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.
The Central Texas Food Bank will distribute free food from 10 a.m. to noon on March 25 at Waco ISD Stadium at 1401 South New Road.
03.02.21: Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order that effectively rescinds restrictions in previous orders and lifts the state wide mask mandate effective March 10.
02.26.21: Emergency SNAP benefits have been extended through March. Recipients will also continue to receive a 15 percent increase in their total benefits until June. Residents in need may apply for SNAP and other benefits at YourTexasBenefits.com.
02.23.21: The City of Killeen offers rental and eviction diversion assistance to residence impacted financially by the pandemic. Information is available online.
02.09.21: The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is launching a $1 billion rent and utility assistance program and will begin accepting applications on Feb. 15, but residents may visit TexasRentRelief.com now to learn about qualifications and the application process. Households must be at or below 80% of the area median income to qualify for assistance and must meet other criteria as well. Applications from households at or below 50% of the area median income or in which one or more members are unemployed and have been for at least 90 days will be given priority. Starting Feb. 15 residents may apply for assistance online or by calling 1-833-989-7368 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
02.02.21: The City of Killeen is offering grant assistance to businesses impacted by the pandemic. An online application system opens at 9 a.m. Wednesday. A maximum of $8,000 is available to businesses that meet specific criteria. Applications must be submitted through the city’s online applications portal. Applicants must click the Neighborly Software-Killeen Participant Portal link and register by entering an active email address.
02.02.21: The Texas Health and Human Services Commission will provide about $300 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits through February. The commission received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend the maximum allowable benefits to recipients based on family size. Recipients will continue to receive a 15% increase in total benefits monthly until June.
12.22.20: The Central Texas Veterans Health Care System has started COVID-19 vaccinations as one of 113 VA Medical Centers to receive the Moderna vaccine. Veterans can get up-to-date information on VA’s VA COVID-19 vaccine webpage, which launched on Dec. 11, may sign up for regular updates on the vaccine on the vaccine on the VA’s Stay Informed page, and may contact their primary care providers through www.myhealth.va.gov or by calling 1-800-423-2111.
12.15.20: The waiver granted by Gov. Greg Abbott in March on expiration dates for Texas driver’s licenses, commercial driver’s licenses, commercial learner permits, state ID cards and election identification certificates expires on April 14, 2020, and the Texas Department of Public Safety Tuesday urged those who need to renew to make appointments now. To expedite renewals, the hours of designated offices will be extended starting on Jan. 4 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Fridays. Saturday is the last day for Saturday appointments at many offices across the state. Many residents are eligible to renew licenses and ID cards online or by phone at 1-866-357-3639. Those who must renew in person must make appointments, using an online appointment scheduler through which appointments may be booked for as much as six months in advance.
12.11.20: Texas will participate in the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program to vaccinate residents and staff of long-term care facilities against COVID-19 beginning on Dec. 28, Gov. Greg Abbott announced. The free program sends staff and Pfizer vaccines from partnering Walgreens and CVS stores to participating facilities to vaccinate residents and staff who volunteer to receive the vaccine. The first vaccines will be provided to pharmacies during the week of Dec. 21 and the program begins on Dec. 28, Abbott said.More than 1,200 nursing facilities and more than 2,000 other long-term care facilities have already signed up for the program, Abbott said. Long-term care facilities not already enrolled in the program may sign up with the Texas Department of State Health Services Immunization Program.
12.10.20: Texas Education Agency announces A-F school ratings will be paused for the current school year. STAAR testing will proceed.
12.08.20: COVID-19 HOSPITAL DATA COVERAGE REPORT provides U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data on hospitalizations in the U.S. in spreadsheet form.
11.23.20: Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of State Health Services announced guidelines for distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in the state. Vaccines could be available in Texas as early as next month.
11.19.20: The Killeen ISD will offer free COVID-19 screening to students and employees starting from 7 a.m. to 11 .m. and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on regular school days starting on Dec. 3 at the former Nolan Middle School building at 505 Jasper Dr. in Killeen, using the 2nd Street entrance. Screening is by appointment and students younger than 18 require signed waivers from parents or guardians. The state-funded testing uses BinaxNOW nasal swab tests, which provide results in 15 minutes. Information will be available online.
11.18.20: The Bell County Health District has launched a survey to help it better understand the need for vaccines in the area as details from two vaccine manufacturers are finalized.
11.18.20: The City of Temple, in response to a rising number of COVID-19 cases among staff and residents, is closing some facilities to walk-in traffic starting on Friday and continuing through Jan. 18 including the Municipal Building/City Hall; Human Resources; Temple Public Library; Historic Post Office; Parks and Recreation Administration Building; Public Works Service Center; Hillcrest Cemetery, and the Utility Business Office/Municipal Court.
11.13.20: Gov. Greg Abbott announces the Texas Department of State Health Services is allocating an initial shipment of bamlanivimab, the Eli Lilly & Company monoclonal antibody therapy, to be distributed as early as next week to acute care hospitals across every geographic region of the state.
11.12.20: All Belton ISD students will receive breakfasts and lunches at no charge for the remainder of the year because of waiver extensions from the USDA. The district is encouraging families to submit a Free and Reduced Price School Meal Application.
11.05.20: Texas is providing $202 million in emergency SNAP food benefits this month as the number of COVD-19 cases in Texas continues to rise. The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides food assistance to about 1.4 million low-income families and individuals in Texas. Residents in need may apply online.
10.22.20: Free COVID-19 testing is still available McLennan County after the federal government allocated 40,000 cheek-swab tests to help slow the spread of the virus in the area. Information about sites and registration is now available online.
10.07.20: Gov. Greg Abbott issued a new executive order allowing bars in most of the state to reopen at 50% capacity.
09.28.20: The Killeen ISD will serve free breakfasts and lunches to all students on all campuses on scheduled school days not including holidays or weekends beginning Oct. 5 through Dec. 18, funded through U.S. Department of Agriculture waivers as part of the Coronavirus Relief Act. Students may go through cafeteria lines to receive free meals and virtual learners may continue to pick up meals without any documentation provided children are present. If the USDA discontinues the waiver before Dec. 18, the district will notify parents. Normal meal prices resume at the start of the spring term in January.
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.
09.14.20: 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.
07.27.20: 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.
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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