Council approves resolution to incorporate Abbott’s plan to open businesses

Fort Worth City Hall 

The City of Fort Worth City Council adopted a new stand-alone Resolution continuing Fort Worth’s state of disaster, as well as incorporating provisions of Executive Orders GA-18 and GA-19 issued on April 27 by Governor Greg Abbott.

The resolution passed 7-2 with District 5’s Gyna Bivens and District 8’s Kelly Allen Gray voting against the resolution.

The resolution will continue Fort Worth’s state of disaster past April 30, 2020, with specific changes to address the evolving nature of the emergency situation and to ensure that the city remains consistent with Governor Abbott’s executive Orders and Open Texas Plan. Furthermore, the resolution allows for Class C citations for any violations in addition to the penalties outlined by the Governor’s Orders. 

“Extending the city’s state of disaster allows us to deploy and provide the necessary resources to combat COVID-19, while simultaneously prioritizing the health and safety of all residents and supporting our community during this unprecedented time,” said Mayor Betsy Price. “Furthermore, this ensures Fort Worth is in compliance with the Governor’s Orders, providing guidance and assistance on the safest way to re-open our economy and ease restrictions.” 

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This new Resolution supersedes and replaces the Seventh Declaration in its entirety. The stand-alone Resolution stays in effect if the Governor amends his current Orders and expires when the Governor ends his Orders. However, if there are major changes, the City Council can convene a special called meeting to amend the Resolution.

 Texas Gov. Greg Abbott outlined Monday a slow reopening of the Texas economy that is among the largest in the world, allowing restaurants, retailers, movie theaters and malls to start letting customers trickle into their establishments starting Friday.

The move comes as Texas and other states process a record-high surge in jobless claims, food banks are seeing spiking demands and testing for the coroanvirus remains limited. Conservatives and supporters of President Donald Trump have amplified calls to get the state and country back to work, while leaders of Texas’ biggest cities, who are mostly Democrats, have urged a slower course.

Abbott’s plan allows establishments to let in customers up to 25% of capacity as long as they follow social distancing guidelines. Those in counties that have reported fewer than five cases of the coronavirus will be able to serve customers at a 50% threshold unless officials see a spike in new cases.

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Abbott also said he will let his monthlong stay-at-home order expire on April 30. Bars, barbershops, hair salons and gyms remain closed, as do universities and schools for more than 5 million children. – FWBP Staff and Associated Press contributed to this report.