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Posts published in “Day: March 26, 2020

FIGHTING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC: County issues “Stay Home Work Safe” order

HARRIS COUNTY JUDGE LINA HIDALGO AND HOUSTON MAYOR SYLVESTER TURNER MAKE JOINT ANNOUNCEMENT TUESDAY MORNING.

Effective thru April 3rd; Virus cases reach 284

HARRIS COUNTY – Faced with the reality of mounting cases of the infectious and potentially lethal Coronavirus known as COVID-19, local leaders have issued an order to “Stay Home Work Safe” which amounts to a shelter in place directive.

At a joint news conference Tuesday morning, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner called for all but essential members of the public to stay at home, not to travel and not to congregate in groups. Businesses were advised to have their employees work at home. The order is set to last ten days, until Friday April 3rd.

As of Tuesday, there were 284 virus cases in the greater Houston area that had tested positive. These include Houston 55, Harris County 79 including 1 death, Brazoria County 28, Brazos County 16, Fort Bend County 46, Galveston County 21, Matagorda County 8, including 1 death, Montgomery County 23, Chambers County 1, Liberty County 1, Grimes County 2, Wharton County 3, and Walker County 1.

The Order allowed the public to travel for necessities such as food and fuel, and allowed workers in 16 essential categories to continue to work. These include: Healthcare, Law Enforcement and Public Safety, Food and Agriculture, Electricity or Utility workers, Petroleum, Natural and Propane gas workers, Water and Wastewater workers, Transportation and logistics, including auto repair and postal service, Public Works, Communications and Media including newspapers, Government and Education, Critical manufacturing, Hazardous materials, Financial services including banks, Chemical workers, and Defense industries.

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3 Virus test sites now open

INFORMATION ON CORONAVIRUS TEST SITES:

• United Memorial Med Ctr. private site at 510 w. Tidwell, as seen above is free, and does not require pre-screening.

People tested at the community based testing site are provided instructions on how to obtain their test results. Positive cases will continue to be reported by local health departments.

Harris County and the City of Houston have announced that they have opened three drive-thru testing sites for Coronavirus tests, and plan to open several more in the next week. For all the public sites, pre-screening is required, and then those that qualify due to Coronavirus symptoms, or because they are in a high risk category, will be given an ID number and an appointment at one of the locations, that remain unidentified to the general public.

• City of Houston, at Butler Stadium, call 832-393-4220 for pre-screening. Also free. At both sites, only those with symptoms will be tested.

• Harris County has one site open in East Harris County, in the Baytown area. Prescreening is done at readyharris.com or by calling 832-927-7575.

• Harris County plans to open a second site in the Katy area this week.

Federal relief available for businesses and other tax filers impacted by COVID-19

Coronavirus Emergency Aid Package Signed

The legislation signed last Wednesday evening provides paid sick and family leave for some for U.S. workers impacted by the illness, expands unemployment assistance, includes nutrition assistance and increases resources for testing. Efforts are already underway to put together a third, larger relief measure that could total $1 trillion.

Deadline for Tax Filing extended to July 15th

Following President Donald J. Trump’s emergency declaration pursuant to the Stafford Act, the U.S. Treasury Department and IRS issued guidance allowing all individual and other non-corporate tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest.

SBA to Provide Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

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Governor Abbott postpones Runoff Primary Election until Tuesday July 14th.

AUSTIN, TX — March 20, 2020 — Governor Greg Abbott today issued a proclamation postponing the runoff primary election until July 14, 2020 — the same date as the special election for Texas State Senate District 14. The runoff election was originally scheduled for May 26th, but has been postponed in conjunction with the state’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The postponement of this election serves to help fulfill the Governor’s recent executive orders mandating certain obligation for Texans that are aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, including the encouragement of social distancing. Holding the runoff in May would cause the congregation of large gatherings of people in confined spaces and cause numerous election workers to come into close proximity with others. This would threaten the health and safety of many Texans.

Early voting for the postponed runoff primary election will begin Monday, July 6, 2020.