Tarrant County issues stay-at-home order starting 11:59 p.m. March 24

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley issued a mandatory shelter-in-place order for Tarrant County citizens effective 11:59 p.m. March 24. (Screenshot courtesy Tarrant County)
Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley issued a mandatory shelter-in-place order for Tarrant County citizens effective 11:59 p.m. March 24. (Screenshot courtesy Tarrant County)

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley issued a mandatory shelter-in-place order for Tarrant County citizens effective 11:59 p.m. March 24. (Screenshot courtesy Tarrant County)

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, along with Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams, announced during a March 24 press conference a stay-at-home order for Tarrant County.

This order applies to residents of Tarrant County and will remain in effect until April 7.

With the order, all businesses operating in Tarrant County that are deemed nonessential are required to close to the public. These businesses may continue minimum basic operations as long as social distancing is maintained between all employees and contractors. Restaurants, breweries and wineries are still able to function with only drive-thru, takeout, delivery, drive-in or drive-thru services, per the executive order. People who are not on the essential workers list are ordered to work virtually if they can and stay at home, the order said. Essential businesses include hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, food service providers and gas stations. A full list of types of essential workers can be found on Page 3 at this link.

All public and private gatherings of any number of people outside of a single household are prohibited, with a few exceptions, such as weddings and funerals, Tarrant County commissioners said during a March 24 meeting. All elective medical, surgical and dental work is prohibited in the county, according to the executive order. Nonessential visitors to nursing homes are also prohibited.

Price said Tarrant County residents will still be able make runs to grocery stores and pharmacies and go out for essential items but are encouraged to keep a 6-foot distance from others.

“This is to get you who are suffering from lack of work back to work quicker,” Price said. “These are tighter restrictions. There are to be no gatherings of any kind.”

Southlake Mayor Laura Hill described the order as a "tool" to help protect the public's health.

“The city’s Office of Emergency Management has prepared for this possibility, and now that it’s reality, the city will move forward on supporting the order,” Southlake Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski said.

Robert Earley, the CEO of John Peter Smith Hospital, said he agrees with the mandate and that it is what the doctors and nurses he works with are telling people to do.

“They are telling everyone to stay away,” he said.

Tarrant County currently has 54 active COVID-19 cases. Three are in Colleyville; one is in Grapevine; four are in Southlake; two are in Keller; and 18 are in Fort Worth. There have been one death and two recovered cases of the disease countywide.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott took multiple measures March 22 designed to expand hospital staffing and capacity in the state but declined to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order—even as calls for such an action increased as the new coronavirus continued to spread across the state.

"What ... may be right for places like the large urban areas may not be right at this particular point of time for the more than 200 counties that have zero cases of COVID-19,” Abbott said in a March 22 Texas Tribune report.
By Miranda Jaimes
Miranda has been in the North Texas area since she graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in 2014. She reported and did design for a daily newspaper in Grayson County before she transitioned to a managing editor role for three weekly newspapers in Collin County. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 covering Tarrant County news, and is now back in Collin County as the editor of the Frisco and McKinney editions.


Harvest Hall officially opened Feb. 6 in Grapevine as part of the Grapevine Main development. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harvest Hall now open in Grapevine, new dining options in Fort Worth and more DFW news from February

Here are some of the top stories from the past month from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

Two hundred rail pieces were delivered east of Shiloh Road in Plano in late 2020, according to a Dec. 18 DART release. (Courtesy Dallas Area Rapid Transit)
DART to save millions on Silver Line project following approval of refinanced loan from U.S. Department of Transportation

The $908 million loan was approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Build America Bureau in 2018, according to a Feb. 25 news release.

At its peak of power loss, the city had roughly 50,000 homes with interrupted power, many of which had prolonged outages, Plano City Manager Mark Israelson said. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plano faces long-term impacts from storm; Collin County vaccine hubs resume service and more DFW-area news

Read the top business and community news from this week from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Any Lab Test Now will be opening a new clinic in early March in Southlake. (Courtesy Any Lab Test Now)
Any Lab Test Now coming soon to Southlake

Any Lab Test Now will be opening a location in Southlake in March.

Construction notification signs next to Cheek-Sparger Road
Cheek-Sparger Road upgrades scheduled in Colleyville

A portion of Cheek-Sparger Road near Colleyville Boulevard will be open to westbound traffic only.

Snow covers I-45 in Houston during a winter storm that hit Texas the night of Feb. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Legislators probe energy officials over power failures, lack of preparation heading into winter storm

The Texas Legislature held hearings Feb. 25 with energy companies including Oncor Electric Delivery and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in response to last week’s historic winter storm, which left millions of Texans without electricity for days.

The city of Grapevine will be waiving certain fees related to damage caused by Winter Storm Uri. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Grapevine waives fees, provides other assistance for residents affected by winter storm

Grapevine residents will not see February in their average sanitary sewer rates to reflect accurate water usage during the winter storm.

The coffee and wine bar offers signature drinks, such as the Honey Bear Latte, made with honey and cinnamon, as well as food options, such as breakfast tacos, charcuterie boards, baked goods and snack boxes. (Courtesy Golden Boy Coffee Co.)
Golden Boy Coffee Co. opens in Plano; Black Rock Coffee Bar coming to Southlake and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Black Rock Coffee Bar will be opening in Southlake in the spring. (Courtesy of Black Rock Coffee Bar)
Oregon boutique coffee shop Black Rock Coffee Bar plans Southlake location

Black Rock Coffee is set to open two new locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including one in Southlake.

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic. (Courtesy Qygen, Wikimedia Commons)
Fry's Electronics calls it quits after nearly 36 years in business

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic.

A lone runner jogs on a snow-covered road in Austin. Transportation projects across the city were briefly paused due to Winter Storm Uri. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT: Texas power system was less than 5 minutes from collapse during winter storm

ERCOT's CEO offered details into what led to the massive blackouts that left millions of Texans in the cold last week.

Next Bistro was opened in 2011 by husband and wife Tom and Ying Aiken. Chef Ying left her career as an accountant to pursue cooking. (Photos courtesy Next Bistro)
Upscale eatery Next Bistro in Colleyville continues to innovate

The owners of Next Bistro in Colleyville have made a major investment in their restaurant every year since opening it in 2011.