COVID-19 Updates and Resource Page
Friday, March 6, 2020
Posted by: Erin Cusack
As the world continues to respond to the developing Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, officials in Texas are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) in monitoring the outbreak as well as taking steps to protect our communities and public health. TNP is actively participating in state events dedicated to keeping state and local agencies, private sector partners, and our Members up-to-date and coordinated on the latest guidance related to the outbreak.
Throughout the pandemic, this page will connect Texas nurse practitioners (NPs) with the most up-to-date information and resources regarding COVID-19 from DSHS, the CDC, and Texas regulatory agencies.
Regulatory Updates & Waivers
Since the declaration of a statewide disaster, Governor Abbott has announced a number of regulatory waivers, emergency rules, and other policies related to COVID-19 that directly impact NPs and other providers. The Texas Board of Nursing (BON) and the Texas Medical Board (TMB) are now accepting out-of-state RN/APRN licenses in good standing, permitting phone-only consults for telemedicine, and waiving the requirement for written prescriptive authority agreements for APRNs.
To make sure you have the latest information at your fingertips, TNP is keeping a running list of these emergency rules and waivers on our website here.
Texas DSHS Coronavirus Website
DSHS is the main state website dedicated to providing the most up-to-date information about COVID-19: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/healthprof.aspx
DSHS has added a communication tools section to their website with a social media tool kit, video and printable materials that are shareable: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/tools.aspx#toolkit
For questions about COVID‑19, dial 2‑1‑1, then choose Option 6.
Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., 7 days per week
*If you experience difficulty when dialing 2-1-1, please email email@example.com.
There are over 400 testing sites available in Texas. You can search by location here.
Local Health Entities
For local assistance, see the listing of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID‑19) Local Health Entities.
CDC Coronavirus Website
Take care to wipe down all surfaces with products that have been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use against emerging, enveloped viral pathogens. This is a critical step in keeping you and your facility protected. A list of appropriate cleaning products is being kept by the Center for Biocide Chemistries, which can be found at https://www.americanchemistry.com/novel-coronavirus-fighting-products-list.pdf
Notice Regarding Testing and Submission of Specimens for COVID-19
As of April 13, 2020, the Texas DSHS Laboratory is accepting specimens per the criteria outlined in the COVID-19 Specimen Collection and Submission Instructions found on the DSHS Laboratory website.
ALL specimens for COVID-19 virus testing require preapproval. Contact your Local Health Department or DSHS Public Health Region to ensure patient meets Person Under Investigation (PUI) criteria for testing and to obtain DSHS approval to test. Specimens MUST meet PUI criteria for testing prior to shipping and WILL NOT be tested without prior approval. Please DO NOT ship specimens prior to receiving this approval.
The Texas Board of Nursing is not soliciting volunteers. RNs/APRNs wishing to volunteer may contact the following organizations below to inquire about volunteer needs.
Business Resources & Financial Assistance
Emergency Relief Grants from Non-profits
Texas Woman's Center for Women Entrepreneurs has launched a new AssistHer COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant to assist woman-owned businesses that have been severely impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19). A total of $1,000,000 (100 grant awards at $10,000 each) is available. See more information and apply here.
Hotels for Health Care Providers
Hotels have developed special rates for healthcare providers in case there is a need for travel or staying in a hotel near your home. For a listing of hotels offering discounts and are open, click here.