COVID-19 shuts down Fort Worth bars and lowers restaurant capacity
Fort Worth is returning to lockdown mode after a spike in COVID-19 cases that are closing bars and forcing certain businesses, including restaurants, shops, and gyms, to reduce capacity to 50 percent.
The measure is the result of an executive order from Governor Greg Abbott that went into effect in October and required rollbacks if COVID-19 reappeared.
Bars will be closed by 50 percent.
Elective operations are suspended.
Restaurants and businesses are now 50 percent busy, up from the previous 75 percent.
Hospital beds were the benchmark: if, according to Abbott’s instructions, more than 15 percent of hospital beds were used by COVID-19 patients for seven days in a row, a rollback occurred.
DFW currently has 15.6 percent of the beds for COVID-19 patients in use. Occupancy can rise again if this percentage of hospital beds stays below 15 percent for a week.
The closure wasn’t exactly a surprise. The number of patients being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals in North Texas hit a new high on December 1. The average number of patients treated daily in December was almost three times what it was in September, according to DFW / CBS.
The order affects counties in northern Texas, including counties Dallas, Tarrant, Denton, Parker, and Collin.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will notify business and bar owners of the policy change, commission spokesman Chris Porter told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. But Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said the county would leave it to the state and cities to enforce the governor’s policies.
Dallas County Judge Clay Lewis Jenkins made a statement:
“Today marks the 7th straight day our region is over 15% of all available beds occupied by the COVID19 patient threshold,” he said. “Pursuant to @ GovAbbott’s Executive Order GA-32, after today’s numbers are updated on the @ TexasDSHS website tonight, our region will be subject to an immediate reduction in all non-material business occupancy limits from 75% to 50% and other set protocols out in GA-32. “
The order reduces the number of places people can gather, which in theory reduces the spread of COVID-19.