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Reopening Texas: This week, DPS will begin phased opening of driver license offices

Here’s what you need to know this week as restrictions are rolled back

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces the reopening of more Texas businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic at a press conference at the Texas State Capitol in Austin on Monday, May 18, 2020. Abbott said that childcare facilities, youth camps, some professional sports, and bars may now begin to fully or partially reopen their facilities as outlined by regulations listed on the Open Texas website. (Lynda M. Gonzalez/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces the reopening of more Texas businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic at a press conference at the Texas State Capitol in Austin on Monday, May 18, 2020. Abbott said that childcare facilities, youth camps, some professional sports, and bars may now begin to fully or partially reopen their facilities as outlined by regulations listed on the Open Texas website. (Lynda M. Gonzalez/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool) (THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS)

Here are the most important things happening this week:

  • DPS will begin phased opening of driver license offices starting Tuesday
  • Houston Health Department will offer free COVID-19 testing at new sites
  • The City of Houston will hold its second virtual city council meeting Tuesday.
  • Get full coronavirus coverage here, plus a tracker for the Greater Houston Area, charts, useful guidance, and a list of area testing sites.

DPS will begin phased opening of driver license offices starting Tuesday

Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Department of Public Safety will begin a phased opening of driver license offices starting May 26th with limited service offerings.

“This phased opening of our driver license offices and the launch of DPS’ online appointment system prioritizes the health and safety of our communities and ensures Texans have access to the services they need at their local driver license offices,” Abbott said in a release. “I thank DPS for developing this safe and strategic plan to open their offices and for launching a new appointment system to streamline our driver license services.”

Click here to view the four-phase reopening plan for driver license offices.

City of Houston will hold second-ever virtual city council meeting

The City of Houston will hold its second-ever virtual city council meeting Wednesday.

Public comment will be allowed via teleconference; no one will be allowed to appear in person in the Council Chamber, according to a release. All public comment will occur at the beginning of the meeting starting at 2 p.m. Those who wish to speak must register by Tuesday at 3 p.m. To register, call the City Secretary’s Office at (832) 393-1100.

The meeting will also be broadcast on HTV, the City of Houston’s municipal channel, and streamed on the City’s website at https://www.houstontx.gov/htv/index.html and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pg/HoustonTelevision/videos/.

Click here for more information.

Houston Health Department will offer free COVID-19 testing at new sites

The Houston Health Department and agency partners will set up several new sites offering free COVID-19 tests for the week of May 26, 2020, according to release from the City of Houston.

The Texas Division of Emergency Management and the department will open two drive-thru test sites:

  • Kingwood Park Community Center, 4102 Rustic Woods Drive, Kingwood, May 26 – 27
  • Sagemont Church Annex, 11600 Hughes Road, May 28 – 30.

TDEM sites require appointments, available by calling 512-883-2400 or visiting txcovidtest.org. The sites will open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. or until each reaches its daily capacity of 250 tests.

United Memorial Medical Center will open a new drive-thru and walk-up test site:

  • Denver Harbor Multi-Service Center, 6402 Market Street. May 26 - 29

The site will operate from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or until reaching its daily capacity of 250 tests. The sites don’t require people to have symptoms or appointments. People needing information about UMMC test sites can call 1-866-333-COVID or visit ummcscreening.com.

Kroger Health and the health department will operate a free drive-thru test site:

  • Collier Regional Library, 6200 Pinemont Drive, May 26-30.

The site requires appointments by visiting krogerhealth.com/covidtesting. It will open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or until reaching its daily capacity of 175 tests.

Click here for more testing sites and additional information.

Zoos can reopen beginning Friday

Zoos are permitted to open May 29 at 25 percent capacity if their local governments allow it. The Houston Zoo yet to announce its reopening plans. The zoo shuttered to public in March.

Youth sports and camps can reopen beginning Sunday, May 31

Abbott said that youth sports camps and programs like Little League will be able to open at the end of the month. Parents will be allowed to attend the events so long as they practice social distancing.

Other camps, activities allowed to open are:

Click here for more information.

Where to find free food in the Houston area this week

Amid the pandemic, as some face layoffs or weeks without work, the demand for food assistance has increased at Houston-area food banks and distribution sites.

The Houston Food Bank, YMCA of Greater Houston and several other Houston-area organizations are stepping in to support Houstonians during a time when so many are in need. The Houston Independent School district concluded its school year food distribution on Friday. It will launch its curbside summer meals program on June 1.

Click here and here for more information on dates, times and locations where families can find free food in the Houston area.


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