Orders and Regulations
Dallas County. 3.23.2020“… this Order requires all individuals anywhere in Dallas County to shelter in place – that is, stay at home – except for certain essential activities and work to provide essential business and government services or perform essential public infrastructure construction, including housing. This Order takes effect at 11:59 p.m. on March 23, 2020 and will continue through 11:59 p.m. on April 3, 2020, subject to the limited exceptions and under the terms and conditions more particularly set forth below.”
Starting at noon on Monday, March 23, the two COVID-19 testing sites in Dallas are updating criteria and lifting the age restriction to test more North Texans. Criteria for testing sites is as follows:
- Shortness of breath
- Must show a temperature of 99.6 or higher
The sites operate daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and are located at:
- American Airlines Center, Parking Lot E, 2500 Victory Plaza
- Ellis Davis Field House, 9191 S Polk St.
Mental Health Resources
- The Texas Department of Health and Human Services has extensive resources available for mental health support, including those facing a mental health crisis.
- The Metrocare Coronavirus Support Line is available during our normal business hours Monday through Friday for those Dallas County residents experiencing high anxiety or depression during these turbulent times. Metrocare’s professionals will assist individuals in accessing our mental health services and provide referrals for other services that may be needed. The Metrocare Coronavirus Support Line for Dallas County is 214-743-1215.
Domestic Violence Survivor Resources
- Futures Without Violence has compiled useful references, including for community-based advocates and health providers.
- The work of the National Domestic Violence Hotline is crucial in times like these, and has 24/7 online chat in addition to their hotline number and excellent safety planning resources.
- We are in close communication with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
- VAWnet, a project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, has special collections on topics like disaster and emergency preparedness and response.
- NNEDV’s own WomensLaw.org offers an online legal hotline in addition to plain-language information for victims of abuse.
Unemployment and Workers’ Comp
- Anyone who has lost their job due to coronavirus or has had to take time off to self-quarantine or care for a sick relative (and does not get paid sick time from work) may apply for UNEMPLOYMENT insurance. Info on that here.
- Anyone whose job has brought them into direct contact with someone with coronavirus (for instance, a first responder or a health care worker) and has become ill or are required to quarantine can file for WORKERS’ COMP. File for that here.
- If you or a friend or family member are out of work, Texas’ Employment Security Department provides support services as well.
- The IRS has deferred the federal tax filing deadline to July 15th. Find more information on Coronavirus tax relief here.
- The U.S. Department of Treasury has a list of financial resources for consumers.
- Residents can call 211 and give their zip code for a list of local financial and in-kind resources available in their area.
- Texans who believe they have encountered price gouging or disaster scams should call the Office of the Attorney General’s toll-free complaint line at (800) 621-0508 or file a complaint online. For additional information on disaster scams, please visit our disaster scams website.
Trouble Paying Rent or MortgageThe Texas Supreme Court issued an order suspending all evictions until April 19, 2020: www.txcourts.gov/media/1446203/209045.pdf The Dallas County Justices of the Peace also issued an order suspending all evictions for sixty days.
- In summary, per guidance from a Dallas County Justice of the Peace:
- ALL Eviction cases are currently postponed and continued for 60 days
- Residential or Commercial;
- Currently pending or filed within the 60 day period
- ALL Writs of Possession are currently postponed and continued for 60 days
- Residential or Commercial;
- Previously requested or requested within the 60 day period
- Lockouts are not addressed in any current emergency order – Texas Property Code, Chapters 92 and 93, control
- Residential lockout tenants must be provided a key upon request whether rent is brought current or not;
- Commercial lockout tenants must only be provided a key when the rent is NOT delinquent– provided that all other requirements of the lockout were in accordance with the Texas Property Code
- Writs of Re-Entry are not addressed in any current order – Texas Property Code, Chapters 92 and 93, control Residential or Commercial tenants that are illegally locked out may seek relief from the Justice of the Peace in the precinct in which the property is located
- Residential landlords may be ordered to provide the tenant a key and the Court has authority to enforce its order;
- Commercial landlords may only be ordered provide a tenant with a key when the rent is NOT delinquent – provided that all other requirements of the lockout were in accordance with the Texas Property Code
The federal government announced they are suspending all HUD foreclosures and evictions for 60 days. If you don’t have enough money to pay, contact your lender or landlord immediately. Help includes:
- If you are a Dallas Housing Authority client, please immediately report any loss of income in order to reduce your portion of rent and inspections will be restricted to health and safety only.
- Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs Foreclosure Prevention 1-888-995-HOPE (4673)
- Texas Attorney General Consumer Protection or call 800-621-0508
- Texas Health and Human Services Commission has resources available. There may be vouchers to assist those in need with paying their rent. Also get government assistance with other needs, including lease application fees, information on low income housing and security deposits. Dial 1-877-541-7905 to find additional ways to get rent help.
- Texas offers programs that can help you with paying your mortgage and also avoid foreclosure. Local resources, including government and non-profit assistance, can help qualified homeowners
- Homeowners have other resources too. Also click here for a listing of Texas HUD counseling agencies that provide free foreclosure counseling.
- The Texas Workforce Commission’s subsidized childcare program is making changes to their requirements in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Please check their website regularly for announcements coming soon.
- Due to COVID-19, YMCA branches are currently closed; however, they continue to offer limited childcare programming on a daily basis, supporting the childcare needs of first responders, medical professionals, government officials, and those that must continue their work in this challenging time. This care will be offered until further notice, at 11 YMCA branches across the Dallas Metroplex, in accordance to state guidelines.
Student Loans Deferment
- On March 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education announced that all borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days. In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency. This will allow borrowers to temporarily stop their payments without worrying about accruing interest.
- If you need help with your student loans, you may be able to temporarily suspend your payments by applying for a deferment or forbearance from the US Department of Education.
- The City of Dallas Office of Economic Development has created a web page with information for small businesses.
- The State of Texas has officially declared a state of emergency. Businesses are encouraged to fill out Economic Injury worksheets to prepare for distribution of disaster relief funds.
- A loan program has been established by the Small Business Administration, specifically for those impacted by the coronavirus.
- Facebook also has a $100 million Small Grants Program accessible here.
- The Texas Comptroller’s Office has resources available.
- If you need help paying your utility bills, contact your service provider immediately.
- Exelon brands (Constellation, Atlantic City Energy, BGE, ComEd, Delmarva Power, PECO) have suspended service disconnections and will waive late payment charges until at least May 1. Exelron has also committed to donating $1.15 million to local and national COVID-19 relief efforts.
- Vistra Energy brands (TXU, Ambit, Tri-Eagle) is waiving late fees, extending payment due dates with no down payment required, and reducing down payments and deferring balances over five equal installments. TXU customers can also receive additional bill-payment assistance through its TXU Energy AidSM program.
- NRG brands (Reliant, Green Mountain, Cirro, Stream, XOOM, Discount Power) is suspending disconnections for non-payment until April 3.
- Atmos and Dallas Water Utilities have suspended disconnections at this time.
- Charter Communications is offering free access to Spectrum Broadband and Wi-Fi for 60 days for new K-12 and College Student households. Residents should call: 1-844-488-8395. Charter is also working with school districts to ensure that communication is provided about the free wi-fi; Charter continues to offer Spectrum Assist for households without school-aged children; Charter is also opening its Wi-Fi hotspots for public use.
Food Assistance and Donation
- Here is also a list of open food pantries inclusive of hours.
- North Texas Food Bank has shifted to box distribution model with partner agencies. Food4Kids and School Pantry programs remain fully functional, and they are partnering with the City to deliver snack/hydration kits to the homeless.
- Dallas County Health and Human Services Older Adult Services Program is currently providing meals delivered to homebound seniors. There is a drive-thru for hot meal pick-up service set up at each senior center location. Seniors needing these resources can call 214-819-1860 to enroll.
- Meals will be provided to all children at most district middle and high schools and will be distributed twice a week, on Monday and Thursday between 10 AM and 1 PM. On Monday you will receive Breakfast, Lunch, and Supper for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Thursday will have Breakfast, Lunch, and Supper for the rest of the week, including Saturday. For pick up locations and menus, visit this link.
- Frito-Lay Job Postings: https://fritolayemployment.com/
- Pepsi Jobs: https://pepsifrontlinecareers.com/
- If you have additions, please let us know.
Insurance IssuesThe Texas Department of Insurance has resources and information available for consumers who have insurance related questions. Other Resources
- Paid Sick Leave information: City of Dallas employers must provide employees with paid sick leave to care for themselves or a family member. An employee may use paid sick leave for the employee’s or their family member’s illness, injury, healthcare, and reasons related to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking. For more information or to file a complaint, call 214-670-FAIR (3246) or visit www.dallascityhall.com/paid-sick-leave.
- The Texas State Department of Public Safety has suspended expired IDs: driver’s licenses, IDs, commercial driver’s licenses, and election identification certificates expiration dates will be extended.
- In response to the COVID-19 crisis, The Dallas County Clerk’s Office will be closing its Vital Records and Recording Divisions to the public. All transactions will be done either by mail, document drop off, or by appointment only. The public closure will take effect starting Monday, March 23, 2020 through May 1, 2020, but may be extended based on COVID-19 status.
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