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Coronavirus Updates: The Latest Closings, Cancellations and Developments

2 months 1 week 5 days ago Monday, March 16 2020 Mar 16, 2020 March 16, 2020 11:33 AM March 16, 2020 in News - Coronavirus Pandemic
Rep. Cuellar Announces Over $3.6 Million for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and South Texas College
It was announced on May 6, that over $3.6 million will be given to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and South Texas College.
TSC Students Receive Financial Relief
It was announced on April 30, TSC students will receive financial relief.
Governor Abbott, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Announce Free Online Training For Child Care Providers During COVID-19 Response
It was announced on April 29, Governor Abbott, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service announces free online training for child care providers during COVID-19 response.

Governor Abbott, HHSC Announce $54M To Support Older Texans and Texans with Disabilities During COVID-19 Pandemic

It was announced on April 29, that Governor Abbott and HHSC announce $54M to support older Texans and Texans with disabilities during COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Abbott Temporarily Allows For Appearance Before Notary Public Via Videoconference For Real-Estate Instruments

It was announced on April 29, that Governor Abbott will temporarily allow appearance before notary public Via videoconference for real-estate instruments.

THECB to launch Peace Officer Loan Repayment Assistance Program

It was announced on April 29, that THECB will launch a peace officer loan repayment assistance program.

Boca Chica & State Highway 4 Closed

It was announced on April 28, that the county closed boca Chicago beach and state highway 4.

New Distribution System Will Ship PPE to Physicians, Clinics in Desperate Need

It was announced on April 28, that New Distribution System Will Ship PPE to Physicians.

AG Paxton Files Lawsuit to Halt Price Gouging by Cal-Maine Foods, Inc.

It was announced on April 23, AG Paxton Files Lawsuit to Halt Price Gouging by Cal-Maine Foods, Inc.

Governor Abbott, Chancellor Sharp, Chief Kidd Announce COVID-19 Federal Assistance Training For Local Leaders

It was announced on April 23, Governor Abbott, Chancellor Sharp, Chief Kidd Announce COVID-19 Federal Assistance Training For Local Leaders.

H-E-B and Favor introduce Express Delivery

It was announced on April 23, two-hour grocery delivery now available from every H-E-B, Central Market and Joe V’s in Texas via Favor.

Governor Abbott, HHSC Announce $54 Million To Support Older Texans During COVID-19 Pandemic

It was announced on April 23, that Governor Abbott, HHSC Announce $54 Million To Support Older Texans During COVID-19 Pandemic.

Group chat leads to donations for UTRGV Student Food Pantry, local police departments

It was announced on April 22, that a group chat leads to donations for UTRGV Student Food Pantry, local police departments.

Deadline for UTRGV Summer Relief Package extended through May 29

It was announced on April 21, that the deadline for the UTRGV Summer Relief Package was extended through may 29.

Hidalgo County CSA Receives Funding for COVID-19 Disaster Assistance

It was announced on April 21, that Hidalgo County CSA Receives Funding for COVID-19 Disaster Assistance.

Valley Hospitals Announce Grants to Aid in COVID-19 Relief Efforts

It was announced on April 17, that Rio Grande Regional Hospital and Valley Regional Medical Center announce grants to aid in COVID-19 relief efforts.

Valley Aids Council to Receive $125K in Federal Grants to Help Fight HIV/AIDS

It was announced on April 17, that the Valley Aids Council received federal grands to help fight HIV/AIDS.

Congressman Gonzalez Urges Constituents to Download “Get My Payment” App for to Track Stimulus Payment

It was announced on April 15, that community members are recommended to download app to track stimulus payment.

BPUB Approves Relief Efforts for Customers

It was announced on April 14, that BPUB Approves Relief Efforts for Customers.

Rio Grande Valley Health Centers Receive $4M in New Round of Coronavirus Relief Funds

It was announced on April 8, that the RGV Health Centers Received $4M in New Round of Coronavirus Relief Funds.

Governor Abbott, HHS Announce Federal Approval Of Emergency SNAP Benefits

It was announced on April 8, Texas Health and Human Services will provide more than $168 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program food benefits to help Texans during the COVID-19 response.

McAllen's 3-1-1 to Revise Easter Hours of Operation

It was announced on April 8 that McAllen 3-1-1 Customer Service Call Center will revise its hours of operation for Sunday, April 12, 2020.

H-E-B & Favor rapidly doubles delivery service area statewide to serve more communities and seniors

It was announced on April 8, H-E-B working to serve more communities and seniors.

BPUB to Close Drive-Thru Payment Lanes

It was announced on April 7, Because of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the Brownsville Public Utilities Board will close its drive-thru payment lanes.

Harlingen Recommends Use of Masks in Public

It was announced on April 7, Harlingen issued a Health Care Advisory recommending the use of face coverings while in public or a commercial setting.

Texas WIC Expands Eligible Foods, Launches, Updated App

It was announced on April 7 the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children, is expanding the number of food items eligible for purchase through the program.

McAllen waives online convenience fees for property tax payments

The city of McAllen announced on April 7 that it would not charge a convenience fee when property owners pay their property taxes online.

H-E-B takes additional steps to safeguard Partners by providing masks and gloves

On April 3, H-E-B updated their employee work conditions.

At H-E-B, our top priority is the health and safety of our Partners and customers. In our continued efforts to keep our Partners and customers safe, H-E-B will provide Partners (employees) masks and gloves for use while at work.

As an essential business to the public during this time, all H-E-B Partners who work in our stores, warehouses, manufacturing and transportation facilities will be strongly encouraged to wear masks, which H-E-B will provide starting Saturday, April 4. All Partners who choose these options must continue to follow H-E-B’s strict hygiene and sanitation measures as well as proper social distancing protocols.

For more about this effort, please see our news article at H-E-B Newsroom: https://newsroom.heb.com/h-e-b-takes-additional-steps-to-safeguard-partners-by-providing-masks-and-gloves/

Hidalgo County Clerk’s Office modification of services

On April 3, The Hidalgo County Clerk’s Office has updated their service schedule. 

The Hidalgo County Clerk’s Office continues to provide all services at this time.  However, modifications have been made to daily operations in response to the COVID-19 crisis.  Prior to visiting the clerk’s office individuals are encourage to contact the office by calling (956) 318-2100. 

Current office hours are 10 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday and closed during lunch from 12 - 1 pm.

As a reminder, search of court records and official records is available from your home or businesses by visiting www.hidalgocountyclerk.us

Brownsville Metro to Receive $7.6 Million from Federal Government for COVID-19 Response

On April 3, Brownsville Metro will receive nearly $7.6 million in federal funds for COVID-19 response according to City of Brownsville officials.  

Brownsville Metro’s allocation for COVID-19 related expense under the federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act is $7,599,697 according to the Federal Transit Authority. 

“Our transit system is vitally important to many in our community — it provides access to grocery stores, jobs, and healthcare,” said Mayor Trey Mendez. “We are grateful that the federal government is working with the city to help ensure the stability of our transit system during difficult times."

The CARES Act provides funds to public transit agencies for operating costs to maintain service and lost revenue due to the coronavirus public health emergency.  Funds can be used for items such as the enhanced sanitation, purchase of personal protective equipment for employees, and paying administrative leave for personnel due to reduction in service.

Brownsville Metro continues to operate on a limited basis during.  The transit system has enhanced sanitation and requires social distancing to help protect employee and passenger safety.  For more information about Brownsville Metro, please contact 956-548-6050.

Brownsville Metro COVID-19 Update: Schedule and Service Changes

On April 3, Brownsville Metro made schedule and services changes.

The Brownsville Multimodal Transportation Department is working tirelessly to safeguard the health and well-being of its customers and employees and to reduce the risks of COVID-19 exposure.

Brownsville Metro urges everyone to plan accordingly, make necessary adjustments for their travel needs, and seek alternative means of transportation whenever possible. To view the most current modified bus route schedule, go to https://www.cob.us/ImageRepository/Document?documentID=9711

For the most up-to-date information on how the City of Brownsville is handling the rapidly changing circumstances, please visit the following websites for updated information:

btxcares.com

www.cob.us/2066/Coronavirus-Updates

Mayor Darling Recommends Covering Face

On April 3, McAllen Mayor recommends covering face. 

In an abundance of caution and for the protection of yourself and others, McAllen Mayor Jim Darling recommends that all McAllen residents wear a face covering, such as a scarf or bandana, to cover mouths and noses, when venturing out in public for essential services.  

Please refrain from purchasing masks intended for use by medical personnel for their own protection while working.

TWC to Implement Staggered Access to Unemployment Benefit Services Portal to Ensure More Texans Can File UI Claims

On April 3, it has been documented that over half a million Texans have filed unemployment claims in the last 18-days as a result of COVID-19. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) will soon outpace the total number of claims received in all of 2019. This unprecedented increase has led to long wait times, overwhelmed call centers and technical issues with the Unemployment Benefit Services portal. TWC staff is working around the clock to expand the capacity to take claims but needs your support. TWC recommends that Texans stagger their calls and access to the online portal based on applicant's area codes.

Small Businesses, Sole Proprietorships may apply for Federal Paycheck Protection today

On April 3, fully forgivable loans to help small businesses and sole proprietors impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic that helps with payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent and utilities are available under a federal program beginning today, Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said on Friday.

Visit coronavirus.gov for more information.

Metro McAllen Reduces Hours of Operation

On April 3, some of Metro McAllen’s route schedules have been reduced to reflect the dip in ridership.  The routes affected include:

Route 1, 2, 4, 6

New operating hours are 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday.  Please note that buses for the affected routes will depart the station at 7:00 p.m. and return at 8:00 p.m. 

Sunday bus service for these routes will remain the same. 

If a rider is left stranded after hours, please contact Metro McAllen customer service at 681-3510.

Anzalduas Bridge Reduces Hours

The city of McAllen announced on April 3 that, starting on April 6, U.S. Customs and Border Protection would reduce hours at the Anzalduas bridge.

Hours for northbound traffic will be 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hours for southbound traffic will be 6 a.m. 10 p.m.

Tax Office limiting office visits to one person per group

On April 2, Tax Offices limiting office visits to one per person.

In an effort to practice social distancing to avert the potential spread of COVID-19, Hidalgo County Tax Offices will be enforcing no more than one (1) individual per group to enter for a face-to-face interaction for business operations at any given time. Exceptions will be made for those in wheelchairs needing assistance. This is effective Friday, April 3, 2020.

Please note that minors (who are not conducting business) will be counted as one (1) towards the ten (10) persons at a time allowed for business operations.

Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Villarreal, Jr. is asking customers to take advantage of conducting business via mail, drop box, online or by appointment.  Taxpayers can pay online with e-check for no additional fee. They can also pay with a credit card with no convenience fee online-only.

A convenience fee on credit cards will NOT be waived for in-person transactions.

Hidalgo County Tax Office Customer Care Center is available to assist taxpayers over the phone. They can answer questions regarding property taxes, motor vehicle registrations, and title concerns Monday through Friday 8 am through 4:30 pm at (956) 318-2157.

The Hidalgo County Tax Assessor-Collector is taking preventive measures to ensure the safety of our citizens in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

“We must do everything we can to limit the spread of the virus. It is our responsibility to follow local, state, and national health public orders,” said Villarreal. “Our conduct and decisions have a direct ramifications on the health of our employees’ and the health of everyone in Hidalgo County.”

      RGV FC Set to Donate Merchandise Procedes to Amigos Del Valle 

      On April 1, Clubs across the USL Championship will be doing their part to support local charities throughout the month of April, donating a percentage of merchandise proceeds to organizations in their communities to provide support during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

      In 35 communities across the country, clubs will be participating in the initiative, with donations to be made to local charities of the club’s choosing.

      The Rio Grande Valley FC organization will be launching their first-ever online store and in support of this initiative will be donating a portion of all proceeds from all online merchandise sales to Amigos del Valle. This specific organization impacts the quality of life all across the Rio Grande Valley through provision of diversified and effective human services, community development activities and advocacy.

      They are mainly directed to low income families, and place special emphasis on assisting the elder population to maintain active, healthy and independent lives. During the COVID-19 pandemic, elders are one of the most impacted, a big reason behind the club choosing Amigos del Valle.

      Our club has already been using our online presence to help our local community since the temporary suspension of the Championship season and delay to the start of the League One season were announced. We will also be aiding local charities such as RGV Food Bank during the upcoming USL eCup: Rocket League Edition that begins on Wednesday afternoon.

      Governor Abbott, TDHCA Take Initial Action To Secure Financial Housing Assistance

      On April 1, Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) have taken initial action to provide tenant-based rental assistance for Texans experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. The Governor has waived statutes relating to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) HOME Investments Partnership program which would allow Texas greater flexibility to use program funds to help certain Texans pay their rent. In addition, TDHCA has sent a letter to HUD requesting federal waivers to allow greater flexibility to Texas to reprogram these funds for that purpose. If these waivers are granted, Texas will reprogram these funds to provide financial housing assistance to certain Texans enduring economic hardships related to COVID-19.

      "The State of Texas is committed to supporting Texans who are enduring significant economic hardship due to the spread of COVID-19," said Governor Abbott. "Suspending these state statutes is a crucial first step to help many Texans receive the financial assistance they need to pay their rent, and I urge HUD to grant the federal waiver requests."

      McAllen Closes Palm View Golf Course Until Further Notice

      On March 31, Palm View Gold Course Closed it's doors until further notice.

      Due to number of people at the Palm View Golf Course, McAllen Mayor Jim Darling ordered that it be closed until further notice.  Beginning, today, April 1, 2020, the City of McAllen has closed the Palm View Golf Course to the public.

      “In light of the amount of traffic we continued to see, and the fact that players were congregating in certain areas, it is best to close the golf course for the safety of the public and our employees,” said McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez, P.E.

      Texas Businesses Must File Property Tax Renditions bt April 15

      On March 31, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar reminds business owners that for many property types, April 15 is the deadline to file property tax renditions with their county appraisal districts. Different deadlines apply for certain regulated property.

      Business owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic may request, in writing to the chief appraiser, an extension of the deadline to May 15. Some appraisal districts already have extended the deadline for filing rendition statements or property reports to May 15, so please check with your local appraisal district first. 

      For information relating to your property appraisals, owners should refer to their local county appraisal district. For other taxes, the Comptroller’s office is providing continuous updates on the Comptroller’s COVID-19 Emergency Response page on our website.

      A rendition is a list of the taxable inventory, furniture and fixtures, machinery, equipment and other property owned or managed as of Jan. 1 each year. The appraisal district may use the information to set property values.

      A rendition allows property owners to record their opinion of their property’s value and ensures that the appraisal district notifies property owners before changing a recorded value. Exempt property, such as church property and equipment used for farming, is not subject to rendition. 

      Owners whose property was damaged by storm, flood or fire last year may file a special decreased value report, which indicates the property’s condition on Jan. 1, 2020. Filing the decreased value report could lower those owners’ final tax bills for 2020.

      Rendition forms and decreased value report forms are available from county appraisal district offices statewide and can be downloaded at the Comptroller’s property tax forms webpage.

      For more information about property rendition, deadlines, deadline extensions, penalties and rendition forms, taxpayers may contact the Comptroller’s Property Tax Assistance Division at 800-252-9121 (press 2) or visit the division's website.

      Public Utilities Commission & CPL Here to Help During COVID-19

      On March 31, direct energy offered some helpful tips during the COVID-19 pandemic.

      As we see COVID 19 continue to spread, CPL Retail Ener

      Island Metro to reduce services to comply with Port Isabel order

      Starting at 5 p.m. April 4, Island Metro routes to Port Isabel and Laguna Heights will be canceled until further notice.

      The company will have one shuttle in operation at South Padre Island only from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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