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Defenders Q&A: Has the pandemic impacted the Rainy Day Fund?

If you have a question you'd like KVUE to answer, text 512-459-9442.

AUSTIN, Texas — Many viewers have reached out to KVUE with questions regarding the coronavirus pandemic, and the KVUE Defenders took a look at some of them.

Here are the answers to some of your questions:

Question: What is the status of the use of the Rainy Day Fund during the pandemic?

Answer: The State Economic Stabilization Fund – or Rainy Day Fund – was created after the oil bust of the late 1980s. It's meant to be an "emergency piggy bank" in an economic crisis. There's about $10 billion in it today.

The legislature has to approve any withdrawals, and lawmakers don't meet until January of next year. Some lawmakers say we might need to tap into the fund for budget shortfalls, but don't expect it to be used for a stimulus payment.


North Texas dog infected with virus that causes COVID-19, state animal health officials say

Cats with no symptoms spread coronavirus to other cats in lab test

CDC extends social distancing guidelines to include pets

Question: If we become infected with COVID-19, how do we protect our pets from becoming infected?

Answer: There's a chance the virus can spread from people to animals, but the risk is considered to be low.

The CDC says we should treat pets like human family members and if, someone becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else in the home – including pets.

Also, don't let pets interact with people outside your household.

RELATED: FDA warns 59 hand sanitizer varieties may be toxic due to methanol

Question: Are all hand sanitizers safe?

Answer: They are not. The FDA warns of hand sanitizers containing ethanol or ethyl alcohol.

Some have also tested positive for methanol – or wood alcohol – which can be toxic when absorbed through the skin.

The FDA has a list of 75 hand sanitizers it says you should avoid. Some of those have been recalled.

If you have a question you'd like KVUE to answer, text 512-459-9442.