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Child care assistance available for essential workers in Texas through new website

Gov. Greg Abbott introduces Frontline Child Care portal to help families find caretakers and financial assistance.

HOUSTON — Texas has launched a new resource for frontline workers with children, and it’s free.

On Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott introduced the Frontline Child Care portal to connect essential workers — such as doctors, nurses, and grocery store employees — with child care if they do not have other options during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It offers users information on eligibility for financial assistance to cover child care costs; employers whose employees need child care; and child care providers who would like to offer child care to frontline workers.

"We have a duty to support Texas health care workers and other essential employees as they work on the front lines of the COVID-19 response," Abbott said. "For essential workers with young children who don’t have other options, that means providing safe, regulated, and accessible child care.

The website also allows essential workers to search for child care facilities near them, as well as facility operating hours and the number of seats available.

"While it's best for children to stay home during this pandemic if possible, we encourage nurses, H-E-B cashiers, and other frontline Texans to take advantage of the new website if they do not have a reliable option for their children during their workday," Texans Care for Children CEO Stephanie Rubin said in a statement.

Click here to access the Frontline Childcare website.

RELATED: Houston-area essential workers can apply for child care financial assistance

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Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  Some patients also have nausea, body aches, headaches and stomach issues. Losing your sense of taste and/or smell can also be an early warning sign.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk for becoming seriously ill. However, U.S. experts are seeing a significant number of younger people being hospitalized, including some in ICU.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Help stop the spread of coronavirus

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
  • Follow social distancing

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

Get complete coverage of the coronavirus by texting 'FACTS' to 713-526-1111.