What an unexpected time in our lives. TARC is actively engaged in many workgroups and discussions here in Austin and with many of you surrounding COVID-19 and the coronavirus. We have been in contact with many state agencies and continue to monitor and submit questions on behalf of regional councils. Just this week, the TARC Executive Directors’ Council met via conference call where a frank discussion occurred about the continuity of regional council operations and preparedness should events in a region require modifying working conditions and/or large gatherings such as board meetings. 

We have compiled some resources and updates which may be beneficial for you as we all navigate this together:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Website
    • Linked above is the CDC’s website about COVID-19 and coronavirus. This site is updated regularly.
  • Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) COVID-19 Website
  • Special Events Reporting
    • COGs worked with the Office of the Governor’s Homeland Security Grants Division as well as the Texas Department of Homeland Safety to gather information about special events held throughout each region. There has been no threshold set to determine when activities should be cancelled, but these lists of events could be a very helpful asset to prepare your communities and assist with decision making. Please reach out to your COG for more information.
  • Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) Updates
  • Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Resources
  • COVID-19 webinar now available to train EMS and 911 personnel
    • Details about COVID-19 are changing rapidly and it’s easy to get information overload, but first responders need to be prepared to encounter possible cases. The immediate risk to the United States is still considered low; however, the potential public health threat globally and to this country is high. developed an hour-long training webinar designed as a Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) primer for EMS and 911 workers. The multi-agency panel covers the basics of COVID-19, the latest guidance for 911 and EMS, and recommendations for transporting and treating people possibly infected. Accompanying webinar slides are also available (PDF, 6.5 MB).
  • HHSC Office of Area Agencies on Aging (OAAA) Updates
    • TARC, Texas Association of Area Agencies on Aging (T4A) and the Health and Human Service Commission (HHSC) Office of Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) met via conference call earlier this week. Among the discussion topics was planning for ensuring seniors who receive meals and services through programs coordinated by the AAAs across Texas continue to have access to quality nutrition and services with the increase of social distancing, mandated or elected. We communicated a request for flexibility in service delivery options along with requests for fund advances among other concerns. We have stressed the need for additional guidance from HHSC and are working diligently to assist in moving that forward.
  • Administration for Community Living (ACL) Released New Guidance: People at Increased Risk for Complications
    • Early data suggest older people are twice as likely to have serious COVID-19 illness. In addition, people of all ages, with or without disabilities, seem to be at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness if they have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease.
    • See for CDC's latest recommendations for people at higher risk and other updates.