Fort Worth limits bars and restaurants to take out, delivery services only in response to COVID-19

Dickies Arena closes for the day with downtown Fort Worth in the background Jan. 26 during the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. 

Within the next 24 hours, the city of Fort Worth will require that all bars and restaurants provide take out and delivery services only and close their lobbies.

Previously the city requested public buildings and businesses lower their occupancy by half and limit the space to 125 people, Mayor Betsy Price said in a press conference Tuesday.

“We know these are incredibly unsettling times,” Price said. “We’re trying to make it better.”

She said many businesses and residents have already made voluntary and significant changes in their daily lives, but additional efforts need to be taken.

When going out, people should cover their mouths when they cough, wash their hands and stay three to five feet away from each other, Price said.

Restaurants and bars have been known to be more high-risk areas for the coronavirus outbreak, said Brandon Bennett, director of Code and Compliance.

The city has worked with restaurants to ensure healthy food is still available for delivery, take out and curbside pick-up, he said.

Bennett said that while the public has improved in social distancing, there are still people going to malls and grocery stores in large numbers.

Restaurants and bars were chosen for closing because of the way people gather at those locations, he said. When gathering in different locations, a six-foot separation is recommended.

“The best thing you can do is limit your travel, stay at home where you can,” Bennett said.

Fire chief Jim Davis said fire prevention personnel has been out in the community and are prepared to enforce the fire code.

Assistance will still be given to people dialing 911, however, more questions will be asked to determine the type of assistance needed, he said.

Calling 911 for an ambulance may not mean a person will have to be transported to the hospital, Davis said.

As the situation continues to unfold, Davis said there is a possibility of seeing emergency medical service providers dressed in full protective equipment including masks and gloves.

“We are dedicated to making sure that you are taken care of in a safe and effective manner,” Davis said.

@megancardona_

news-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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