COVID-19 information, links and resources
We’ve compiled links to resources and included two interactive maps that you can use to track the spread of the new coronavirus.
09.23.20: TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA is now online.
09.17.20: Gov. Greg Abbott further loosens restrictions on restaurants, businesses, manufacturing firms, libraries, museums and care facilities.
09.17.20: n The Waco-based Heart of Texas MHMR Center has created a web page through which area residents may access the #TexansRecoveringTogether Crisis Counseling Program, which “uses a strength-based, outreach approach that utilizes crisis counselors to meet individuals or groups in non-traditional, and virtual, settings in the community to promote resilience, empowerment and recovery.”
09.17.20: The Texas Education Agency and the state Department of State Health Services have created a website that provides an overview of COVID-19 cases in public schools. District level data will be available starting on Sept. 23.
09.15.20: Waco City Council votes to extend city’s declaration of emergency through Oct. 31
09.14.20: THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN COVID-19 MODELING CONSORTIUM DASHBOARD tracks the spread and impact of the virus in the state’s metro areas including Waco and Belton-Killeen.
08.21.20: The U.S. Postal Service has created a website with information about voting by mail.
08.19.20: Texas physicians are calling on COVID-19 coronavirus survivors to make a donation that can help others fight the infectious disease. Some former patients already have answered the call, and doctors and patients are seeing results of convalescent plasma treatments to fight COVID. For more information on convalescent plasma and how to donate, go to texmed.org/DonatePlasma/.
07.28.20: Gatesville is part of a University of Texas study to measure the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents are asked to participate in the study by completing an online survey.
07.28.20: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issues guidance that says local health officials can’t delay the start of in-person instruction at private and public schools solely to prevent spread of COVID-19. McLennan County’s health authority later withdraws order delaying return to campus.
07.27.20: Gov. Greg Abbott waives grade promotion requirements for 2020-2021 STAAR testing
07.27.20: Gov. Greg Abbott issues a proclamation extending early voting for the Nov. 3 election. Early voting now runs Oct. 13 through Oct. 30.
07.24.20: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention releases new guidelines for parents and school administrators including decision making tools and back-to-school checklists.
07.23.20: The Temple ISD sent a letter to parents delaying the start of the school year until Sept. 8.
07.23.20: Bell County’s health authority issued an order delaying resumption of in-person school instruction and activities until after Labor Day.
07.22.20: Free COVID-19 testing with no registration required will be available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 27 to July 29 at the Waco Multi-Purpose Facility at 1020 Elm Ave.; from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 29 to July 29 at University Baptist Church at 1701 Dutton Ave., and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 13 to Aug. 15 at the Highlander Gym on the McLennan Community College Campus. Drive-thru testing, for which online registration is required, will be offered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Toliver Chapel Missionary Baptist Church at 1402 Elm Ave. and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 3 at McGregor High School at 9303 Bluebonnet Parkway. No more than 600 tests will be administered daily at each site.
07.22.20: Mobile test collection sites will be open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Killeen Special Events Center at 3301 South WS Young Dr. and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at Leo Buckley Stadium at 500 North 38th St. (enter off of Atkinson Avenue). Online registration is required and tests are conducted by appointment only.
07.21.20: An order issued by Dr. Farley Verner, the Medical Authority for the Waco McLennan County Public Health District, says public and private K-12 schools in the county can’t start in-person instruction until after Sept. 7. The order doesn’t affect remote instruction.
07.21.10: The University Interscholastic League (UIL) announced there will be a delay to the start of football and volleyball seasons in the 5A and 6A classifications. For now, schools involved in 1A-4A classifications are unaffected.
*07.17.20: The Texas Education Agency issued new guidance that allows districts to delay the return to classroom instruction for as long as eight weeks in some cases. The move came as area districts were planning primarily for an August start and providing parents with the option of in-person or remote instruction. (Scroll down for links to Central Texas school districts)
07.17.20: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issues guidance that says private religious schools aren’t bound by local public health orders to delay a return to the classroom.
*07.09.20: Gov. Greg Abbott has extended an order suspending non-essential surgeries to cover a half-dozen Central Texas counties.
*The Texas Education Agency is issuing guidance regarding the return to school in August.
*On July 2 Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order requiring residents of all counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases to wear face coverings in public areas. The order provides for a warning to first-time violators, a fine of as much as $250 for a second violation and fines of as much as $250 for each subsequent violation. He also issued a proclamation giving mayors and county judge to impose some restrictions on outdoor gatherings involving more than 10 people.
*The Waco Family Health Center, a group of local physicians and Baylor University researchers are looking for hundreds of McLennan County residents who have not had signs or symptoms of the new coronavirus for a study on the prevalence of asymptomatic COVID-19 locally. Information about the study and how to enroll is available online.
*On July 1 Killeen Mayor Jose Segarra issued a directive that requires all residents 10 or older to wear face coverings in public places where physical distancing isn’t possible and requires all businesses to require employees and customers to wear face coverings. The order is effective from July 2 to July 31.
*On June 30 McLennan County commissioners issued a directive that says residents should wear face coverings in public and businesses should develop plans to stem the spread of COVID-19. The order does not include any penalties for violators.
*On June 29, Bell County commissioners amended a directive issued by the county’s judge to “strongly encourage” rather than require businesses to require employees and customers to wear face masks.
*On June 26, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order shutting down bars, scaling back restaurant occupancy and barring large gatherings.
*Texas received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide more than $1 billion in pandemic food benefits to families with children that have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals. Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) provides eligible families with a one-time payment for each child who previously received free or reduced-price meals. Information about eligibility and how to apply is available online.
Texas statewide and county COVID-19 dashboard
Johns Hopkins worldwide tracking map
COVID-19 information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
COVID-19 information from the Texas Department of State Health Services
Check on the status of your IRS stimulus check
Apply for unemployment benefits online
COVID-19 information from the Bell County Health District
COVID-19 information Waco-McLennan County Health District
COVID-19 information from Coryell County
COVID-19 information from Milam County
COVID-19 information from Navarro County
Information from the Texas Education Agency
Heart of Texas MHMR hotline: 1-866-752-3451.
Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, provides immediate crisis counseling to people affected by the coronavirus pandemic
*Bell County has established a COVID-19 phone bank to help better answer questions within the community. The phone bank will be staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Calls received after hours and weekends will roll to 211. The number for the phone bank is 254-933-5203.
The City of Copperas Cove has established a COVID-19 Hotline at (254)542-8920. The hotline may be utilized as another resource by citizens who are seeking further information and wish to speak with a city staff member. The COVID-19 hotline will be available starting on March 26 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Residents may also find information https://www.facebook.com/cityofcopperascove/ “>on the city’s Facebook page and http://www.copperascovetx.gov/pio/covid-19/”>on the city’s website.
The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, provides immediate crisis counseling to people affected by the coronavirus pandemic The Helpline is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week and free resource that responds to people who need crisis counseling and support in dealing with the traumatic effects of a natural or human-caused disaster.
The City of Killeen has activated a COVID-19 hotline to answer questions related to the situation by phone. The phone number is 254-616-3209. Operators are available Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Salvation Army emotional and spiritual care hotline available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week at 844-458-HOPE
Texas Health and Human Services has launched a 24/7 statewide mental health support line to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This new resource offers COVID-19-related mental health support for all Texans. People can call the Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week toll-free at 833-986-1919.
Texas Health and Human Services encourages all Texans in need of COVID-19 information and referrals to community resources to call the 2-1-1 Texas hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Texans, no matter where they live, can dial 2-1-1 or (877) 541-7905 and select option 6 to get information and referrals to COVID-19 social services, including testing, community clinics, unemployment benefits and more. Texans can also dial 2-1-1 to find information about local community resources such as financial assistance for utilities or rent and food pantries, housing assistance, crisis counseling, utility payment assistance, and senior services.
Fort Hood has established a hotline for personnel seeking information about the virus at (254) 553-6612.
COVID-19 ER Hotline: (254) 252-9387
COVID-19 Clinic Provider: (254) 252-2491
As the coronavirus crisis sparks concern and uncertainty across the nation, the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Disaster Relief (SBTC Disaster Relief) has responded by making chaplains available to the public through a simple phone call. The toll-free number (1-800-921-3287) will allow people to visit with a chaplain to receive prayer and encouragement. The phone number will be available to call from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily for as long as the crisis remains.
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