City of Fort Worth creating committees to get important COVID-19 info to the elderly

The city of Fort Worth is forming four separate committees to deal with different facets of the coronavirus response.

Mayor Betsy Price announced one of the committees on Monday. Its focus is to assist people in direct need of help. Each one will focus on a different aspect of the response and recovery.

“The whole idea was we had to really to make this work, you’ve got to get it into smaller pieces that you can handle,” she said.

The information would detail basic community services., and the new committee is streamlining a pipeline to share that information.

A top priority is shopping information tailored to those who are elderly, pregnant or immune-compromised. What stores have those special shopping hours and on which days. Other information might include where to get meals or short term gestures such as food giveaways.

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The new committee will have partners to help get information to their clients, such as United Way, Meals on Wheels and church leaders will be included who are in routine communication with church members in those categories.

Councilwoman Gyna Bivens and Jungus Jordan are spearheading the committee.

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“You live in a time where not everybody tweets. Not everybody is looking at that cable channel in ‘any city USA’ to figure out what my city council is doing. Not everybody is on social media,” she said. “But a lot of people go to church. So by us giving information to the clergy, that will help us as well.”

“Making sure that all Fort Worth citizens are being cared for and taken care of, particularly those of greatest need,” Jordan said.

Other committees will focus on support for businesses, education and childcare. The Committee on Reopening the Economy, or CORE, will consult medical professionals on the best time frame to start reopening non-essential businesses in the city.

“That’s part of what this committee is going do is to help us see what’s being done other places, what’s kind of a time schedule, and are we flattening that curve that everybody talks about? And where are we on that,” Price said.

The pandemic has forced City Manager David Cooke to rethink the city’s finances, placing certain projects on hold and reviewing reserves set aside for emergencies.

“In talking to the committees, really they’ve been doing a lot of brainstorming and trying to identify the gaps,” Cooke said. “And if there are gaps that the city needs to fill, then we’ll look at how to financially fill some of those gaps.”

Every day this week, the mayor will sit down with the two councilmembers leading each committee to give details on specific resources. Afterwards, you can find links to those resources on the city's website.

On another front, Bivens says the city is in the process of sending out bright colored postcards to some residents. If you receive one, it is an indication that your neighborhood or area has a significantly high number of people testing positive for COVID-19. Those flyers will begin showing up in the mail at homes as soon as the next day or two.