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COVID-19 And Help: H-E-B, University Health System Plan Flu Shot Drive-Thru Event At Freeman

Here are ways to help, along with resources if you need help with ....

Uncertainty

Do you think you have the coronavirus? Here's what you should do first.

Do you need someone to talk to? Get help anytime through the state's free mental health hotline: 833-986-1919.

Learn more about COVID-19 and how San Antonio is fighting it here.

Flu Shots

H-E-B is teaming up with Bexar County, University Health System, and Freeman Coliseum to host a large drive-thru flu shot event on Saturday, Sept. 26. The public event will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Dozens of H-E-B pharmacists will set up in the Freeman Coliseum parking lot to administer flu shots, following strict guidance from the CDC.

Most major insurance will be accepted. Flu shots are free to those without insurance thanks to donations from Bexar County, University Health System and H-E-B. People wanting to receive a flu shot must register and schedule an appointment at heb.com/pharmacy.

COVID-19 Testing

Who can get tested now? As the COVID-19 situation evolves in San Antonio and throughout Bexar County, the standards continue to be adjusted as well. Review the latest information at covid19.SanAntonio.gov.

Walmart: The drive-thru testing location at 8923 W. Military Drive is reserved for those who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19. It is also open to all health care providers and first responders, whether or not they are exhibiting symptoms. Those eligible for testing can sign up for an appointment at DoINeedaCOVID19test.com.

Texas MedClinic: The drive-thru COVID-19 testing location is at 2530 SW Military Drive. The location operates seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This drive-thru location is a partnership with the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC). Visit the website or call 210-233-5970 between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to be screened. The test is free and is for those who do not have health insurance.

MedPost Urgent Care: Locations in the San Antonio area offer evaluations and testing 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Patients should call their nearest MedPost location for additional information.

Alamo City Urgent Care: A medical assessment by one of their providers will be required. Fees will apply but should be covered by most commercial insurance plans. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. The facility is closed on Sundays. For more information, visit alamocityuc.com.

CommuniCare: For a COVID-19 test at this facility, a patient must be an established CommuniCare patient who is experiencing symptoms (fever, cough, and shortness of breath) and meets the current testing criteria. For more information visit communicaresa.org/covid19 or call 210-233-7000.

CVS Pharmacy: It offers COVID-19 testing at these drive through locations. Patients must register in advance. The locations include stores at:

  • 9140 Guilbeau, San Antonio, TX 78250
  • 7208 FM 78, San Antonio, TX 78244
  • 22135 IH-10 W, San Antonio, TX 78257
  • 2018 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78201
  • 2801 Nogalitos Street, San Antonio, TX 78225
  • 4805 Medical Drive, San Antonio, TX 78230
  • 8602 Huebner Road, San Antonio, TX 78240
  • 2920 E Southcross Boulevard, San Antonio, TX 78223
  • 3502 SE Military Drive, San Antonio, TX 78223

Food

San Antonio Food Bank: It still needs many volunteers to help feed the hungry. To learn how to help, or to find food assistance, visit safoodbank.org.

SNAP: Participants in the Texas Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can order groceries online for delivery or curbside pickup. Participants can use their Lone Star Card to order groceries online at retailers in Texas, such as Walmart and Amazon.

Farmers to Families Food Box Program: The program links farmers and ranchers to regional and local distributors. The new network enables them to buy produce, dairy and meat that might otherwise go to waste. For more information, contact the San Antonio Food Bank's Michael Guerra at miguerra@safoodbank.org or Celia Cole, CEO at Feeding Texas, at ccole@feedingtexas.org.

Community Response Fund: The United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County and the San Antonio Area Foundation have partnered to launch the Coronavirus Community Response Fund to support individuals and families experiencing food insecurities and other fundamental challenges. Donate at helpsatx.org or by texting "helpsatx" to 41444.

St. Stephen's CARE Center: St. Stephen's is accepting donations including non-perishable food items, bottled water, hand sanitizer, soap, anti-bacterial wipes, home sanitizing products, gallon storage bags and new or gently used clothes. Take them to 202 W. French Place during normal business hours. You can also donate money for their food pantry here.

Meals On Wheels: The group doesn't need volunteers but it does need donations of any size. You can donate online and via Venmo or Cash App. The user name for both platforms is @mowsatx.

Christian Assistance Ministry: The organization accepts hygiene kits or food kits. They may dropped off at either of the Ministry's two locations. Review a list of items needed for each kit and opportunities to safely volunteer at Christianassistanceministry.org.

Blood and plasma donations

Armed Services Blood Centers: The Centers at Fort Sam Houston and Lackland are requesting donors to make up for a local blood shortage. Anyone with installation access can donate at the Akeroyd or Lackland Blood Donor Centers. Appointments are required and can be made online at militarydonor.com. The Akeroyd Blood Donor Center can be contacted at 210-295-4655 and the Lackland BDC can be contacted at 210-292-8145.

South Texas Blood & Tissue Center: The center seeks blood donations from the general public and plasma donations by recovered COVID 19 patients. Schedule appointments here.

University Health System: UHS asks the public to schedule appointments to donate. Only 70% of donors keep their appointments. Visit DonateBloodToday.com to make or reschedule an appointment.

Medical care / Masks / Child care

San Antonio AIDS Foundation: The organization offers client services during the coronavirus outbreak but donations are down significantly. It needs donations of $25, $50, $100. Donations can be made at sanantonioaids.org.

Clarity Child Guidance Center: It offers an online resource to assist educators and parents teaching children with mental health issues between the ages of 3 and 17. 1in5minds.org/educators was originally created to provide resources for Northeast Independent School District educators. Clarity CGC, Communities In Schools, and the H.E. Butt Foundation expanded the resources available and opened access to the website to all educators throughout Bexar County and surrounding areas.

Texas Diaper Bank: The organization continues to assist babies, seniors and others. The diaper bank assists around 83,000 people each year. Those in need can enroll in the diaper bank program at TexasDiaperBank.org.

Housing and utilities

San Antonio Water System: To help residents who are financially affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the SAWS will not incur late fees or cut off service for anyone who is unable to pay their water utility bill. Robert Puente, president and CEO of SAWS, said SAWS will help as many customers as possible. For residents who have been able to afford their utility bills, Puente said that the coronavirus pandemic will not result in a rate increase.

Financial and Housing Recovery Center: This one-stop COVID-19 relief center can help San Antonio residents navigate local, state and federal benefits. This includes financial counseling, rent and mortgage assistance, pro bono legal representation for eviction cases, workforce assistance, homeless services counseling and small business recovery.

Rental assistance: The Bexar County Housing Authority is helping unemployed residents pay their rents. Up to three months rental assistance is available to those who qualify. Rental payments are made directly to landlords. Applicants can apply online at the authority’s website. San Antonio residents may call 210-207-5910.

COPS/Metro: Communities Organized for Public Service reminds residents in need to apply for their share of the $25 million it helped secure for the Emergency Housing Assistance Program. Funds can be used for rent and mortgage payments, utility payments, internet access, groceries, medicine and fuel. Anyone, regardless of citizenship status, may apply at its website or call 210-207-5910.

COVID-19 Emergency Housing Assistance Program: The public may make donations online or by texting “HousingHelpSA” to 41444. The San Antonio Area Foundation will help business and philanthropic partners make larger donations.

Employment

Financial and Housing Recovery Center: This one-stop COVID-19 relief center can help San Antonio residents navigate local, state and federal benefits. This includes financial counseling, rent and mortgage assistance, pro bono legal representation for eviction cases, workforce assistance, homeless services counseling and small business recovery.

Get Shift Done: A new online initiative pays $13 an hour to employees who prepare and serve or deliver food to the areas elderly, children, and others. The United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County reports Get Shift Done has placed workers with the Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio, Catholic Charities, The San Antonio Food Bank, and the Haven for Hope. Learn more at getshiftdone.org/sanantonio

BiblioTech: Bexar County’s all-digital library has reopened its branches and will remain open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, due to a state order, BiblioTech can only operate at 25% capacity. Visitors must wear a mask and follow staff guidelines for proper social distancing. Computer access and printing services can help with job searches and educational purposes during the outbreak.

Goodwill San Antonio: Job seekers in the San Antonio metropolitan area may access career coaching, resume writing, interview coaching, job search assistance and connections to community resources by contacting a Career Services Associate. The web site includes a current list of employers who are hiring and links to online job readiness tools. Learn more at GoodwillSA.org. Job seekers may also contact an associate at 210-756-4800 or GCCManagement@goodwillsa.org.

Foundation Communities: San Antonio area residents who have lost their jobs and healthcare because of COVID-19 do not have to opt for COBRA. The organization can help determine if area residents qualify for a special enrollment period for a federally-subsidized marketplace health insurance plan. Email enroll@foundcom.org or visit its dedicated website to learn more.

Transportation

VIA Metropolitan Transit: Changes to the essential service schedule began on July 27th, including greater frequency for routes that continue to see high ridership, adjusting routes with low ridership and modifying others based on changing road conditions. All passengers must maintain social distancing, and non-exempt riders are required to wear a face covering while on a VIA vehicle or at a VIA facility. For travel time information, visit VIAinfo.net/routes or call 210-362-2020.

Senior citizens

Texas Diaper Bank: The organization has adjusted its array of services to better assist families impacted by the coronavirus crisis. Seniors enrolled in the incontinence assistance program may receive six months of supplies. Distributions are curbside on an appointment only basis. To enroll or to donate, visit TexasDiaperBank.org.

Walmart: The store chain continues to offer a special curbside pickup hour for customers older than 60, first responders, disabled customers and anyone else the CDC considers high-risk for COVID-19. When customers visit the store website to place an order, they may select "At Risk Only" to opt into the service. Store workers will place the groceries in the customers' vehicle, and no signature is required. To find a participating store, check this location map.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz2d2sQUnao

Whole Foods: Hours at the grocery chain are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Seniors 60 and older were welcome to shop one hour before regular business hours. Reusable beverage containers would not be refilled, and self-serve areas were closed.

Dollar General: The store chain devoted the first hour of store operations to senior citizen shoppers.

The Arts

Support arts groups: Anyone may make a direct donation to arts agencies that have lost funds due to the coronavirus crisis and lost venues. Anyone who donates $20 or more may receive an official City of San Antonio 2020 Fiesta Medal (while supplies last).

Support artists: Many artists are struggling financially because of the coronavirus crisis. Supporters may donate to the Luminaria Artist Foundation to support the Corona Arts Relief Program, which offiers financial assistance to individual Bexar County artists.

Pets

Animal Care Services: The organization has announced new hours for the city shelter off Highway 151 on the far West Side. The shelter's weekday hours are 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Weekend hours will remain the same, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. ACS officials say the new hours better match peak visiting times by the public and will give them additional cleaning time at the shelter. Pets can still be viewed 24 hours a day at here. Appointments can be made for all current ACS services, including adoptions, viewing pets, foster pickups and more by logging on here.

San Antonio Humane Society: The group needs donations to care for animals and staff. Learn more at its website.

Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at Brian@TPR.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian.

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