Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price

The city of Fort Worth today (Friday, March 13) joined Dallas County, the city of Dallas and the state of Texas in declaring state of emergency due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. The declaration is effective at 12:01 a.m. March 14 and will be in place through March 21.  The city council is expected to vote at some point over the next week to extend the declaration beyond March 21.

As of 6 p.m. on today, Tarrant County Public Health has identified three presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Tarrant County. “Presumptive positive” means the test results have not been verified by the CDC.

Mayor Betsy Price said the decision was made “under the advice of health experts and in an effort to reduce the community spread.”

She added, “We are working with all our hospital systems, emergency medical personnel, Medstar and all public safety personnel to coordinate our efforts. Through the cooperation of residents listening closely to our public health experts and practicing social distancing protocols, we can reduce our risks.”

Fort Worth Health Director Brandon Bennett said, “We strongly recommend social distancing as a way to prevent the spread of the virus in group settings. Any gatherings smaller than 250 people should take extra precautions to practice social distancing, and, ideally any public gatherings that are not absolutely critical” should be canceled.

In an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus and “protect the most vulnerable members of the community,” city officials have taken these actions:

  • City-organized, -produced and -permitted meetings, events and programs will be postponed or canceled through March 31.
  • Until further notice, within the city of Fort Worth there is a mandatory cancellation of any events or gatherings with expected attendance of 250 people or more.
  • All city community centers and libraries are closed to the public from 6 p.m. on Friday, March 13 through March 29. The closure will be re-evaluated at that time and employees will be notified.
  • Public buildings that include libraries and community centers will be closed.
  • All critical city services and emergency services will be operating as usual.

—Tammye Nash