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  • 27 Apr 2020 9:27 PM | Anonymous

    Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday revealed his plan to reopen Texas businesses. Abbott will allow his previous stay-at-home executive order to expire April 30.

    Under what he calls Phase 1 of the statewide reopening efforts, restaurants, theaters and malls will be allowed to reopen on May 1 with no more than 25% occupancy. Licensed health care professionals, such as doctors and dentists, may return to work May 1 if they choose. Abbott also called upon Texans to act responsibly as we re-engage in the economy, to continue following all health precautions and sanitizing guidelines, and to care for our vulnerable neighbors.

    To view the governor’s plan, visit his website.

    Fort Worth city officials are meeting to determine what the governor’s plan means for Fort Worth businesses and will release details and guidance later this week. Abbott said his order supersedes all local orders and that businesses are allowed but not required to reopen.

    Barber shops, gyms and nail salons are still closed on May 1, but may reopen by mid-May, during what Abbott called Phase 2 of his plan. Implementation of Phase 2 will depend on whether a spike in new COVID-19 infections is recorded during the Phase 1 reopenings.

  • 24 Apr 2020 9:28 PM | Anonymous

    graphic with details explained in article

    Under orders by Gov. Greg Abbott, select activities and services that pose minimal to no threat of spreading COVID-19 are allowed to reopen beginning April 24.

    The executive orderPDF File establishes a temporary “retail-to-go” model that allows retail outlets in Texas to reopen, but requires establishments to deliver items to customers’ cars, homes or other locations to minimize contact.

    The Texas Department of State Health Services provided these guidelines:

    What should employees do to keep themselves and customers safe?

    • All employees must be trained on environmental cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
    • All employees must be screened before coming into the business for new or worsening cough; shortness of breath; sore throat; loss of taste or smell; feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100 degrees Fahrenheit; or known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19. Any employee who meets any of these criteria should be sent home.
    • Upon entering the business, employees must wash or sanitize hands.
    • All employees must wear face coverings.
    • Employees must maintain at least 6 feet separation from one another.

    How do customers purchase and obtain goods from a retail store that has just reopened?

    Customers may purchase items from a retail location for pickup, delivery by mail or delivery to the customer’s doorstep, but may not enter the premises.

    Retail to-go:

    • All payments should be done over the phone or internet if possible, and contact should be minimized if remote payment is not available.
    • Purchased items should be delivered by the employee to the backseat or trunk of the customer’s vehicle whenever possible to minimize physical contact with the customer.
    • Employees must wash or sanitize their hands after each interaction with a customer, and whenever possible, must disinfect any item that came into contact with the customer.

    Delivery to customer’s doorstep:

    • All payments should be done over the phone or internet if possible, and contact should be minimized if remote payment is not available.
    • Purchased items should be delivered by an employee or third-party carrier and delivered to the customer’s doorstep. The employee or third-party carrier may not enter the customer’s house or business.

    Retail delivery by mail:

    • All payments must be done over the phone or internet.
    • Purchased items should be delivered by mail without customer contact.
    • The customer should wash or sanitize their hands after the transaction.

  • 14 Apr 2020 2:36 PM | Anonymous

    The 2020 Census is underway and more households across America are responding every day. More than 70 million households have responded to date, representing over 48% of all households in America. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau is adjusting 2020 Census operations in order to:

    • Protect the health and safety of the American public and Census Bureau employees.
    • Implement guidance from federal, state and local authorities.
    • Ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities.

    The Census Bureau temporarily suspended 2020 Census field data collection activities in March. Steps are already being taken to reactivate field offices beginning June 1, in preparation for the resumption of field data collection operations as quickly as possible following June 1.

    In-person activities, including all interaction with the public, enumeration, office work and processing activities, will incorporate the most current guidance to promote the health and safety of staff and the public. This will include recommended personal protective equipment and social distancing practices.

    Once 2020 Census data collection is complete, the Census Bureau begins a lengthy, thorough and scientifically-rigorous process to produce the apportionment counts, redistricting information and other statistical data products that help guide hundreds of billions of dollars in public and private sector spending per year.

    To ensure the completeness and accuracy of the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau is asking Congress for 120 additional calendar days to deliver final apportionment counts. Under this plan, the Census Bureau would extend the window for field data collection and self-response to Oct. 31, which will allow for apportionment counts to be delivered to President Trump by April 30, 2021, and redistricting data to be delivered to the states no later than July 31, 2021.

  • 7 Apr 2020 4:35 PM | Anonymous

    On April 7, the Fort Worth City Council extended the emergency declaration that was originally signed by Mayor Betsy Price on Monday, April 6, 2020 to implement stay home, work safe restrictions to help combat the spread and impact of COVID-19 on the City of Fort Worth.

    This action extends the declaration through April 30, 2020.

    • Individuals are to stay at home. However, individuals may leave their residences for essential travel, essential activities or to provide or perform essential governmental functions, or to operate essential businesses. This includes traveling to work at an essential business, traveling for the health of yourself or another person, leaving to get food and supplies, or getting outside to exercise.
    • To the extent individuals are using shared or outdoor spaces, they must maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from any other person. This does not require a household or living unit to social distance when at home.
    • Essential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies and other establishments that sell household goods will remain open but must enforce social distancing. A list of essential and non-essential businesses is below. For specific information about businesses, call 817-392-8478 or email Covid19@FortWorthTexas.gov. To request that a business be added as an Essential Business, contact the Texas Division of Emergency Management via email at EssentialServices@tdem.texas.gov. Information is also available at tdem.texas.gov/essentialservices.
    • In-house dining at restaurants is prohibited. Restaurants with or without drive-in or drive-through services; drive-in restaurants; drive-through restaurants; liquor stores; and microbreweries, micro-distilleries; or wineries may only provide take out, delivery or drive-in or drive-through services, as allowed by law.
    • All businesses operating within the City of Fort Worth, except essential businesses, are required to close to the public.
    • Businesses that are closed to the public may continue operations consisting exclusively of the following, as long as social distancing of a least six feet is maintained between all employees and contractors during the activities:
      • Maintain the value of the business’s inventory or equipment, process payroll and employee benefits, maintain the premises and the security of the premises, equipment or inventory, including the care and maintenance of livestock or animals;
      • IT or other operations that facilitate employees working from home; and
      • Facilitate online or call-in sales; and/or perform in-store repair services
    • All public or private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited. This declaration does not prohibit the gathering of members of a household or living unit.
    • All elective medical procedures are prohibited, with limited exceptions.
    • If someone in a household has tested positive for COVID-19, the household is ordered to isolate at home.
    • Nursing homes, retirement and long-term care facilities are to prohibit non-essential visitors from accessing their facilities unless to provide critical assistance or for end-of-life visitation.
    • All in-person worship services remain prohibited, with the exception of worship support staff to facilitate online services.

    For specific questions about businesses, call 817-392-8478 or email COVID19@FortWorthTexas.gov. For more information visit http://fortworthtexas.gov/COVID-19.

  • 1 Apr 2020 6:34 PM | Anonymous

    Congress recently approved the CARES Act, a federal bill to provide economic relief for individuals and businesses in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    One major component of the CARES Act is the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program, which provides small businesses with enough funds to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs, including benefits. These funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent and utilities.

    These funds come in the form of loans that may be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent and utilities. Loan payments will be deferred for six months, and no collateral or personal guarantees are required. Small businesses will not be charged fees by either government or lenders.

    Important points to keep in mind:

    • Loan forgiveness depends on businesses keeping employees on the payroll, or rehiring employees quickly, while maintaining salary levels. At least 75% of the loan amount must be used for payroll expenses in order for the loan to be fully forgiven, and loan forgiveness will be reduced if salaries decrease, or if the number of full-time employees declines.

    • All small businesses are eligible. This means a business with 500 employees or less, and includes nonprofits, veterans’ organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors.

    • All loans will have the same terms, regardless of the lender or borrower.

    • Unemployment benefits have been extended to self-employed workers, independent contractors, and those with limited work history. Unemployment insurance provisions now include an additional $600 per week payment to each recipient for up to four months.

    When and how to apply

    Contact your financial institution to determine when they expect to start processing applications. Apply as quickly as possible, as there is a funding cap.

    Business owners can download the application onlinePDF File, fill it out, and take it to any existing SBA 7(a) lending partner, federally insured bank, or federally insured credit union to officially file it. (These institutions may allow for submission via email on their website.) Business owners may be asked to provide their tax and payroll information, as well as information about their rent and utility costs.

    SBA Disaster Loans

    In addition to the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program, businesses can also apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) through the U.S. Small Business Association, or SBA.

    The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans provide targeted, low-interest recovery loans of up to $2 million to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and some private nonprofit organizations. As of March 20, businesses throughout the entire state of Texas can apply.

    Important points to keep in mind about SBA Loans:

    • The CARES Act, mentioned previously, also includes an opportunity to get up to a $10,000 advance on an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. This advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and it will be forgiven. If you wish to apply for the advance on your EIDL, visit the SBA website as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the advance, you’ll need to submit a new application even if you previously submitted one already. Applying for the advance will not impact the status of, or slow down your existing application.

    • The SBA offers other financial solutions, such as:
      • The 7(a) program, which offers loan amounts up to $5,000 for working capital, purchase of equipment, fixtures, refinancing debt, seasonal line of credit, inventory, starting a business, and more.
      • The Express Loan program, which provides loans up to $350,000 for no more than seven years with an option to resolve. The approval/denial of these loans has a turnaround time of 36 hours, and proceeds can be used for the same things as an 7(a) loan.
      • The Community Advantage Loan pilot program allows mission-based lenders to assist small businesses in under-served markets with a maximum loan of $250,000.
    • Businesses can apply for both the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program and an EIDL loan, so long as each loan covers different operational costs.

    For more information about these and other financial resources for businesses in Fort Worth, keep an eye on the city’s COVID-19 Business Resources page, which is being updated as information becomes available.

  • 30 Mar 2020 6:33 PM | Anonymous

    A hotline established for the COVID-19 outbreak has proven to be a popular way for Fort Worth residents and business owners to learn news and information about the virus and its effects on everyday life.

    During the week of March 22-29, 1,995 calls and 744 emails were handled by call-takers in the Consumer Health Division of the city’s Code Compliance Department. Staff members in other city departments also provided answers to questions in their area of expertise.

    The hotline, which operates 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday, can provide basic information about the virus and its symptoms, information for businesses affected by the ongoing shutdown, information on how to report a violation of the stay-at-home order and other topics. Responses are available in English and Spanish.

    Contact the hotline at 817-392-8478 or by email.

    Other information sources

  • 26 Mar 2020 9:32 PM | Anonymous

    The Fort Worth Police Department has received numerous false claims across its social media platforms indicating Fort Worth police officers are enforcing “stay-at-home” checkpoints by pulling drivers over and asking for work documentation.

    These claims are not accurate.

    The FWPD is not and will not enforce these types of traffic stops. If an officer makes a traffic stop, it will be for an observed traffic violation or for investigation of another criminal offense.

  • 25 Mar 2020 9:31 PM | Anonymous

    In this time of social distancing, there is still plenty of need for people to maintain their mental and physical health. Exercising outdoors – especially on beautiful spring days – helps our well-being and is critical in times like these.

    Keep in mind; Fort Worth parks, trails and open spaces are still open and available to enjoy. However, residents are encouraged to comply with the recommended six-foot social distancing barrier at all times.

    Some pointers to remember when you’re enjoying Fort Worth’s robust collection of parks and open spaces:

    • Warn others of your presence to ensure that six-foot barrier.
    • Prepare before heading outdoors to avoid water fountains and restrooms. Take along a full water bottle and some snacks, if you’d like.
    • Residents are strongly encouraged to avoid playgrounds in Fort Worth parks. With 205 playgrounds and more than 1,000 separate playground units in Fort Worth, the option of sanitizing after each visit is not sustainable.
    • Visit parks for brief periods of time, allowing others to use the space safely.

    Park & Recreation service adjustments

    All community centers and the Haws Athletic Center are closed.

    All spring youth and adult sports programs are canceled. All field use reservations have been canceled through May 1.

    Log Cabin Village is closed.

    Fort Worth Dream Park and Patricia LeBlanc Park have been closed until further notice.

    The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is closed until further notice.

    The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge is closed.

    Both ZBonz and Fort Woof Dog Parks are closed until further notice. On-leash dogs are welcome to continue visiting parks and trails as long as the six-foot social distancing barrier is maintained.

  • 17 Mar 2020 9:31 PM | Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2020 | Last updated April 8, 2020

    someone picks up food via curbside service

    Visit Fort Worth has unveiled a new and improved webpage to showcase Fort Worth restaurants that offer curbside and delivery service during social distancing.

    The updated version includes the ability to browse specific cuisines and regions of Fort Worth. The page now also features more than 300 local restaurants and new search filters that include: takeout, delivery, alcohol, groceries, gift cards and cash-only.

    Traffic to the page soared in March with more than 50,000 views – more than twice the normal traffic – reflecting the community’s interest in supporting local restaurants.

    “We appreciate the support that Visit Fort Worth is showing our vulnerable restaurant community during this time,” said Jon Bonnell, chef and owner of The Bonnell’s Restaurant Group. “Local restaurants are trying desperately to get creative and stay afloat. This is our first pandemic too, and we are all just trying to adjust and survive. The more the community knows about how to safely support their local restaurants, the better chance we have of recovering someday.”

    Visit Fort Worth is promoting the restaurants webpage locally through targeted digital ads and social media. The video “In It Together” showcases the restaurant community and is part of the promotion effort.

    “We are dedicating marketing resources to help our community during this unprecedented time,” said Mitch Whitten, executive vice president of marketing and strategy for Visit Fort Worth. “Local cuisine is one of the top reasons people travel and we want to support and preserve this important part of our city and visitor experience.”

    In addition to the restaurants page, Visit Fort Worth has released 10 blogs to encourage followers to virtually experience Fort Worth during social distancing, a small-business resource page, an events updates page and a creative industry fundraiser in partnership with the United Way of Tarrant County. Links to each can be found on the Visit Fort Worth homepage.

    Restaurateurs can submit their information to be added to the page by emailing Austin James.

  • 20 Feb 2020 9:42 PM | Anonymous

    graphic promoting new system

    The city has replaced the Nixle emergency alert system with Fort Worth Texas Alerts.

    Residents can register for free alerts, and in the event of community emergencies, an emergency alert will be sent by text or email. Or residents can sign up for optional weather warning alerts via text, email or voice calls.

    The city’s Fire Department Office of Emergency Management manages the emergency alert system designed to be one of the tools used to alert residents of hazardous conditions.


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