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City of Fort Worth orders mandatory reduction in occupancy limits starting at midnight

The mandatory order will reduce allowed occupancy by 50%, or no more than 125 individuals, whichever is less.

Unlike Dallas County and the City of Dallas, the City of Fort Worth is not ordering the closure of bars and restaurants. Instead, city officials are ordering a reduction in service and encouraging residents to order takeout instead of dining in. 

Starting at midnight, the City of Fort Worth will enact a mandatory reduction in the occupancy limits of local businesses.

The mandatory order will reduce allowed occupancy by 50%, or no more than 125 individuals, whichever is less. This applies to restaurants, bars, event centers, gyms, hotel restaurants, retail stores, theaters, convenience stores, public buildings, plazas, churches and shopping malls.

Grocery stores are currently excluded. The city said in a news release it is asking grocers to implement social distancing with customers "to the greatest extent possible."

“What we are doing as city is not meant to be alarmist but to be mindful for you our residents and to the overall health and well being of our community," Mayor Betsy Price said. "We know that these constant changes and the unknown create a lot of fear."

RELATED: Bars, gyms, theaters ordered to close in Dallas County

City officials are encouraging residents that if they do go out, to use takeout service and to remove every other chair at a bar. Restaurants should seat people at every other table.

Fort Worth Fire Chief Jim Davis said the move “allows small businesses to stay open.”  

Mayor Betsy Price said the move was in an effort “to keep our businesses whenever we can.”

This news comes an hour after Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson announced that all of Dallas' restaurants, bars, lounges, taverns, gyms and movie theaters must close for seven days to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Tarrant County currently has three "presumptive positive" cases and two confirmed positive cases of COVID-19.

RELATED: Live COVID-19 updates: All bars, theaters, gyms in Dallas required to close at midnight; DISD closed indefinitely

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