FORT WORTH, Texas - The city of Fort Worth is figuring out how to enforce upcoming rollbacks while also dealing with weeklong events surrounding the National Finals Rodeo in Tarrant County.
Tarrant County reached a pandemic high on Tuesday with 896 COVID-19 patients in its hospitals. And the number of COVID hospitalizations is steadily rising.
Brandon Bennett with Fort Worth Code Compliance says the city is bracing for rollbacks as North Texas inches closer to that seventh consecutive day of 15% COVID hospitalizations.
“And so we are working feverishly to get the word out to everybody so that they are prepared for that,” he said.
That means properly alerting businesses like restaurants that they’ll need to reduce capacity and telling bars that aren’t operating as restaurants will have to close.
Since March, the city has issued 66 COVID-related citations for continuing to operate after an emergency closure and failure to enforce masks and social distancing.
“And most of that is to establishments that have been challenging the governor’s declaration, have been making a stand,” Bennett said.
But overall, he credits the majority of local businesses for making an effort to comply.
Anticipated rollback orders happen to coincide with the National Finals Rodeo kicking off at Globe Life Field in Arlington on Thursday and continuing with several events in Downtown Fort Worth and the Stockyards.
“At the convention center and at the Stockyards, we are going to put a testing area where people can go and get tested while they are there at that venue,” Bennett said.
The city is looking for continued compliance to prevent a collapse at North Texas hospitals.
“There’s not really one particular business or industry or activity that led to this uptick and will keep this uptick going for a number of weeks,” Bennett said. “It’s really just a little bit of everything right now.”