A special thank you to Ashley Strevel, Director of Communications & Public Affairs for the City of Victoria for answering our questionnaire regarding the most frequently asked questions from citizens who call the Victoria Hotline at 361. 580. 5796

What are the communities most common concerns?

We hear a lot of concerns about individuals who believe they may have been exposed to a COVID-19 infected individual and what they should do. We hear concerns about testing, local orders, and the future of the economy.

What are the most common questions you hear on the hotline?

The most common questions include, “Where can I go for a COVID-19 test,” “What should I do if I believe I may have been exposed to someone who had COVID-19?” and lots of order-related questions like, “Is there a curfew?” “Can I go to my friend’s house?” and “Can I still go fishing?”

Is the hotline more of a referral or advisory service?

The hotline functions both as an advisory and referral service, providing the most accurate, up to date information related to how our local Office of Emergency Management COVID-19 in our community and available resources. Other times, we refer questions to appropriate agencies, such as the individual’s primary care provider or an urgent care clinic.

What organizations are you connecting citizens with the most? 

We most often connect residents to the list of healthcare providers who are providing COVID-19 testing, the mental health hotline, unmet needs hotline, and the local law enforcement task force for reports about violations of the local orders.

Are the operators from various organizations or city employees?

The hotline operators largely are County and City staff.

What is the history behind the hotline and is this the first time this service has been offered by the city?

County and City communications officers established the hotline as a proactive means to reach our community. No, this is not the first time a hotline has been set up at the Emergency Operations Center. A hotline service has been set up in the past based on the level of emergency readiness associated with the conditions the community was faced with. The last time a hotline service was established at the EOC was in 2017 during Hurricane Harvey, during the 2015 flood, 2010 severe storms, 2008 during Hurricane Ike, 2007 during another flood, and in 2005 during Hurricane Rita.

 In this COVID-19 case, we felt it was prudent to set up as we anticipated many questions would arise within the community, and we did not have an immediate means of getting the amount of fluctuating and range of information we knew we would need to get to them. It has proven to be very successful, and we’re pleased with the level of support and engagement it has generated since its launch. Most of all, we’re pleased with its ability to reach the public and reassure them with clarifying information needed during an unprecedented situation of uncertainty.

Here is a link to the City of Victoria website.

For the City of Victoria COVID Updates page. Click here.

If you, Victoria, have questions, again, please feel free to call the hotline at 361.580.5796. As you can see above, the question topics vary and the hotline is here to help you. Operators are standing by to assist you during this unprecedented time to help you navigate through your questions, needs, and concerns. It's just a small part of the commitment city and county employees have to their community.  361.580.5796

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