Updates from Council Member Peck

As of yesterday, there were 826 cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Harris County (outside Houston) and 1,320 in Houston. Our testing sites at Butler and Delmar continue to test anyone who is symptomatic. For information on how to get tested, please see the section below.
This is a regularly evolving situation with emerging details, and we want to keep you as informed as possible of the facts at this time. To that extent, here are some updates and resources that the City of Houston Office of Emergency Management put together:
Also, Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Cagle’s office put together a very helpful spreadsheet to consolidate county and city community resources in one location. Pleaseclick here to view the Google document.
Please keep in mind that this information can change. My office receives new information frequently in this dynamic environment. I encourage you to stay informed by watching the news, reading the newspaper, and getting updates from houstonemergency.org, or contact my office at [email protected] or 832-393-3010. My staff and I continue to work from home, but we regularly check messages and do return calls.
My staff and I are committed to serving you, and we will get through this together. We are available whether you have questions about COVID-19/Coronavirus or anything else, so please contact us.
Stay safe,

Testing Sites

Please note that all city of Houston testing sites are now open to the general public who may be experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. In order to be tested for COVID-19 at one of the public testing sites, you must first be pre-screened by calling the Health Department’s COVID-19 call center at 832-393-4220, or you may also take the online Harris County Public Health and Houston Health’s self-assessment tool to see if you qualify for testing by clicking here. If you qualify after being pre-screened, you will receive a unique identification code and instructions on where to go for testing.

Stay Home Work Safe Information

The Math Behind Social Distancing

Government Services and Assistance


The Houston Permitting Center now has most services online in order to protect the community by reducing the number of customers in waiting areas.
All services (including permits, certificates of occupancy and temporary certificates of occupancy) are available online, except for:
  – Fire Prevention permits (Houston Fire Department)
  – Auto Dealers & Identification (Houston Police Department)
  – Boiler Operator’s Testing
  – Stationary Engineer’s Testing
Customers will have limited access to the Houston Permitting Center building. In-person visits will only be scheduled by appointment.

BARC- Procedural Changes Due to COVID-19

Due to the continuing spread of the COVID-19 virus, BARC has been in discussions with other Texas animal shelters and animal health professionals to determine the best safety measures to take for the public, our employees, and the animals in our care.
In the interest of maximizing social distancing while providing the opportunity for adoptions, wellness and other BARC services to continue to the public, effective immediately, BARC is implementing the following procedural changes:
  • Animal intake/ drop-off on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday from 12pm – 4pm will be a drive-thru service only until further notice. BARC will not turn away any sick or injured animals.
  • We ask the community to assist by not picking [up] any stray animals unless citizens are prepared to care for them at home.
  • We also request that non-emergency, owner surrenders (i.e. turning in an owned pet) be postponed allowing BARC the resources to deal with emergency surrenders resulting from the current crisis.
  • BARC is providing pet food and crates, as available, to all citizens to support them in keeping animals in their possession. Other resources are available as well.
  • Public Wellness/ Foster Clinic/ Surgery Pick-ups will all be a drive-thru service until further notice.
  • Lost Pets/ Return to Owners will park vehicles and walk-through BARC.
  • Foster and Rescue Pick-up will sign-in to online service and animals will be brought to vehicles in the parking lot.
  • Pet Adoptions is now a drive up process at 3300 Carr street.
  • BARC will continue to maintain normal operations as well as regularly scheduled service hours for all services (adoptions, foster & rescue pickups, wellness, lost pets, and bite case) until further notice.
Thank you for your patience and continued support; we apologize for any inconvenience these new measures may cause. We understand that limiting the number of customers in the shelter at any given time will result in longer wait times, but we ask for your patience and understanding as we do everything we can to maintain the health and safety of our customers, our employees, and the animals in our care.
For more information please visit: http://www.houstontx.gov/barc/.

Food Assistance

  • United Way- Dial 2-1-1 for assistance. Local resources available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They have also set up a COVID-19 Relief Fund to help with bills, rent, and food. For more information or to donate, please visit: the United Way webpage.
  • Houston Food Bank Helpline- Dial 832-369-9390 to receive food help.
  • Collaboratory for Aging Resources and Education (CARE)- Dial 346-704-4233 to receive senior aid or for any senior caretakers.
  • Texas Health and Human Services- To apply for Texas Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) due to loss of income click here.
  • National Food Assistance- To find out to get food in case of an emergency, apply for food stamps and what free or low-cost food programs are available for infants, children and seniors click here.
  • Crowdsource Rescue- Crowdsource Rescue is a Houston-based disaster response non-profit. For no-contact food deliveries to high-risk Houston residents or to volunteer click here.

Financial Help

  • Houston Public Works- Mayor Turner announced that water will not be cut off for non-payment until April 30th. Please click here to set up a payment plan.
  • Small Business Administration- Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and some private non-profit organizations that have suffered economic injury due to COVID-19 may be eligible for an EIDL of up to $2 million, which will provide the necessary working capital to help businesses survive until normal operations resume after a disaster. Click here for more information.
  • Catholic Charities-Click here.

Internet/Wi-Fi Services

  • Free Internet with Spectrum- Beginning March 16 and free for 60 days for households with K-12 or college students. They also plan to open their Wi-fi hotspots for public use. To enroll in service call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived.
  • Free Internet with Comcast- Effective March 16, new Internet Essentials customers will receive two free months of internet service. Comcast is also increasing the speed of the program to 25 MBPS downloads, and 3 MBPS uploads for all new and existing customers. To sign up online click here.
  • Houston Public Library Online- The Houston Public Library offers free online books and audiobooks for anyone with a library card. You can access all services offered here.
  • COMPUDOPT- Compudopt’s mission is to provide technology to students who need it most. They are offering rentable computers to families without a device free of charge. For more information click here.

Resources for Those Uninsured (Bilingual)

  • Ask my Nurse Helpline: Dial 713-634-1110
  • Memorial Hermann Nurse Health Line: Dial 713-338-7979 or 1-855-577-7979

Mental Health Resources

  • The Harris Center- Offers a 24/7 crisis hotline at 713-970-7000 option 1.
  • Crisis Text Line- Free 24/7 support for those in crisis. Text 741741 from anywhere in the US to text with a trained Crisis Counselor.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline- Provides 24/7 free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones at 1-800-273-8255 or online.
  • COVID19 Emotional Support Hotline (Non-Emergency)- People who are feeling worry/anxiety/stress and just need a warm voice to talk to, please call 832-251-7544.



To see Metro’s COVID-19 response click here.

Upcoming Events

🚩Donation Drive – Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
The City will distribute all donated items to personnel working at the COVID-19 mobile testing sites, and to first responders, and essential municipal personnel.
🚩Want to help, but don’t have PPE? Cheniere Energy Inc. will match 1:1 up to $50,000 for contributions donated to Project C.U.R.E. to purchase PPE for our first responders!
To donate, please click here.
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