The City of Fort Worth is working with its partners at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, and Tarrant County Public Health to closely monitor the COVID-19 outbreak.
Community Update - March 21
Fort Worth Amends Disaster Declaration for COVID-19
Mayor Betsy Price signed an amended order to the emergency declaration in place within the City of Fort Worth due to a local public health emergency and in a continued effort to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The following goes into effect today, Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. –
- All in-person worship services are no longer permitted, with the exception of worship support staff to facilitate online services.
- All malls and non-essential retail establishments including barber shops, hair salons, nail salons, spas, massage parlors, estheticians and related personal care businesses are closed and no occupancy is permitted.
- Also closed: bars, lounges, taverns, commercial amusement and entertainment establishments, bingo halls, theaters, gyms, fitness classes, yoga and personal training facilities, similar facilities and classes, private clubs, tattoo and piercing parlors and tanning salons, residential meeting spaces, event centers, hotel meeting spaces and ballrooms, outdoor plazas and markets.
Essential services such as grocery stores, pharmacies and other establishments that sell household goods will remain open but must enforce social separation. This includes:
- Convenience and package stores, pharmacies and drug stores, day care facilities, medical facilities, veterinary facilities, non-profit service providers of essential services, homeless and emergency shelters, office buildings, jails, essential government buildings, airports and transit facilities, transportation systems, residential buildings and hotels, manufacturing and distribution facilities.
In-house dining at restaurants remains closed, but drive-in, drive-through, takeout and delivery are still permitted.
There is no distinction between the types of gatherings in the amended declaration. There should be no gatherings of more than 10 people.
Additionally, temperature screenings at public-facing city facilities began Wednesday, March 18. Those entering city facilities during normal business hours will have their temperature checked using a forehead thermometer, and people with a temperature of 100 degrees or more will be asked to leave, and to contact their healthcare provider. This includes city employees.
View the facility handout.
City service changes due to COVID-19
Because of the risk of the rapid spread of the virus and the need to protect the most vulnerable members of the community, the city has taken these actions:
- City-organized -produced and -permitted meetings, events and programs will be postponed or canceled through March 31.
- Until further notice, within the City of Fort Worth there is a mandatory cancellation of any events or gatherings with expected attendance of 250 people or more.
- All city community centers are closed to the public from 6 p.m. on Friday, March 13 through March 29; and libraries are closed through April 5. The closure dates will continue to be re-evaluated and employees will be notified.
- All critical city services and emergency services will continue to operate as usual.
- The Fort Worth Municipal Court is rescheduling all defendants, jurors and witnesses set for a hearing or trial from March 16, 2020 through and including April 30, 2020. You will receive a written notice from the Court advising you of the new date, time and location of your hearing, trial or jury service. Read more.
About the virus
COVID-19 causes a respiratory illness with fever and cough, may lead to severe pneumonia and is similar to the SARS and MERS coronaviruses.
Coronaviruses are part of a large family of viruses, which can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. Symptoms are similar to the flu and include runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and a general feeling of being unwell. This is more common in people with cardiopulmonary disease, people with weakened immune systems.
At this time, it is believed that the virus is easily transmitted through person-to-person contact, especially in group settings, and it is essential we work to slow transmission to the greatest extent possible.
Although there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, the best way to prevent infection is to take these precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.