FORT WORTH (KFDX/KJTL) — Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price joined other city and county leaders in North Texas Tuesday in calling for all residents to stay at home to help fight the spread of COVID-19.
The “Stay Home, Work Safe” order takes effect at midnight Tuesday and runs through April 3.
Under the order, only essential businesses should remain open, which included grocery stores, gas stations, day cares and restaurants with delivery and takeout.
The mayor’s order recognizes and declares a disaster and public health emergency exists in Fort Worth and that the order is to remain effective until April 3. The order activates the city’s Emergency Operations Plan and authorizes the city to commandeer private property for use as temporary housing or emergency shelter.
What will affect most people, is that the order authorizes the city to take “any actions necessary to promote health and suppress disease, including quarantine, examining and regulating hospitals, regulating ingress and egress from the city and fining those who do not comply with the city’s rules.”
“All individuals living in the city of Fort Worth are ordered to stay at home consistent with the direction and guidance in this declaration,” the order reads. “To the extent individuals are using shared or outdoor spaces, they must at all times as reasonably as possible maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from any other person when they are outside their residence. All persons may leave their residence only for Essential Travel, Essential Activities, or to provide or perform Essential Governmental Functions, or to operate Essential Businesses.”
All travel, including on foot, bicycle or automobile, is prohibited, except for the purposes of Essential Travel to work in an Essential Business. For definitions of Essential Business, Travel or Activities, see the mayor’s order here.
Under the order, restaurants are still permitted to offer take out, delivery and drive-through services.
All elective medical, surgical and dental procedures are prohibited in city limits so that resources can be redirected to COVID-19 response.
If someone the household has contracted COVID-19, the entire household is ordered to isolate at home. “Members of the household cannot go to work, school, or any other community function until cleared by a medical professional but may seek medical services as needed from medial personnel and facilities.”
Nursing homes, retirement homes and long-term care facilities are to prohibit non-essential visitors.
Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and Houston have so far imposed similar restrictions, with varying end dates. On Tuesday morning, Collin County also announced stricter regulations regarding movement during the spread of the pandemic.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made it clear Sunday that a move toward a “shelter-in-place” would not be made at the state level, but rather at the local level because more than 200 of Texas’ 254 counties did not have any cases of the virus.
Price said the move is necessary in Fort Worth, “because we know that urban communities are denser in population and people are at greater risk of significant spikes for the transmission of this virus. That also has the potential to overwhelm our health care system.”
Price reminded people there was no need to panic shop and asked that North Texans not go to the grocery store and load up on supplies. She further asked that families send only one person to the store to minimize the risk of exposure.
“We are all going to get through this together,” Price said Monday. “You are all providing great compliance we just ask that you get a little bit tighter on how much you’re out and who you’re around.”
“Share the message with your family … Fort Worth stand strong, we’ll do it together. Y’all stay safe, y’all stay healthy and y’all stay home,” Price said.
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