Dallas officials closed the city’s bars and restaurants for the COVID-19 pandemic, while Fort Worth officials tiptoed into a more tentative reduction of occupancy limits. Which approach will be proven best? So far, critics and online chatter have been harsh toward Mayor Betsy Price and the tiptoeing.
The ramifications of today’s decisions will become clear later. For now, though, Fort Worth is reducing occupancy limits of local businesses by half or no more than 125 individuals, whichever is fewer. The new policy includes restaurants, bars, event centers, gyms, stores, theaters, and more. Some businesses are offering price specials and curbside pickup for phone orders.
The new rules are expected to create financial burdens for business owners, service industry staff, distributors, and retail outlets. A petition is circulating online that will ask the state of Texas to temporarily cancel or delay mixed beverage gross and sales taxes. Business owners hope the delayed or diminished tax burden will provide financial relief for businesses facing a tax deadline.
No matter where you go, feel free to inquire about sanitation practices.
North Texas is being impacted in myriad ways by the respiratory illness that began in Wuhan, China, and spread internationally. Less than a week ago –– Friday the 13th –– officials for the state and county had declared states of disaster. Organizations are canceling or postponing meetings, classes, and events.
Below is a partial list based on press releases, online statements, and various governmental and media reports.
Area school districts have announced class cancellations, including for Arlington, Burleson, Crowley, Fort Worth, Hurst-Euless-Bedford, and Keller. Fort Worth schools have established feeding locations and breakfast meals for kids during the extended closures. The school district’s website lists the various hours and locations for healthy “to-go” meals for children who rely on eating in school cafeterias.
Main Street Arts Festival is postponing its April 16-19 event until September.
Fortress Festival is postponing its annual music event originally slated for April 25-26.
Six Flags Over Texas is shutting down for the rest of the month.
Various churches are moving worship services to online.
Colleges are extending spring breaks and implementing online courses for afterward, including TCU, Texas Wesleyan, UNT, and UTA.
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, and the Fort Worth Musuem of Science and History are closing through this month. The Kimbell Art Museum is cancelling all public programs and events through April 15.
Bass Performance Hall, McDavid Studio, and the Van Cliburn Recital Hall have cancelled all events through March.
Major League Baseball delayed the regular season from March 26 to mid-April.
The XFL’s inaugural season has been suspended at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
Sundance Square has cancelled its events this month.
The Cattle Raisers Convention and Expo is being rescheduled until fall.
Willie Nelson will be on the road again since this Saturday’s concert with Chris Stapleton at Globe Life Field in Arlington was postponed.
Michael Buble’s concert at Dickies Arena is being rescheduled from April 4 to a later date.
The April 18 concert featuring Kenny Chesney at AT&T Stadium is being rescheduled.
The Fort Worth Regional Golden Gloves Tournament that began this week was cancelled mid-tournament after USA Boxing announced a suspension of all sanctioned events.
The Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival is postponing its event until October.
Event organizers cancelled the St. Paddy’s Pickle Parade and Palooza in Mansfield.