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The aim of the city’s shelter-at-home order is simple: to create physical space between people to slow the spread of COVID-19. Despite the city’s efforts, many of the particulars of the order have been misunderstood or outright ignored by members of the public.

Under the current guidelines, residents are being directed to remain home except for “essential travel, essential activities, essential governmental functions, or to operate essential businesses.”

Essential businesses, pharmacies, and certain establishments are allowed to remain open as long as inhabitants observe social distancing, the city order says.

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Residents can leave their home for exercise, but congregating in groups is not allowed. In other words, walking or jogging alone is OK. Playing team sports is not, which is why the city took the unprecedented step recently of removing basketball nets from city courts. 

We took common questions people are asking online and forwarded them to city spokesman Mike Drivdahl, who provided these answers. 

Is FWPD setting up roadblocks to enforce the current guidelines?  

No.

Are house parties allowed under the current guidelines? 

[Residents are] strongly discouraged to have anyone outside of immediate family over. No groups of larger than 10 are allowed, and social distancing is still required.

Is FWPD still issuing citations for class C misdemeanors? 

The FWPD will continue to operate as usual.

Are police randomly pulling people over to ask where they are going? 

No.

Can locals still go out to walk and run for exercise while maintaining a safe distance from others? 

Yes, as long as they continue to follow the declaration.

Should residents continue to call 911 for medical emergencies or to report crimes as they normally would? 

Yes. We know emergencies do not stop and neither do our responses to them.

If FWPD sees a crowd of people outdoors, how are police officers handling enforcing the shelter-in-place orders? 

The plan is to educate first. If residents continue to ignore the declaration, they can be fined.

When will city and county leaders reevaluate the current shelter in place guidelines? 

They continue to evaluate daily. The next date would be April 30th for reconsideration.

Businesses can call 817-392-8478 or email Covid19@FortWorthTexas.gov with questions concerning the new orders. Further city information is available at Fortworthtexas.gov/COVID-19.

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