Below you will find resources and updates from state, county, and local jurisdictions and agencies related to COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus. We’ve also included information about prevention, testing, and mitigation. Additional information and resources will be included as they become available.
Throughout this, our office is open and available via phone and email to help answer your questions. You can reach us at by phone at 512-463-0696 or by email at District136.Bucy@House.Texas.gov. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us on this or other matters.
John H. Bucy III
HD 136 Food & Wellness Program
Working with our regional city leaders and Hill Country Community Ministries (HCCM), my office is coordinating an initiative to help senior citizens aged 60 and over and people with a disability of any age in House District 136 who are homebound or otherwise have urgent food access needs in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.
To comport with HCCM resuming on-site operations, we are now making deliveries once a month, though with the same amount of food. All recipients will have to qualify through the food bank’s criteria.
If you have any questions, please contact my District Director, Sara Groff, at 512-259-1478 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to thank the leaders of our cities for their leadership and hard work during this uncertain time. I want to also thank each of you for considering giving back to our neighbors in their time of need. Your efforts will make a difference in our community!
H-E-B Same Day Grocery Delivery for Seniors
H-E-B and Favor are teaming up to offer same day grocery delivery for Texas seniors. Seniors age 60 and older may place orders with Favor using a curated list of products available from H-E-B. To place an order, call the Senior Support phone line at 1-833-397-0080 from 9 AM to 12 PM daily. Seniors can also place their orders on Favor’s website, or by downloading the Favor app and searching for “H-E-B.”
List of State, County, & Local Resources
Department of State Health Services
Department of Heath & Human Services
Texans can dial 2-1-1 (option 6) for information on COVID-19 and local community resources on health care, utilities, food, housing and more. For questions about SNAP, TANF, Medicaid or CHIP, dial 2-1-1 and select option 2. Wait times are higher than normal. Learn more: hhs.texas.gov/services/health/coronavirus-covid-19
Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line
832-986-1919 (available 24/7, toll free)
Round Rock ISD
Austin Community College
City of Austin
City of Cedar Park
Hill Country Community Ministries
HCCM is still open to serve those who need assistance with food: hccm.org
Coronavirus Prevention, Testing, & Care
It is imperative that all residents take precautions to contain the spread of this virus, such as regularly washing your hands thoroughly, staying home if you’re experiencing symptoms or feeling sick, and practicing proper social distancing in public including staying 6 feet away from others. Trips out of home should be limited only to essential business and essential activities. Per the CDC you should consider wearing a cloth face covering in public.
Follow the directives of your local health authorities, city councils, school districts, counties, and other relevant jurisdictions with respect to what is best for your health and safety as well as public health.
Texas is increasing its testing capabilities and upscaling the number of tests conducted by public and private entities. Call 2-1-1 to find a low or no-cost provider in your area.
The Williamson County and Cities Health District is continuing to open more testing sites. These testing locations are free and open to the public, but an online screening is required in order to set an appointment so that residents in the most need can be prioritized. You can learn more and find the screening on the Austin Public Health website.
You can also call 512-972-5560 from 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM Monday through Friday, and 9:00 AM – 1:00PM Saturday to complete the assessment over the phone using the nursing hotline.
In addition to testing offered by WCCHD, private testing sites continue to become available. You can find a list of nearby locations here as well as contact information in order to find out availability and protocols.
If you are a senior, have an underlying health condition, or otherwise are in a high risk group and you develop fever or symptoms, call your doctor. If you are not sick enough to be hospitalized, you can recover at home. Follow your doctor’s instructions and refer to CDC recommendations for how to take care of yourself at home.
You can use the Coronavirus Self-Checker if you believe you are sick or are caring for someone who is or may be sick in order to help make decisions about seeking care. You can also call your doctor for guidance. If you need help finding a doctor or accessing medical care, call 2‑1‑1 and they can direct you to low- or no-cost providers in your area.
Texas is undertaking phased re-openings for non-essential businesses, with Phase III now underway. All newly opened businesses and services are subject to the recommended minimum standard health protocols outlined by DSHS.
Many businesses, retailers, gyms, movie theaters, and restaurants are now permitted to be operating at 75 percent of their capacity. Industry specific guidelines and checklists may be found on the Open Texas website.
Meanwhile, bars may re-open to 50 percent capacity pending the approval of county government. Bars in Williamson County are currently open under such a restriction.
For more information, please visit https://open.texas.gov/.
City and County Updates
The Williamson County Commissioners Court approved a phased re-opening plan for county offices and services, beginning June 1. More details about specific offices are available here.
Williamson County is no longer under a stay at home order, but residents should still take precautions to protect themselves and their families. If you have to leave your home, you should consider wearing a cloth face covering. You should also practice good hygiene such as washing your hands, not touching your face, and practice social distancing by maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from others before, during, and after any trip.
Williamson County has announced a program to provide assistance for rent and utilities by working with the Round Rock Area Serving Center, the Caring Place, and the Salvation Army to handle applications in their service areas. These agencies will be reimbursed by the County for rent and/or utility assistance provided to a landlord, property management company, or utility company between March 1 through December 30.
- All residences assisted must be in Williamson County, but in Austin.
- Up to the rent amount based on the lease plus late fees for up to 3 mos.
- For approved applications, the applicant must request additional funds after the first month of assistance on an as needed basis.
- Up to $1,500 of utility assistance per residence on an as needed basis.
- Applicants must show evidence that assistance is needed due to COVID-19.
Round Rock Area Serving Center – 512-244-2431, www.rrasc.org
Round Rock, Brushy Creek/Fern Bluff MUD, Hutto areas outside of Georgetown ISD, zip code 78717 that is not in the city limits of Austin
The Caring Place – 512-943-0700, www.caringplacetx.org
Georgetown, Andice, Bartlett, Florence, Granger, Jarrell, Jonah, Schwertner, Walburg, Weir, Hutto areas within Georgetown ISD
The Salvation Army – 512-943-8421, www.salvationarmyaustin.org
Cedar Park, Coupland, Leander, Liberty Hill, Taylor, Thrall, and all other areas of Williamson County not served by the other two agencies, zip codes 78729 and 78750 in Williamson County but not in the city limits of Austin
For more information and updates, visit Williamson County’s COVID-19 webpage.
City of Austin
The City of Austin is under a Stay Home, Save Lives order. Face coverings and social distancing are required, while social gatherings of more than 10 people who are not in the same household are prohibited. Certain critical facilities such as government buildings providing essential services, schools or colleges, grocery stores and pharmacies, transit and transit facilities, the airport and airport operations, and hospitals and medical facilities are exempted. All critical infrastructure has been ordered to continue operating using proper precautions and social distancing.
You may run errands such as to the grocery store or to get needed supplies, take care of those who need aid, and engage in outdoor recreational activity. Everyone over the age of ten must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in a public building, using public transportation or ride shares, pumping gas and while outside when six feet of physical distancing cannot be consistently maintained.
A face covering is not required when eating, riding in a personal vehicle, alone in a separate single space, or in the presence of other members of your residence. Additionally, a face covering is not required when wearing one poses a greater mental or physical health, safety or security risk such as anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance. A face covering does not substitute for the need to maintain physical distancing and the Stay Home, Save Lives Order. The additional requirement is for use of fabric face coverings and not medical-grade masks or N-95 respirators, which are in short supply and should be conserved for healthcare workers and first responders. Scarves or bandannas are easy, household items that can serve as a face covering. Plenty of do-it-yourself plans are also available online including from the CDC and from Austin Public Health.
The Austin Economic Development Department is offering a variety of grant and loan programs for business owners to assist them. You can find more information about those relief programs, including types, qualifications, and how to apply as well as general information for businesses. Similarly, Austin Public Health (APH) has launched a telephone hotline to assist Austin-Travis County restaurants with questions related to COVID-19. The hotline, Helping Austin Restaurants Today (HART), can be reached at 512-978-HART (4278).
Austin Energy will not disconnect utility services. Additional Customer Assistance Programs are available for customers facing temporary and long-term financial difficulties, as well as serious medical problems. Residential and commercial customers can contact the Customer Care Contact Center at 512-494-9400 with any questions.
The Neighborhood Housing and Community Development (NHCD) Department offers information and referrals to assist impacted community members with immediate housing needs including resources for homeowners and resources for renters, including resources to avoid mortgage foreclosure and assistance for paying rent.
In partnership with Meals on Wheels, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) will distribute curbside for seniors and their spouses (10 meals per person). Local school districts are also providing meals for their students.
People with no insurance and no established provider experiencing coronavirus-like symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, shortness of breath) should call CommUnityCare at 512-978-9015. CommUnityCare will triage people over the phone and send them to the appropriate location.
The City has also created a map of locations to have basic needs met. This map is updated frequently to include locations and operations of hygiene and food services.
For more information and updates, visit The City of Austin COVID-19 webpage.
City of Cedar Park
The City of Cedar Park has begun lifting restrictions and reopening various public buildings and services. For a Cedar Park reopening cheat sheet, click here.
The main lobby areas of city buildings have reopened. The Cedar Park Public Library and Cedar Park Recreation Center are operating at 50 percent capacity. The Library is open on a grab and go basis with residents asked to limit their visits to 30 minutes, and will be also be open Sundays from 1 PM to 6 PM starting June 14. Reservations are required for the Rec Center. All playground equipment and exercise equipment at City of Cedar Park parks is open. In addition, all public, semi-public, and HOA owned and/or operated pools, splash pads, and pavilions within the City of Cedar Park are open at 50 percent capacity. Drinking fountains remain closed.
In partnership with the Cedar Park Chamber of Commerce, the city is offering up to $5,000 in grants and $10,000 in loans to qualified businesses in Cedar Park. Learn more about the program, eligibility requirements, and application instructions.
For more information and updates, visit The City of Cedar Park COVID-19 webpage.
City of Leander
The City of Leander has begun lifting restrictions and reopening various public buildings, amenities, and services.
City buildings are open for walk-in service. The Leander Public Library is open with modified hours of 10:30 AM to 6:30 PM Tuesday thru Saturday. All city park playgrounds, courts, green spaces, and trails will be open for general public use, and signage of social distancing guidelines will be posted onsite. The athletic fields at Benbrook Ranch Park and Robin Bledsoe Park are reopened for organized play. The pool and splashpad at Robinson Bledsoe Park are open at a limited capacity.
City facilities will implement additional measures in an effort to follow state and federal recommendations for exposure prevention. Some measures include reduced occupancy limits, contactless transaction options, social distancing guides, promotion of teleconference meetings, and high-touch surface area cleaning and sanitizing.
The City is offering grants between $2,500 and $5,000 as part of their Emergency Business Grant Program to qualified businesses in Leander. Learn more about the program, eligibility requirements, and application instructions here.
For more information and updates, visit The City of Leander COVID-19 webpage.
School Re-Opening & STAAR Testing
Round Rock ISD and Leander ISD have resumed phased-in in-person learning, with virtual options still available. Please see below for more information about Food Access, Internet Access, and STAAR Testing, as well as information specific to Leander and Round Rock ISDs.
The Texas Education Agency has released a Meal Finder app to assist families in finding locations for meal pick-up. More information about pick up times and locations specific to each school district may also be found below.
Texas students will still be taking the STAAR test in the 2020-2021 school year at this time, however, they will not factor into school and district ratings.
Round Rock ISD
In-person classes have resumed. At the end of every nine weeks, families will be given the opportunity to select their learning environment for the next nine-week period. Families may choose to continue to keep their students in virtual learning for as long as they choose. They can also move from on-campus learning to virtual learning at any time. Learn more.
All Round Rock ISD students and any children under 18 years old will receive breakfast and lunch at no charge for the duration of the school year. Optional weekend meals will be available on Fridays. Meal service time will stay 7 AM to 8:30 AM Monday through Friday.
Curbside meal distribution sites are:
- Round Rock High School, 201 Deep Wood Dr., Round Rock
- Cedar Ridge High School, 2801 Gattis School Rd., Round Rock
- Stony Point High School, 1801 Tiger Trail, Round Rock
- Westwood High School, 12400 Mellow Meadow Dr., Austin
- McNeil High School, 5720 McNeil Dr., Austin
- Deerpark Middle School, 8849 Anderson Mill Rd., Austin
- C.D. Fulkes Middle School, 300 W Anderson Ave., Round Rock
- Hopewell Middle School, 1535 Gulf Way, Round Rock
Leander ISD phased in in-person learning beginning Sept. 8. At this time, any student who chooses to be back in-person may do so. LISD will continue to offer Virtual Empowered Learning for the entire school year. Students will be able to switch at the end of each grading period, working with their school.
Learn more about our Leander ISD’s in-person re-opening:
- Launch to Learning 2020-21 Website
- Health Response Handbook
- In-Person Learning for Middle and High Schools
- Employee Protocols for COVID-19
With students returning to in-person learning, Leander ISD will be notifying all families and staff of positive cases on your campus or in your building.
Please refer to the LISD Support Site for suggestions on helping your child learn at home and best practices regarding distance learning as well as LISD counseling services information and health and wellness resources for your family.
Free Breakfast & Lunch
Leander ISD will provide free breakfast and lunch to any student, in-person or virtual, as well as any community member under 18 years old for the rest of the 2020-2021 school year. Meals may be ordered online using Nurtislice and picked up curbside at any middle school campus in LISD between 10:30 AM and 11:30 AM. Learn more here.
Resources for Businesses & Impacted Employment
Resources for Impacted Employment
If your employment has been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19), you can apply for benefits either online at any time using Unemployment Benefits Services or by calling the Texas Workforce Commission’s Tele-Center at 800-939-663 from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM Central Time, seven days a week, Sunday through Saturday. Due to high call volume, Texans are encouraged to use the TWC online claim portal to file or check on their claim.
If you are self-employed, a contract worker or previously worked in a position that did not report wages, you may qualify for unemployment benefits. You will not be penalized for a delay due to call or user volume. Claims for individuals affected by COVID-19 are eligible to be backdated to the date you lost your job or your hours were reduced. In addition, the one week waiting period and work search requirements have been waived.
Due to high call volume, TWC is recommending callers follow a staggered call schedule:
- Area Codes Beginning with 9: Mon., Wed., & Fri. from 8:00 AM – Noon
- Area Codes Beginning with 3, 4, 5, 6: Mon., Wed., & Fri. from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
- Area Codes Beginning with 7, 8: Tue., Thur., & Sat. from 8:00 AM – Noon
- Area Codes Beginning with 2: Tue., Thur., & Sat. from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
The Texas Workforce Commission is expecting to experience an increase in call volumes and hold times on our Tele-Center phone lines. You are encouraged to use our online claim portal, Unemployment Benefits Services (UBS ), to handle your claim needs quickly. UBS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. TWC is seeing lower volume on the online portal between 10:00 PM and 8:00 AM and recommends that Texans consider filing or checking on the status of their claim at that time if they are having issues. TWC also encourages you to sign up for Electronic Correspondence so you can receive any communications online and expediently.
The Texas Workforce Commission is expecting to experience an increase in call volumes and hold times on our Tele-Center phone lines. You are encouraged to use our online claim portal, Unemployment Benefits Services (UBS ), to handle your claim needs quickly. UBS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. TWC also encourages you to sign up for Electronic Correspondence so you can receive communications online as soon as possible.
The Texas Workforce Commission will investigate why you lost your job and provide you with a decision explaining whether you are eligible for unemployment benefits.
Local Relief Programs for Businesses
Various relief programs are now available in the form of grants and loans from the City of Austin as well as Williamson County. You can learn more about each program, eligibility requirements, and application instructions using the links below.
Williamson County: https://www.wilco.org/forward
While the small business grant program has ended, other assistance may be available.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans
The Small Business Association (SBA) has designated COVID-19 as a qualifying event for the provision of Economic Injury Disaster Loans for businesses and private non-profits in affected communities. If a business has suffered a substantial economic injury and is a specific type of business located in a declared disaster area, that business may be eligible for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. As of Fri., March 20 the SBA has included the entire state of Texas in its Economic Injury Disaster Declaration.
To learn more or apply, go to https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce: uschamber.com/coronavirus
National Federation of Independent Business: nfib.com/coronavirus-state/texas
Cedar Park Chamber of Commerce: https://cedarparkchamber.org/covid-19
Leander Chamber of Commerce: https://leandercc.org/small-business-covid-19
Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area: workforcesolutionsrca.com/coronavirus
Drivers Licenses & Vehicle Registration Updates
Extension on ID Expiration Dates
The waiver on expiration dates for Drivers Licenses, commercial Drivers Licenses, commercial learners permits, ID cards, and election identification certificates ends on April 14, 2021. DPS encourages Texans who need to renew to schedule an appointment at their local driver license office online.
Many Texas DL and ID holders are eligible to conduct their renewal, address change, or replacement transaction online, by phone (1-866-DL RENEW), or by mail. For more information about renewals, please visit the TxDPS website.
If you are not eligible to renew online, by phone, or by mail, you will need to visit your local driver license office for assistance. Be sure to complete the renewal application, make an appointment, and compile the necessary documentation in advance of your visit.
The temporary waiver of certain vehicle title and registration requirements, announced in March 2020 will end on April 14, 2021. If you have not renewed your expired vehicle registration, you should make plans to renew by that date.
The expiring waiver covered the following requirements:
- Initial vehicle registration
- Vehicle registration renewal
- Vehicle titling
- Renewal of permanent disabled parking placards
- 30-day temporary permits
Three ways to renew your vehicle registration:
- Online: www.TxDMV.gov/register or www.Texas.gov. This is the quickest and least expensive way to renew. Save $1 if you renew online. Online renewal is available up to nine months past your registration expiration date.
- Mail: Return the bottom portion of your registration renewal form, payment and other required information to your county tax assessor-collector.
- In Person: Visit the office of your county tax assessor-collector. In many counties, in-person renewal is also available at other locations, such as certain grocery stores. Contact your county tax office to check hours and locations.
Assorted Re-Openings of Public Amenities
Texas Capitol Complex
On Monday, Dec. 21 Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced that the Texas Capitol will re-open on January 4th. Details concerning health and safety protocols are still forthcoming. The Texas Capitol Grounds are open to the public as of Wednesday, December 16th, from 7 AM to 7 PM. The Texas Capitol Extension Gift Shop is currently closed, but you can shop online. The Capitol Grill also remains closed for now.
The Capitol Visitors Center is open Monday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM and closed on Saturdays and Sundays. It is operating at a limited capacity with no guided tours at this time, but the gift shop has re-opened. Similarly, the Capitol Visitors Parking Garage is open Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 6:30 PM. No overnight parking is allowed.
The Texas State Cemetery has re-opened, operating from 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday and closed on weekends. There are no guided tours currently.
Bob Bullock State History Museum
The Bullock Museum and IMAX Theatre are open on a limited capacity with timed entry from Wednesday through Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM. Check IMAX and Texas Spirit Theater showtimes here. For online educational tools, interactive tours or galleries, and similar, please visit Texas History Online.
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Texas State Parks are open for day use and limited camping, with some variance from park to park. Day pass reservations are required – reserve day passes online or by calling (512) 389-8900. Check the Texas State Parks Alert Map for the status of individual parks and refer to safety guidelines and tips to help plan your visit.
In addition to the operational changes at Texas State Parks, TPWD law enforcement and boat registration offices, including the license and boat registration counter at TPWD’s Austin headquarters, open by appointment only. Social distancing, face coverings, and other public health measures are mandatory for all customers. Texans needing to purchase hunting and fishing licenses, boat and motor owner transfers, and boat registration renewals are encouraged to visit tpwd.texas.gov or call the department at (512) 389-4800.