RAIN HAVE AN EFFECT ON THE VIRUS IN ANY WAY? IS IT SAFER TO GO OUT WHEN IT RAINS? – MICHAEL B.
A: Rain does not appear to impact the Coronavirus. https://www.nbc4i.com/news/local-news/how-does-weather-affect-the-spread-of-coronavirus/

Q: THE CDC RECOMMENDED THAT NO MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE GATHER, BUT TRUMP RECOMMENDED NO MORE THAN 10 SO WILL THE CDC CHANGE THEIR GUIDELINES? – ALLEN B.
A: The CDC recommends mitigation strategies including avoiding crowds. These recommendations are based on many factors including how widely the virus is spreading in your community as well as risk factors for specific individuals. On March 19, the Governor signed an executive order, which among other things, prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people.


Q: THERE ARE MANY INDIVIDUALS IN TARRANT COUNTY WHO WOULD LIKE TO VOLUNTEER TO ASSIST HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS, WHERE CAN THEY SIGN UP TO GET TRAINING TO BE AVAILABLE TO HELP OUT EITHER WITH SCREENING, TESTING OR PROVIDING MEALS TO THOSE THAT ARE IN QUARANTINE? JANET M.
A: Yes, visit Bealocalhero.org to learn more about how you can help.

Q: WILL RETIRED COMBAT MEDICS BE RECALLED TO HELP WITH THE INFLUX OF PATIENTS? I HAVE CBRNE AND EXPERIENCE WITH MASS CASUALTIES AS WELL AS SETTING UP FIELD HOSPITALS. – SUSAN M.
A: Yes, visit Bealocalhero.org to learn more about how you can help.


Q: HOW ARE THE CONDITIONS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM (E.G. PRISONS, JAILS) TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS? – LISA S.
A: The Federal Bureau of Prisons has implemented a COVID-19 action plan to mitigate the spread of the virus and ensure the health and safety of those involved with the prison system.

There are current inquiries (on a statewide basis) to learn about procedures that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is taking to safeguard the prison population. When more information becomes available, the public will be informed.

County jails are following CDC guidelines on how to maintain sanitary conditions in the jails. Jails have long standing plans on how to deal with this situation. County jail facilities have isolation cells that can be used to separate those who have come down with symptoms of the illness. From the homeless standpoint, this is a growing issue in every metropolitan area.

Update: On March 25, the chair of the House Committee on Corrections released the following information/guidance from TDCJ: TDCJ – COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts – Signed


Q: IF A PERSON LOSES THEIR JOB OR THEIR HOURS ARE REDUCED, HOW WHERE CAN THEY FIND INFORMATION ABOUT UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS?
A: All employees whose employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 virus to file an unemployment claim online according to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).  Each claim will be considered based on the specifics of the individual’s situation and may take into account the changing nature of the pandemic. TWC will be temporarily waiving work search requirements for all claimants and the benefits waiting period. Apply for benefits either online at any time at https://twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/unemployment-benefits-services  or by calling TWC’s Tele-Center at 800-939-6631 from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday.


Q: ARE TENANT EVICTIONS SUSPENDED DURING CRISIS TO ENSURE LOW-INCOME FAMILIES THAT ARE LOSING INCOME ARE NOT MADE HOMELESS? – JANET M.
A: Following the Governor’s Emergency Order the Texas Supreme Court issued guidance that while courts will still accept eviction filings, all eviction proceedings, deadlines, issuance, and service of citation are temporarily suspended until April 19.2020, except in cases where there is a threat of physical harm or criminal activity. https://www.txcourts.gov/media/1446203/209045.pdf and https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-issues-statement-on-texas-supreme-court-temporary-suspension-of-residential-eviction-proceedings 

Q: WHAT ABOUT THE HOMELESS? – SHARON L.
A: There is a concerted effort with healthcare providers that serve the homeless community. There has been a coordinated effort through the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition to address the specific needs of the homeless including those who are in shelters, and those who are not. https://ahomewithhope.org/education/coronavirus-resources/


Q: WILL MAIL CARRIERS ARE BEING PROTECTED IN ANY WAY? – AUDREY B.
A: Mail carriers are being asked to press on in the face of this virus but are also to be taking sick leave liberally. https://link.usps.com/2020/03/09/coronavirus-update-2/  https://about.usps.com/newsroom/statements/usps-statement-on-coronavirus.htm

Q: WHAT CAN THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE DO TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES?
A: On March 20, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued an Economic Injury Disaster Declaration for all 254 Texas Counties following a request from the Governor. Under the SBA declaration, small businesses, most nonprofits and small agriculture co-ops impacted by COVID-19 may apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). For more information, please visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/EIDLLoans or call the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov and https://tdem.texas.gov/covid-19/#1584551794550-8cefdca0-1039 

Q: HOW ARE WE GOING TO CURB FINANCIAL IMPACT FOR PARENTS WHO ARE OUT OF WORK DUE TO CLOSED BUSINESSES/SCHOOLS? – MEAGAN K.
A: All employees whose employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 virus to file an unemployment claim online according to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).  Each claim will be considered based on the specifics of the individual’s situation and may take into account the changing nature of the pandemic. TWC will be temporarily waiving work search requirements for all claimants and the benefits waiting period. Apply for benefits either online at any time at https://twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/unemployment-benefits-services  or by calling TWC’s Tele-Center at 800-939-6631 from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

Q: WHEN AND WHAT CONDITIONS DO WE CALL IN FEMA TO HELP US SET UP MEDICAL FACILITIES TO SEPARATE INDIVIDUALS? — SHIRLEY A.
A: We do not have information at this time regarding FEMA’s response. 

Q: ARE ENTITIES CREATING COMMUNICATIONS IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES? – JOANNA C.
A: Rep. Turner’s website provides some information in Spanish, Vietnamese, and Chinese. See fact sheets at https://votechristurner.com/covid-19-local-resources/. We are currently in the process of compiling additional information in multiple languages to add to the resource page.

Q: WHAT ARE SANITATION REQUIREMENTS FOR GAS STATIONS/BATHROOMS? – LEATHA J.
A: DSHS regulates public restrooms. Any questions or concerns should be directed to: Public Sanitation and Retail Food Safety Unit at (512) 834-6788 or by email at PHSCPS@dshs.texas.gov. The link to additional information is as follows: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/phs/Public-Restrooms—Public-Health-Sanitation-Program.doc.

Q: TWO DOCTORS IN ARLINGTON WILL NOT BE TAKING ANY MORE APPOINTMENTS, WILL BE 3-4 WEEKS. WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO FOR HEALTHCARE NEEDS FOR NORMAL MEDICAL NEEDS? – CHARLES W.
A: If you are in acute need, contact your primary care physician and ask for guidance. If you do not have a PCP, contact a JPS Community Based Clinic. 

Q: WILL THERE BE COUNSELING SERVICES PROVIDED? – CHERYL S.
A: This is a very stressful time for many in our community. If you need to speak with someone, contact Tarrant County MHMR at 817-335-3022 or 1-800-866-2465. They are available to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

[COVID-19] RECORDING: TELE-TOWN HALL

On Monday, March 16th, state Representative Chris Turner hosted a tele-town hall for residents of District 101. Rep. Turner was joined by Tarrant County Commissioner Devan Allen, Tarrant County Public Health Department Director Dr. Vinny Taneja, Arlington Fire Chief Don Crowson, Andrew Fortune with the City of Grand Prairie, Arlington ISD Superintendent Dr. Marcelo Cavazos, and Mansfield ISD Superintendent Dr. Kimberley Cantu.

If you were unable to participate on the call, you may access the recorded version here:

 

COVID-19

I know that the spread of COVID-19 across our country and in Texas is of great concern to us all. Over the coming days and weeks, as the availability of tests increases, we can likely expect a sharp rise in the positive cases reported. With news of three cases in Collin County reported earlier today, for many, the impact of this situation is hitting closer to home.

Our office is closely monitoring state and local efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and Tarrant County are centralized resources for our state and community and the DSHS website is updated daily with information from both the state level and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Local and state public health and emergency management officials continue to stress that the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to use best practice sanitation methods and to avoid close contact with others.

Please follow these important Do’s and Don’ts.

DO:

  • Follow the direction of local entities – including county health departments, cities and school district; The Tarrant County Health Department has set up a Coronavirus Hotline: 817-248-6299
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and if no soap is available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow; dispose of the tissue immediately after use
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth
  • Disinfect surfaces
  • Contact your doctor if you have a fever, cough and shortness of breath and have been in contact with a person who has COVID-19 or have been in an area where the virus has spread

DO NOT:

  • Panic – local and state officials are working to protect our community; please pay attention to their guidance
  • Go to work if you feel ill
  • Attend large public events
  • Wear face masks, unless told to do so by your doctor
  • Don’t overbuy items that will impact medical response for those affected

As more information is made available by the county or state, my staff and I will provide updates on Facebook and/or Twitter. You may also contact my office by calling 817-459-2800 if you would like additional information and resources.

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