Austin Public Health launches hotline for COVID-19 services


FILE – In this Aug. 11, 2019, file photo, a man uses a cell phone in New Orleans. The U.S. communications regulator on Tuesday, June 9, 2020, proposed a $225 million fine, its largest ever, against two health insurance telemarketers for spamming people with 1 billion robocalls using fake phone numbers. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Public Health department has launched a hotline for high-risk workers who need assistance due to the coronavirus, according to a Tuesday press release.

The hotline will provide information and referral services such legal case management, applying for unemployment and one-time financial assistance, according to APH. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays in any language until mid-December.

“We are proud to work as a community to launch this hotline that will provide a variety of services for high-risk workers in our community,” said public health director Stephanie Hayden in the press release. “It is an important step to assisting our vulnerable community members in a way that is helpful to them. We worked with many partners and agencies to figure out the best way to set up this service in a manner that is most useful and convenient for those who need it.”

APH defines high-risk workers as workers who fit the following conditions:

  • Is over 65 years of age
  • Lives in a household with a resident over 65 years of age
  • Has a health condition
  • Is unable to work from home
  • Has an income below 200% of the federal poverty level
  • Is Black or Hispanic/Latinx
  • Has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not recovered or is still within the 14-day quarantine

There have been nearly 800,000 confirmed cases of and over 16,000 deaths in Texas due to COVID-19 infection as of Monday.

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