FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Officials in Tarrant County have announced “stay at home” orders to combat the continuing spread of the coronavirus.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams and Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley held a news conference Tuesday morning to announce these new measures as a way to keep residents inside their homes.

The new orders are an extension of the disaster declaration currently in effect for the county, which already limits gatherings and shuts down places like gyms, clubs, and the dine-in areas of restaurants.

The orders in Tarrant County will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday and are expected to last until April 7.

A “stay at home” order means that residents are being told to stay inside their homes unless for “essential activities,” such as grocery shopping or jobs. Exceptions also include outdoor exercise or going out for health reasons.

The City of Fort Worth released a document that outlines what “essential” businesses would stay open and which should be closed. These orders ramp up the restrictions put into place over the weekend.

“The major differences will be any business who can work virtually, should. Everyone else, when you’re home, stay home. Don’t be out on play dates at the park. Don’t be out in big gatherings. Don’t go see your friends for dinner parties at home. Stay home. We mean it when we say you’re safer at home,” Price said.

Officials also said these new measures are a way of keeping the hospitals from being overwhelmed with patients, as cases of COVID-19 continue to increase. Doctors estimate about 12,000 patients in Tarrant County will need care, with only 5,300 hospital beds available.

Price also said police won’t be arresting anyone who violates the new orders, but more than one warning could result in a fine.

On Sunday, Dallas County became the first county in North Texas to issue this kind of order as cases have rapidly increased. Hunt and Rockwall counties followed with their own “stay at home” orders.

Collin County made its “stay at home” announcement about an hour after Tarrant County. Denton County issued the same orders later in the afternoon.

“Y’all stay safe, y’all stay healthy and y’all stay home,” Price said.

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Comments (16)
  1. Concho Minick says:

    Can we please get a comprehensive list of essential businesses?

  2. Larry Smithers says:

    Lowe’s and Home Depot are not essential businesses. People do not need mulch and paint.

    1. Kelly Gideon says:

      I actually have a clogged toilet and need to work on it myself.

  3. Ken Rodgers says:

    No, but we “need” to browse tile and look at plants….

  4. terri188 says:

    People DO need repair essentials like water heaters, toilets, faucets, etc.

  5. Cody Meyers says:

    People returning tools and other goods could potentially transmit the virus to the associates/other customers in these retail stores. Just something to think about.

  6. Jkslack says:

    Is putting those low wage employees and their families at risk really worth it?

    1. mba says:

      Is thousands of people dying really worth it?

  7. G. Roth156 says:

    Essential? Maybe but those who are having to still expose themselves to this pandemic should at least get “hazard pay”

  8. Steve Oliver says:

    I am stunned that we move into de facto martial law so easily. The economy will not withstand 2 more weeks of this. And I expect this “stay at home” will be extended on or before the April date. This is the worst possible knee-jerk solution to a virus that has a current worldwide mortality rate of about 4% and a US mortality rate of about 1.5%

    1. mba says:

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

      Resolved cases show more like a 15% mortality rate.

  9. Duane Hengst says:

    I question the 12000 cases vs only 5300 beds…..that means there will be 12000 cases simultaneously????, or over the entire Virus event (for Tarrant County)? Makes a huge difference. 12000 over the next three months, if assuming 2 week stay, means an average need of 2000 beds per two week period for 3 months. Lets not get everyone in a panic. And that is what this results in. I saw last night where the Dallas County official was neglecting this very important difference as well. It certainly detracts from their credibility.

  10. im out of town so can i still return to my house?

  11. Gene Garrett says:

    Is it Ok to drive from Tarrant Count to Hood County to play golf?

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  13. Mike Spencer says:

    Still confused when the article says don’t be out on play dates at the park and then says exceptions are for outdoor exercise. Can I ride my bike in the park or will I face law enforcement giving me a hard time?

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