COVID-19 News & Info
RESULTS OF TWCA PANDEMIC OPERATIONS SURVEY:   This week TWCA staff surveyed members to better understand how organizations are implementing telework and personal protective equipment (PPE) protocols. We received 52 responses, 73% of which were government organizations. Highlights of the survey results include: 
  • 78% of responding organizations are using telecommuting or work from home for at least some staff. Most staff who must report to an office are essential personnel who work in the field. 
  • 64% of respondents have protocols requiring use of PPE.   
  • 42% of all respondents and 46% of government organizations have had trouble obtaining PPE. Masks are by far the most difficult to obtain, followed by gloves and wipes. 
Organizations’ overall approach to operations are to stick to CDC guidelines for social distancing, use PPE, minimize interactions with the public and other employees, and disinfect offices or shared spaces.  See the full survey results here .
By Jennifer Smith, SledgeLaw
The Sledge Law Group explores how public works employees qualify as emergency responders under the new leave provisions. Read more.
A lot has changed over the past few weeks. We asked a random selection of TWCA members/staff a few questions to get their take on COVID-19. From reflective to funny, see how they responded .
STEPHANIE BERGERON PERDUE STEPS DOWN AS TCEQ DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR:   Stephanie Bergeron Perdue first served as Deputy Executive Director in 2014 before being appointed by the commissioners again in 2018. Prior to this service, Bergeron Perdue was special counsel to the executive director. She worked at TCEQ more than 20 years. Thank you for your service, Stephanie! Ramiro Garcia and L‘Oreal Stepney will join the executive office as Co-Deputy Executive Directors.
TWDB FLOOD MITIGATION FUNDING AND RESOURCES WEBINAR: Don’t miss the Texas Water Development Board’s (TWDB) webinar on April 16, at 10 a.m. to get more information on flood infrastructure project funding and the Flood Information Clearinghouse. Don’t forget that funding applications for Flood Infrastructure Fund projects are due on May 14.
STATE PARKS CLOSE TO PUBLIC: On Tuesday, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department closed all state parks to the public due to difficulties ensuring public safety, such as enforcing social distancing and keeping parks sufficiently sanitized. See the press release for more details.
CITY OF HOUSTON'S WORK SAFE PRINCIPLES: Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo issued a “Stay Home-Work Safe” order on March 24 to decrease the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In response to the order, City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner worked closely with the Greater Houston Partnership to develop 10 ‘Work Safe Principles’ that companies can adopt. You can view the 10 Work Safe Principles here.
TEXAS 811 SERVICE STILL PROVIDED: Calling 811 before a digging project occurs, ensures that utility infrastructure remains safely intact. Texas811 is the organization that manages the phone line and provides information about particular dig sites. Last week they sent a reminder that the phone number is being closely monitored by staff and the service is still being provided during this time. Learn more here .
Upcoming Events & Updates
FIND TWCA COMMENTS/LEGAL BRIEFS: Check out our website. All of TWCA’s recent formal comments, amicus briefs, and position papers are now available under the Policy and Legislation tab.

TWCA Mid-Year Conference  -  The originally scheduled event at The Woodlands Resort has unfortunately been cancelled due to COVID-19. However, TWCA staff is working on the development of a virtual conference to be held the same dates, June 17-19. Please mark your calendars and email Sarah Kirkle with any speaker suggestions. We will miss seeing you all in person this summer but hope to see you online!  Check our website  regularly for the latest information.

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