A Message from the Executive Director
As you are aware, we are currently under an order, issued by County Judge Lina Hidalgo to stay home and work safe, through April 3. After the order was issued on March 24, a number of governmental entities including the District, asked for clarification of the definition of an essential business as landscaping and ROW maintenance services were not considered essential. We want to update you that the County has now agreed that all District services are considered essential. This means that our vendors who provide graffiti and litter abatement, ROW maintenance, and bandit sign removal, can continue to operate with the following enhanced procedures to protect the public and their workers.
- Staggered arrival times for crews to minimize human-to-human interaction and encourage social distancing, beginning at 6AM. Crews will return to warehouse in the same order they arrived.
- Zero human-to-human contact in the field. If contact needs to be made with a property owner, the crew member will call supervisor to reach owner by phone or e-mail.
- Monitoring the health of all employees. Crew members will report any and all illness symptoms to supervisor and will be asked to quarantine in the event of illness.
- Use of available PPE, including gloves, masks, googles, and suits.
- Routine sanitation of equipment, vehicles, and warehouse space (including locks, door handles, and common areas).
- Crew members will report any and all incidents of contact to supervisor.
The order did NOT apply to our Public Safety efforts supporting the HPD Overtime Program that BOMD has funded and will continue to do so through the end of the year. We remain committed to assisting our law enforcement partners in doing all we can to protect and serve our businesses and do our part to keep the community safe. You can contact the HPD Overtime Hotline that is headquartered at the South Gessner HPD Division at (832) 394-2660.
Remember to always call 9-1-1 in case of an emergency.
District staff will continue to work remotely and the district offices will remain closed until April 3, or until further guidance is provided by the Federal, State or local governments. You may contact District staff as follows:
We sincerely hope that you, your families, and your businesses are doing well as you navigate these uncertain times. These are uncharted waters for us all but we know that together, we can and will weather the pandemic, and be even stronger going forward.
Ben Brewer, Executive Director
Calling All Businesses
Just a friendly reminder to keep checking back on a regular basis with the SBA on their COVID-19 small businesses loan resources as they update policies and procedures in light of the President signing the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package on March 27.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, we encourage employers, job seekers, and those who need assistance with childcare, to visit the Teas Workforce Commission to see the benefits that they may be eligible for.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had a major impact on businesses, especially small businesses. The City of Houston’s Office of Business Opportunity (OBO) fully recognizes the importance of our small business community and the effect this situation can potentially have on your business. Please continue visiting the OBO website as we post updates on beneficial resources. Also, in an effort for us to better understand how your business is being impacted during this time, please complete the survey below.
HCC Southwest wants you to know that ALL classes will be held online beginning March 30, offering a wide range of programs in information technology, digital communication, advanced manufacturing and more. The classes lead to an associate degree to transfer to a four-year university for pursuit of a bachelor’s or higher degree in just two years. It also offers the option to earn a certificate on a fast track to a rewarding career. Learn more.
Families needing help with housing and food assistance should visit Houston Recovers which features a list of city departments, community groups and businesses offering assistance to the public and providing opportunity for residents to assist with COVID-19 response. Get assistance, donate, volunteer and more! After all, we are all in this together.
The Houston Food Bank
The Houston Food Bank and its Partners are also providing food and other essential services and they remain operational, while utilizing the best available safety precautions to protect their works, volunteers, and the public they serve. If you need help or want to donate or volunteer, please visit Houston Food Bank.
American Diabetes Association shares news on State Emergency Prescription Refills What You Need to Know
Emergency prescription refill laws and regulations vary widely state-by-state. Typically, an emergency prescription refill is defined as dispensing a prescribed drug without practitioner authorization, and often defers to the pharmacist’s professional judgment, especially if the prescription drug is essential to the maintenance of the patient’s life or continuation of therapy.
We’re created a state-by-state listing of emergency prescription refill rules, details how to prepare your medications for an emergency and health insurance providers response to COVID-19. NOTE: Insurer coverage for refills vary, call your health insurance provider for their policy during a State of Emergency.
We will update this information regularly as new information comes in. Updated: 3/24/2020
- WAVIER RULES BY STATE – CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD.
- HOW TO PREPARE YOUR MEDS FOR EMERGENCIES LIKE COVID-19 – DETAILS HERE.
- HEALTH INSURANCE PROVIDERS ACTIVATING EMERGENCY PLANS IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 – DETAILS HERE (AHIP BLOG).
For further details, Healthcare Ready advises people to follow their local health department on social media for postings on waivers. You can check your local Board of Pharmacy website for more information, and call your local pharmacy and health insurer for updates.
The DDRC will provide updates as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. Comprised of the nation’s leading diabetes organizations, our priority is the health and safety of the diabetes community in times of emergency. If you have questions or need additional support, please call 1-800-DIABETES from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. For more information on the DDRC, visit us at www.diabetesdisasterresponse.org.
President Donald Trump has issued a major disaster declaration for Texas in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The order enables the state and local governments to receive federal funding to support medical and safety efforts.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made the announcement on Twitter yesterday afternoon after sending the Trump administration a formal request on Monday, March 23. At the time the letter was submitted, Abbott identified 352 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Texas and noted that the state has already spent more than $50 million in response to the crisis.
Abbott also noted that the Texas Department of State Health Services had declared a COVID-19 a “public health disaster,” the first time such a label had been issued in Texas in more than 100 years.
Numbers vary as to the current number of cases, as the state has launched a new system for reporting COVID-19. But data released by Johns Hopkins University on the morning of Thursday, March 26 puts the number of confirmed cases at roughly 1,300.
India House Houston in Brays Oaks is now offering online fitness courses for free to help the community stay fit while practicing social distancing. Free classes include Tai Chi, Yoga, Zumba, and Line Dancing. Visit them to learn more and stay active! Be Active and Stay Well.
The Houston Health Department recommends these guidelines for social distancing:
- Avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.
- Maintain at least 6 feet of separation from other people.
- Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.
- Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical care situations.
- Practice healthy hygiene habits:
- Wash your hands, wash your hands, and wash your hands. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds, use hand sanitizer when you can’t wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, use the elbow of your sleeve.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, especially if you are at higher risk for Coronavirus.
- Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy foods, and manage your stress to keep your immunity strong. Sleep is currently an under-stressed facet of maintaining your health during this crisis.
- Work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible.
- Even if you are not ill, avoid visiting hospitals, long-term care facilities or nursing homes to the extent possible. If you do need to visit one of these facilities, limit your time there and keep six feet away from patients.
Please be safe, be respectful and treat each other with kindness, and promote community care so that your physical health, will help your mental health.