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Neighbors Helping Neighbors During Covid-19

3/19/2020

BPHA Neighbors,


We are going through a period in history, similar to
September 11th and more recently for our neighborhood, Hurricane
Harvey. Texans are resilient and we will
come back stronger. In this spirit, we
are asking our neighbors who are over 65 and/or live alone or are caregivers
that are needed at home; please fill out the Special Needs in a Natural
Disaster form and send it to the BPHA office if you think you are going to need
help. We are also asking our younger
neighbors who could pick up groceries or medicines for these neighbors to
please fill out the Neighbor’s Helping Neighbors form. Braeswood Place would like to connect our
neighbors to let them know we are here to help!



SPECIAL
NEEDS FORM IN A NATURAL DISASTER


 


 


Name: __________________________________________________________________


 


Address: ________________________________________________________________


 


Home Phone:
____________________________________________________________


 


Cell Phone: ______________________________________________________________


 


Emergency Contact Name, phone number
and relationship of person not living in your home:


 


_______________________________________________________________________


 


_______________________________________________________________________


 


_______________________________________________________________________


 


Email Address:
___________________________________________________________


 


How Many People Living in Your Home:
__________________Ages__________________


 


What is your mobility: ____________________________________________________


 


________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________


 


Medical
Needs:____________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________


 


________________________________________________________________________

Pets? What kind? How many? _________________________________________________


 


Do you need help getting groceries or medications?
________________________________



Return
to BPHA Office, 4010 Blue Bonnet Ste
112, Houston, TX 77025


 


                            
NEIGHBORS HELPING NEIGHBORS


 


In an effort
to team residents who can use a helping hand with residents who can offer
assistance, please complete the following response form and send to the BPHA
office.


I would like to PROVIDE some
assistance: Name _______________________________


Address: ________________________________________________________________


Phone numbers:
__________________________________________________________


Email address:
____________________________________________________________


Clip and
send or drop off at BPHA office, 4010 Blue Bonnet, Ste. 112, Houston, TX, 77025


 


The following are Harris County Guidelines as of March 16, 2020 and
information from our State Representative, Sarah Davis.


I have copied and pasted all of the information that I have
received. I apologize for any copy and pasting errors!!! It is quite a bit to
muddle through, but a lot of good information! 


Our deputies will be working round the clock to ensure our safety!


Stay safe! Brenda


 


 


RESOURCES


 


Important Numbers:
To help separate fact from fiction, you can have your
questions answered by trained professionals:


  • Harris
    County residents can get the latest information by calling Harris
    County Public Health's dedicated hotline
    at 832-927-7575 (9 am
    to 7 pm everyday)
  • You
    can also text CV19 to 888777 to get text updates directly from Ready
    Harris
  • City
    of Houston
    residents are encouraged to contact 832-393-4220 (9 am to 7pm M-F,
    9 am to 3pm on Saturday)
  • Additionally,
    uninsured residents of unincorporated Harris County can call the “Ask My Nurse' hotline for clinical-related questions at 713-634-1110 (9 am to 7 pm everyday)

 


Price Gouging: If you witness an instance of price
gouging during the #COVID19 response, report it to the Harris County Attorney's
Office so that we can hold them accountable.
Email
ConsumerHelp@cao.hctx.net
or call 832-839-6941   


More information found here.


 


Volunteer: Volunteers are needed at the


Houston Food Bank and fosters are needed at area animal shelters.



Grocery Stores:
Grocery stores will continue to operate and are restocking every
day. No need to rush to the store or hoard food. Stores will have varied
hours to provide time to restock. While at the stores, practice social
distancing and be sensitive to the needs of others. Curbside pick up and
delivery are good options too, some stores are also offering those services for
free during this time. They are also hiring!


 


Mental Health: Take care of your mental health
during the COVID-19 outbreak. Disaster Distress Line 1-800-985-5990 offers
free counseling 24/7 (in various languages).


 


Staying Healthy: Please keep in mind that thenumber one way to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 remains good hygiene and cleaning practices, according to
the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Harris County Public Health. That
means you should wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20
seconds several times a day, stay home if


you're feeling sick, and sterilize dirty surfaces at home and at
work with detergent or soap.


 


 


 


 


 


 


 



 


 


 Dear Community Leaders,


Although we are in a rapidly
changing situation with novel coronavirus (COVID-19), I wanted to give you an
update on what the State of Texas is doing to respond.


 


Last Friday, Governor Greg
Abbott declared a state disaster in all 254 Texas counties. This disaster
declaration gives state agencies flexibility to redirect staff and state
resources to areas hardest hit by COVID-19. Combined with a federal disaster
declaration, the State of Texas will now activate its emergency plan and
provide critical assistance to escalate its response to COVID-19 and protect
the health of all Texans.


 


The Governor has requested an
Economic Injury Disaster Declaration designation from the U.S. Small Business
Administration (SBA) in order for small businesses to access the Economic
Injury Disaster Loan program. Small businesses are encouraged to visit
http://tdem.texas.gov/covid-19 for information.


The Governor has also placed
the National Guard in “be prepared” status so they can be mobilized quickly on
his order.


 


I have inquired with The
Governor’s office with respect to the May 2020 runoff elections, and at this
time, we have not been advised of any changes to either the date or method of
the election. If/when this changes, we will provide an update.


Governor Abbott will host a
televised town hall on March 19, 2020 at 7 pm. You can view this town hall on
the CW Network.


The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is
the state’s lead agency for public health preparedness. DSHS continues to
provide guidance to local public health officials, convening daily calls with
local, state, and federal partners. DSHS has provided guidance for individual
labs on processing COVID-19 specimens and has also compiled and disseminated
information for public health officials, hospitals, and health care providers.
More information on DSHS preparedness and response efforts is available at https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/.


 


The Texas Department of
Emergency Management (TDEM)
maintains the state’s official disaster plan
and has gathered all state agencies to ensure a consistent, coordinated
response to COVID-19. This includes contingency planning and daily calls with
state agencies. Pursuant to legislation passed during the 86th Legislative
Session, TDEM has also identified a list of regulations that may require waiver
by the Governor to expedite the State’s COVID-19 response. If you have any
suggested regulations that you feel need to be waived, please e-mail me so that
I can get those suggestions considered by The Governor.


 


The Texas Health and Human
Services Commission (HHSC)
continues to monitor COVID-19 and has provided
guidance to providers, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and
childcare facilities. In addition, HHSC has launched a dedicated website for
with information including office closures people receiving services through
HHSC. This information is available at
https://hhs.texas.gov/services/health/coronavirus-covid-19.


 


The Texas Medical Board and
Texas Board of Nursing
have the authority under the Governor's emergency
declaration to temporarily credential physicians and nurses for the duration of
the declaration in an effort to increase the number of healthcare providers in
the state. Doctors may obtain information on expedited licensing at the TMB
website. Nurses may obtain information on the TBON website.


 


The Texas Education Agency
(TEA)
is monitoring the COVID-19 situation, communicating daily with
superintendents, and encouraging school districts to coordinate with their
local public health authorities. TEA has provided guidance to school districts.
More information on state guidance to schools can be found at:
https://tea.texas.gov/texas-schools/safe-and-healthy-schools/coronavirus-covid-19-support-and-guidance.


 


On Monday, March 16th, Governor
Abbott made the decision to cancel the State of Texas Assessment of Academic
Readiness (STAAR) Testing for the 2019-2020 school year. School districts
across the state, including HISD, are currently closed for the next three
weeks, and Texans should be prepared for the rest of the spring semester to be
cancelled.


 


The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has issued
guidance requesting all state-regulated health insurance companies operating in
Texas waive consumer costs and prior authorization restrictions for COVID-19
testing and treatment. In addition, TDI has requested Texas health insurance
companies remove these restrictions for general telehealth and telemedicine
visits to allow Texans to access care,


including mental healthcare
remotely. For more information, please visit TDI’s COVID-19 website at
https://www.tdi.texas.gov/news/2020/coronavirus-updates.html.


The Supreme Court of Texas
and Court of Criminal Appeals
has issued an emergency order that will allow
Texas courts to modify usual proceedings and procedures for a 30-day period. In
part, the order allows individual courts to conduct proceedings in a location
other than regular venue (with notification to participants), take testimony by
video or teleconferencing, and take other reasonable measures to avoid exposing
participants to COVID-19. A listing of current court closures is available at
https://www.txcourts.gov/programs-services/court-security/emergency-court-preparedness/closures/.


 


The Office of the Attorney
General (OAG)
is now empowered by the state disaster declaration to pursue
enhanced penalties for individuals and businesses that scam or price gouge
consumers. You may report suspected price gouging or scams to the OAG’s
Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-621-0508 or file a complaint online at
https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/consumer-protection.


 


The Texas Department of
Public Safety (DPS)
has waived expiration dates for Driver Licenses,
Commercial Driver Licenses, and other identification forms. The suspension will
be in effect until 60 days after DPS provides further public notice that normal
Driver License operations have resumed.


 


The Texas Department of
Licensing and Regulation (TDLR)
has authorized temporary distance education
for driver’s education and training for occupational training for certain
licenses. TDLR has also cancelled amateur and professional combative sports
events licensed by the agency, as well as advisory board meetings. For
information on occupational licensing and COVID-19, please visit
https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/covid19.htm.


 


The Texas Workforce
Commission
have established dedicated websites for employers impacted by
the COVID-19 outbreak and individuals who are experiencing job loss.
Individuals experiencing job loss due to COVID-19 are encouraged to submit
applications for unemployment benefits online.


Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced Monday,
March 16th, that restaurants will be limited to drive through and takeout only
while all bars and nightclubs have been ordered to close completely for the
next 15 days. For more on this and the rest of the county's resources, please
visit: https://publichealth.harriscountytx.gov/Resources/2019-Novel-Coronavirus.


City of Houston Mayor
Sylvester Turner
has also placed the
same restrictions as the county on bars and restaurants, along with closing
many nonessential city offices and high volume services such as libraries.
Additional Information can be found at:
https://houstonemergency.org/covid19


 


Bellaire, West University
Place, and Southside Place
have all
announced the cancellation of various events throughout the coming months and
suspended reservations for city owned properties. Please keep up to date using
the following links:


-Bellaire:
https://www.bellairetx.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2200


-West University Place:
https://www.westutx.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=913


-Southside Place: http://www.ci.southside-place.tx.us/


 


What Can You Do?


 


Listen to the Experts


We are all in this together,
and we can combat the spread of COVID-19 by taking care of ourselves, our loved
ones, and our communities, and by heeding the advice of experts. A lack of
human contact doesn’t have to mean a lack of human connection. Talk to loved
ones by phone and text, and set up video conferences with friends to encourage
one another. Maintain key elements of your daily routine, such as exercise.
Going for a walk, jogging and hiking are healthy activities that can be done
while following social distancing protocols.


 


When shopping for groceries or
household supplies, you should aim to buy only what you need rather than
stockpiling supplies. There are currently no supply shortages for basic
groceries, but buying more than what is needed is straining Texas grocery
stores’ ability to keep shelves stocked.


The City of Houston and Harris County are discouraging
gathering in groups greater than 10 people, per CDC recommendations.


Practice Common-Sense Public
Health Hygiene


 


Although COVID-19 is a novel
virus, meaning no one has preexisting immunity. It is a respiratory virus that
in certain patients can lead to pneumonia and hospitalization. As such,
everyday practices like washing your hands for at least twenty seconds,
covering your mouth and nose when sneezing, avoiding touching your face with
unwashed hands, and staying home when sick are tried-and-true methods that will
protect you and your loved ones. Experts advise that washing one’s hands with
soap is more effective than purell and other disinfectants, though using such
sanitizers can be helpful in preventing the spread of the virus as well. In
addition, disinfecting commonly touched objects and surfaces, like doorknobs,
cellphones, car keys, and other items will further prevent the spread of
COVID-19.


 


Furthermore, public health
officials are recommending healthy individuals practice social distancing
measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Good social distancing practices
include avoiding in-person contact with individuals outside your immediate
family. You can continue to exercise and shop for essential items, but you
should try to maintain a six-foot distance between you and other individuals.
Families should avoid taking their children to playgrounds or other areas where
the disease can spread.


We are all in this together.
Making these common-sense practices second nature during the COVID-19 outbreak
will keep you and your loved ones safe. Helping engrain these practices with
your family and neighbor will help all of us to stay healthy.


 


What Should You Do If You
Are Sick?


 


Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the flu, including
coughing or shortness of breath, fever, and coughing and arise within 2-14 days
of exposure. Those who are most at risk of contracting COVID-19 are those who
have travelled to other countries or states where the virus has been spreading
geographically. If you think you are sick or have been exposed, the best course
of action is to isolate yourself and monitor your symptoms. If you develop
symptoms, the steps you should take depend on whether you are generally in good
health or among individuals with underlying health conditions.


If you are generally in good
health and have mild symptoms, you should isolate yourself at home and take
care of yourself as with any cold or flu. Monitor your symptoms and immediately
seek medical care if they worsen. If you live with your family or other
individuals in the same home, it is important to minimize close contact to
avoid spreading the virus.


Individuals at higher risk
should monitor their symptoms and immediately call a healthcare provider if
they develop a fever. High-risk individuals include people who are 65 and
older, those with heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or high blood pressure.


 


Where Can I Obtain a Test?


 


Individuals who are
experiencing symptoms and have travelled to a COVID-19 outbreak area within the
past 14 days, or who have been exposed to an individual who has tested positive
for COVID-19, should contact their healthcare provider to obtain a physician's
order for a COVID-19 test. Individuals without insurance or a healthcare
provider should contact the Harris County Ask My Nurse triage hotline at
713-634-1110. COVID-19 testing is also available at private labs in the Houston
area, including LabCorps and Quest Diagnostics, but this testing must be
coordinated through a healthcare provider. Please note that individuals who
meet CDC guidelines are eligible for COVID-19 testing.


As of March 18, 2020, the City
of Houston and Harris County Public Health Department are working to finalize
testing sites within the Greater Houston Area. Despite rumors, drive-through
test sites are not yet open in the Greater Houston area. These entities will
distribute additional details once they are finalized. My office will
disseminate this information once we receive it


 


What To Do If You Are
Uninsured?


 


Individuals who do not have
health insurance can still receive a test for COVID-19 through their local
health departments or at a private lab. Uninsured individuals can receive
referrals to testing and healthcare providers by dialing the state hotline
2-1-1. Testing at a local health department is free of charge, while a


private lab may charge a fee
that varies from lab to lab. Harris County residents can also contact Harris H
private lab may charge a fee that varies from
lab to lab. Harris County residents can also contact Harris Health’s Ask My
Nurse triage hotline at 713-634-1110.


My office stands ready to
assist if you have any questions or require additional information or
assistance relating to COVID-19 in Texas. Please do not hesitate to call my
Capitol Office at 512-463-0389 or District Office 713-664-7095 or email
sarah.davis@house.texas.gov if we can assist in any way.


 


Sincerely,


 Representative Sarah Davis House District  134


 



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