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COVID-19 

 
COVID-19 Testing in El Paso & Surrounding Areas
 

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) currently has this guidance listed on their website as to who should seek testing for COVID-19.

  • People who have symptoms of COVID-19

  • People who have had close contact (within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with someone with confirmed COVID-19

  • People who have been asked or referred to get testing by their healthcare provider, or local or state health department

The Texas Department of State Health Services recommends that people consider the following when looking for a public or drive-thru testing site:

 

  • Do I know the screening criteria for the public/drive-thru testing site?

  • Do I know the operating hours for the public/drive-thru testing site?

  • Do I know if I need a referral from my doctor before I visit the public/drive-thru testing site?

  • Do I know if the public/drive-thru testing site is covered by my insurance provider and/or how the billing process works?

  • Do I know what type of test is offered at the public/drive-thru testing site?

  • Do I know how to get my testing results?


Call ahead or visit the testing site website for information, as screening criteria and operating hours may change.

Contact Tracing

The City of El Paso is making it easier for residents to report their COVID-19 positive test results to assist contact tracers and begin the task of monitoring and supporting confirmed positive individuals.

 

An Electronic Self-Reporting Form is now available on EPStrong.org under the ‘Testing’ tab in addition to the current self-reporting COVID-19 Positive Assistance Line (Co-PAL) at (915) 212-6520.

 

These two self-reporting options are available for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and have received their positive results from their laboratory but have not been contacted by the Department of Public Health (DPH) within 24 hours of receipt of their results from their lab. By self-reporting and providing confirmation of their positive test results, DPH will be able to assign a contact tracer to assist them.

The Electronic Self-Reporting Form only requires basic information such as name, address, and date of birth. Electronic Self-Reporting Forms will be received and managed by Public Health staff on the same day of submission.

Individuals self-reporting by phone or online will need to provide a copy of their positive test results so they may be assigned a contact tracer.


For more information on self-reporting or any other questions, please contact the 21-COVID Hotline at (915) 212-6843.

Community Resources
*Resources listed below are dependent on availability and subject to change.
Rental, Mortgage, and Utility Assistance 

CARES Act Assistance Fund

CARES Act assistance is available for individuals and families who live outside the City limits of El Paso, can demonstrate loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and meet 150% of the Federal Poverty Level.


At this time, all assistance through General Assistance Program will focus on rent/mortgage and limited water utility assistance from CARES Act funding for areas outside the city limit of El Paso until further notice.

PDN/Under One Roof


Eligible landlords may apply for up to $3,000 in total assistance of past due rent per eligible tenant, up to $1,000 per month in accordance with the terms and conditions of the program.

Deadline: Ends December 15th

For more information, visit EPRentHelp.org.

Project Bravo Community Card

In collaboration with the El Paso Community Foundation and other local partners, Project Bravo will be assisting the most vulnerable members of our community who have been severely impacted by COVID-19. 

Funds will be loaded onto what is called the "Community Card," a pre-loaded Mastercard debit card that can be used at grocery stores and pharmacies (Walmart, Albertsons, Walgreens, CVS, etc.) to purchase household necessities such as food and medicine.

 

For more information, contact your local center. ​

EP Water - COVID-19 Assistance Program

EPWater has received utility assistance grant funding to help customers impacted by COVID-19. If you qualify, you can receive a credit of up to $500, toward a past due balance.

To be eligible, you must:

  • live within El Paso city limits and in the residence for which assistance is being requested

  • meet the household low-income thresholds 

  • demonstrate loss of income as a result of COVID-19

  • have an active and verifiable residential account with El Paso Water


If you receive any other funding to help with water utility assistance, you will not qualify.

 

For more information visit: https://epwater.org/customer_service/covid-19_assistance_program

AmistadCARES Utility Assistance Program

 

In partnership with the City of El Paso, Project Amistad is offering utility assistance to residents who have past due utility bills and are currently struggling to pay these bills.

Residents can receive help with a one-time full payment on past due electric, water, and gas bills from April 1, 2020, through December 15, 2020.

 

 
Mental Health 
Crisis Counseling Program


The Crisis Counseling Program (CPC) is a valuable community resource for those affected by a disaster such as the COVID-19 pandemic. CCP services, through the Texans Recovering Together initiative, include free supportive crisis counseling provided by mental health professionals through the state of Texas.

In El Paso, these calls are handled by trained CCP counselors at Emergence Health Network.

Help is available to anyone who has experienced any of the following:  

  • Anxiety

  • Loss of sleep or appetitive

  • Stress

  • Grief

  • Irritability

  • Hopelessness

  • Family conflict

  • Lack of security

  • Fears about the future

  • Sense of loss or control and ability to protect yourself and your family


Over time, stress can take its toll and develop into more negative reactions. Don’t wait, call

(915) 779-1800 to get help today.

COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line

 

Texas Health and Human Services have launched a 24/7 statewide mental health support line to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress, or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This new resource offers COVID-19-related mental health support for all Texans. People can call the Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week toll-free at 833-986-1919.

 

Crisis Text Line

Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States, anytime. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds, all from our secure online platform. The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you move from a hot moment to a cool moment.

Free 24/7 support at your fingertips

US and Canada: text 741741

UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808

UTEP Student Resources 
Counseling and Psychological Services 
The Division of Student Affairs at the University of Texas at El Paso has put together a list of mental health and other resources for students to access throughout the COVID-19 emergency. 
Click the link below for more information: 
https://www.utep.edu/studentaffairs/counsel/resources/covid19/index.html

UTEP Food Pantry 

The Food Pantry is open Monday-Friday 10 am-3 pm and is accessible by students, staff, and faculty with your UTEP ID.

 

Outside of 10 am-3 pm, contact the Dean of Students Office by emailing DOS@utep.edu or by calling 915-747-5648 or 915-747-8963 to see if an individual appointment can be accommodated. ​

Foster Homeless and Adopted Resources (FHAR) Program


Services provided through the FHAR program include academic advising and mentoring, on and off-campus advocacy, social service referrals for low-cost housing, food insecurities, mental health needs, and financial aid assistance. The FHAR program provides students with school supplies, necessary personal hygiene items, household items, bus passes, and textbooks from our small library student donated books.

For more information visit, https://www.utep.edu/advising/students_we_serve/fhar.html

Food Distribution
Food banks, soup kitchens, and free food pantries


For a full list of food banks, soup kitchens, and free food pantries in the El Paso County, Texas area visit, 

https://www.needhelppayingbills.com/html/food_pantries_in_el_paso.html

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As your State Representative, I am committed to ensuring that every Texan has a voice in your government by maintaining an open-door policy. Contact my office at any time with questions, comments, or concerns. 

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