The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, hasn’t gained a foothold in the U.S., in Texas or in Central Texas, but concerns are rising and rumors and misinformation are circulating.
We’ve compiled links to resources and included an interactive map that you can use to track the spread of the virus.
Shelter in place orders and business closings have left many area residents temporarily unemployed. You may apply for unemployment benefits online.
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.
Bell County has added a phone number for the public to call with question about COVID-19 and the Local Disaster Declaration for Public Health Emergency. Beginning on Saturday, March, 21, the call center will be open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To reach a representative dial 211.
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 on the city’s Facebook page and on the city’s website.
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.
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.
Precautions you can take
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Follow the CDC's recommendations for using a facemask
• The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID 19.
• Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID 19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).