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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.

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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. 

6 COMMENTS

  1. On 9-11 many local businesses and private schools shut down. However, the Fort Worth ISD stayed open for the regular school day. When asked why, the school district spokesperson, in rare display of sanity stated, “We didn’t think that in a time of crisis, it was good idea to send thousands of unsupervised students into the streets of Fort Worth.”

    Not many parents can afford to take off work for two weeks to watch the kids. With just six confirmed corona virus cases in a county of over 2 million people, has anyone considered that school is probably the safest place for kids right now?

    Tens of thousands of kids roaming around with little to no supervision. What could go wrong.

    • So what your saying is it’s better to have all the kids in school who could possibly be sick and infect other kids who then take it home to the parents and get them sick… a parent with a compromised immune system or other health issue could possibly die and then those kids are orphans…
      Yeah you make sense.

      • Sound public policy is not based on eliminating every conceivable possibility. Otherwise, we would close the schools every spring, as it is possible they might be hit by a tornado.

        The mayor’s order limiting the capacity of public buildings specifically exempts daycares. So, it’s too dangerous for a 5-year old to go to kindergarten. But, it’s fine for a 4-year old to go daycare.

        Care to explain the science behind that?

  2. The CDC’s take on school closures:

    Available modeling data indicate that early, short to medium closures do not impact the epi curve of COVID-19 or available health care measures (e.g., hospitalizations)… modelling also shows that other mitigation efforts (e.g., handwashing, home isolation) have more impact on both spread of disease and health care measures. In other countries, those places who closed school (e.g., Hong Kong) have not had more success in reducing spread than those that did not (e.g., Singapore).

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