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The Latest News on The Hits

DPS LIMITS PUBLIC ACCESS TO BUILDINGS DUE TO COVID-19–BUSINESS OPERATIONS STILL REMAIN OPEN

In response to COVID-19, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is limiting public access to department facilities to protect the public and their employees, promote social distancing and do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Despite limited physical access to their buildings, DPS remains open for business and continues to provide essential services to Texans as their employees conduct operations remotely. They say the public should experience minimal impact from this temporary change.

 

The department encourages the public to contact them by phone or email, and utilize their online services when available. Resources for how to contact the department and the latest information surrounding their COVID-19 response can be found on our website at www.dps.texas.gov.

CORONAVIRUS BILL UPDATE

Just before midnight Eastern Time Wednesday, the U-S Senate passed the huge $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus compromise package. The bill now heads to the House of Representatives which hopes to approve it by Friday.

If passed by the House, this bill would provide one-time direct payments of $1,200 per adult making up to $75,000 a year, and $2,400 to married couples making up to $150,000, with $500 payments per child. After a $75,000 threshold for individuals, the payout would be reduced by $5 for each $100 the taxpayer earns. A $150,000 threshold applies to couples, and a $112,500 threshold for heads of households.

The bill passed by the Senate will use 2019 tax returns, if available, or 2018 tax returns to assess income for determining how much direct financial aid individuals receive.

The package will provide $250 billion to extend unemployment insurance to more workers, and lengthen the duration to 39 weeks, up from the normal 26 weeks. $600 extra a week would be provided for four months.

The bill also provides $349 billion in loans to small businesses. The money spent on rent, payroll and utilities become grants that don’t need to be paid back. Several hotel operations would qualify as small businesses under the bill.

UPDATE ON CORONAVIRUS ISSUES FROM HUNTSVILLE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL’S DR. STEPHEN ANTWI

Huntsville memorial Hospital Emergency Room Medical Director, Dr. Stephen Antwi, reported to Facebook that given the recent confirmed positive case of COVID 19 for a resident of Walker County, and in an effort to further safeguard their healthcare workers, and the larger Walker County community from unnecessary exposure and spread of the Coronavirus, Huntsville Memorial Hospital (HMH) has instituted a first contact triage process. HMH HAS NOT set up an external COVID 19 testing facility.

All patients presenting to HMH with acute respiratory symptoms and meeting the proposed CDC surveillance criteria will be evaluated by a healthcare provider who will determine if testing is warranted. Individuals presenting WITHOUT SYMPTOMS, regardless of exposure history WILL NOT BE TESTED, by the HMH Emergency Department.

Once again the recommendation by the CDC and Governor Abbott is that everyone should continue to maintain social distancing, and remain home under self-quarantine if they have minor symptoms and or potential Coronavirus exposure with no symptoms.

Dr. Antwi said they remain committed to providing quality healthcare to the larger Walker County and surrounding communities, and ask that every citizen do their part by remaining home if they are asymptotic, or have minor symptoms and therefore decreasing the potential of self-exposure, and further spread of the Coronavirus, COVID 19.

Also, from the Walker County Office of Emergency Management, we have a report that “Walker County ordered test kits several weeks ago and are waiting for the state to fill that request so we can test here. Information will be provided as we receive it.”

UPDATE ON CORONAVIRUS ISSUES FROM HUNTSVILLE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL’S DR. STEPHEN ANTWI

Huntsville memorial Hospital Emergency Room Medical Director, Dr. Stephen Antwi, reported to Facebook that given the recent confirmed positive case of COVID 19 for a resident of Walker County, and in an effort to further safeguard their healthcare workers, and the larger Walker County community from unnecessary exposure and spread of the Coronavirus, Huntsville Memorial Hospital (HMH) has instituted a first contact triage process. HMH HAS NOT set up an external COVID 19 testing facility.

All patients presenting to HMH with acute respiratory symptoms and meeting the proposed CDC surveillance criteria will be evaluated by a healthcare provider who will determine if testing is warranted. Individuals presenting WITHOUT SYMPTOMS, regardless of exposure history WILL NOT BE TESTED, by the HMH Emergency Department.

Once again the recommendation by the CDC and Governor Abbott is that everyone should continue to maintain social distancing, and remain home under self-quarantine if they have minor symptoms and or potential Coronavirus exposure with no symptoms.

Dr. Antwi said they remain committed to providing quality healthcare to the larger Walker County and surrounding communities, and ask that every citizen do their part by remaining home if they are asymptotic, or have minor symptoms and therefore decreasing the potential of self-exposure, and further spread of the Coronavirus, COVID 19.

Also, from the Walker County Office of Emergency Management, we have a report that “Walker County ordered test kits several weeks ago and are waiting for the state to fill that request so we can test here. Information will be provided as we receive it.”

HUNTSVILLE ISD SUPERINTENDENT SHEPPARD PRAISES THOSE WHOSE EFFORTS HAVE HELPED-OUT THE DISTRICT

Because of recent Coronavirus restrictions, the Huntsville ISD Board of Trustees on Tuesday held a meeting closed to in-person public attendance but broadcast live on YouTube.

During the meeting, Superintendent Dr. Scott Sheppard publicly praised the efforts of all those who have persevered during this coronavirus crisis . . . .

He also specifically thanked HISD’s Communications Department and Technology Department for setting up the YouTube broadcast.

HUNTSVILLE ISD BOARD OF TRUSTEES MET TUESDAY NIGHT – BROADCAST ON YOUTUBE

Because of the current coronavirus pandemic and closure of local HISD schools through at least April 6th, the Huntsville ISD Board of Trustees met in a session last night without in-person public attendance and observing the proper distance spacing from one another, while broadcasting their meeting live on YouTube.

One of the items on the agenda required approval of a resolution for compensation of wages during the COVID-19 closure of schools.

Superintendent, Dr. Scott Sheppard, addressed the need to pass the resolution . . . .

Trustee Langley asked the Superintendent what “premium” meant . . . .

The resolution was approved.

Dr. Sheppard said the premium pay might be reimbursed by FEMA.

CORONAVIRUS COORDINATOR DR. BIRX COMMENTS ON CORONAVIRUS ISSUES

White House Coronavirus Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, during Monday’s Coronavirus briefing, briefly outlined what’s guiding their future decisions regarding dealing with COVID-19 here in the United States . . . .

In a Fox news virtual town hall Tuesday, President Trump said he “would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.” Easter falls on April 12th this year.

There are objections to this at present, of course. For example, Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney tweeted, “There will be no normally functioning economy if our hospitals are overwhelmed, and thousands of Americans of all ages, including our doctors and nurses, lay dying because we have failed to do what’s necessary to stop the virus.”

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