Tarrant County, Arlington Issue Stay Home, Work Safe Order
By Office of Communication
Posted on March 24, 2020, March 24, 2020

Stay Home Work Safe 

Editor's Note: The Arlington City Council voted to approve an expanded declaration of disaster at its March 24, 2020, evening meeting to align with Tarrant County's Stay Home, Work Safe order to combat the spread of COVID-19. Click here to read the City's updated declaration of disaster, which goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. March 24, 2020.

The City of Arlington, the City of Fort Worth and Tarrant County are joining together to implement a unified Stay Home, Work Safe order, which places stronger restrictions on how people work, travel and gather in public as part of the fight against the respiratory disease, COVID-19.

The new Tarrant County Disaster Declaration goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. March 24, 2020, and will be in place through 11:59 p.m. April 7, 2020. The Arlington City Council will consider an expanded coronavirus declaration of disaster at tonight’s meeting that aligns with Tarrant County’s most recent disaster declaration. That meeting will be broadcast on the City’s website, www.arlingtontx.gov/city_hall/departments/broadcast, and the City’s cable channel, AT&T U-verse channel 99 and Spectrum channel 16, 15.1 (digital).

“The citizens of Arlington and Tarrant County have always been defined by resiliency, hard work and a can-do attitude,” Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said during a news conference Tuesday morning to announce the joint public health strategy. “We still want that on display as more of you work from home. This is about decreasing the overall spread and potential exposure so we can win this fight.”

The Stay Home, Work Safe order calls for people in Tarrant County to leave their homes only for essential travel, to work in essential businesses, government service or essential critical infrastructure, or to perform certain basic operations that have been defined in Tarrant County’s executive order.

This order requires that some businesses that are not deemed essential to temporarily close to the public, prohibits elective medical, surgical and dental procedures, and also calls for people across the county to work from home when possible to help reduce exposure and spread of COVID-19. Residents are encouraged to continue supporting small businesses and restaurants, which will be able to continue providing online ordering and to-go, curbside pick-up or delivery services.

“Take advantage of to-go and delivery options at the many wonderful restaurants throughout The American Dream City. Small businesses are the backbone of our can-do spirit and we want to do all we can as a to help everyone during this difficult time,” Williams said. Click here to read the full Tarrant County executive order.

Stay Home Order

The new Tarrant County Disaster Declaration begins at 11:59 p.m. March 24, 2020. It instructs all people living within the county to stay home and only leave their homes to perform allowed activities. These include:

  • Activities related to maintaining the health and safety of their family and their pets. Examples are seeking emergency services, obtaining medical supplies or medication and visiting a healthcare professional. This includes caring for a family member or pet in another household.
  • Activities to obtain necessary supplies for themselves, their family and household, including groceries or food, such as from curbside or drive thru pickup from restaurants, pet supplies and pet food, supplies needed to work from home, and consumer products, such as toilet paper and cleaning supplies.
  • Working for an exempted business or government that is providing services needed by the public during this crisis.
  • Outdoor activity, such as walking, running or cycling, but only if they maintain social distancing, such as staying six feet away from other people.
  • All individuals should remain home, except for when securing healthcare, purchasing food and basic supplies, exercising outdoors or working to provide these basic services to the public.
  • All public and private gatherings consisting of anyone other than a person’s own household or living unit are prohibited.

Work Safe Order

The amended declaration also instructs all businesses to close to the public and stop operations other than allowing employees to work from home, maintaining security and maintenance of the business’ property and facilitating information technology services that allow employees to work from home.

Businesses and organizations that are providing products and services that are needed by the community during this public health crisis are exempted. The following exempted businesses may continue operating, provided they exercise proper social distancing:

  • Healthcare operations, including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, healthcare suppliers, mental health and substance abuse providers, blood banks and veterinary offices. This also includes home-based care for seniors, adults or children or residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults and children.
  • Schools and education personnel supporting public and private K-12 schools, colleges and universities who are facilitating distance learning or are providing free meals or related services to the public.
  • Companies providing or maintaining infrastructure, such as the construction of public works, housing and other infrastructure that supports critical needs, such as water, sewer, gas and electricity, internet and telecommunications;
  • Businesses related to transportation, including gas stations, repair shops, manufacturers, public transportation, as well as businesses that provide residential and/or commercial moving services and necessary moving supplies.
  • Information technology companies that provide and maintain internet and telecommunications systems
  • Retail businesses that sell food, gas and household products, such as grocery stores, warehouse stores, or other retail stores, gas stations and convenience stores, farmers’ markets, pet and feed stores, laundromats and drycleaners. Liquor stores and restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food are closed to the public but may provide delivery, take out, drive-in, drive-through or carry out. Schools and other entities that typically provide free services to students or members of the public on a pick-up and take-away basis only. 
  • Charitable organizations providing food, shelter and services to economically disadvantaged or vulnerable populations, including animals
  • Hotels, motels and other shared temporary residence facilities
  • Businesses that provide services that maintain essential operations of residences or essential businesses, including mail and shipping services, building cleaning and maintenance, auto repair, warehouse/distribution and fulfillment, and storage for essential businesses. This also includes plumbers, pool services, security services, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences, essential activities, and essential businesses. Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities. Businesses that supply other essential businesses with support or supplies needed to operate.
  • News media, including newspapers, television, radio and other media outlets providing information to the public
  • Financial institutions, such as banks, credit unions, consumer lenders, sales and finance lenders, appraisers and title companies;
  • Childcare services
  • Worship services, provided services are distributed by video, teleconference or other remote measures
  • Funeral services may operate but no more than 10 non-employees may be present at the same time.
  • Business and operations necessary to the 16 critical infrastructure sectors identified by the National Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA.) This includes public works construction, residential and commercial construction, airport operations, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil refining, roads and highways, public transportation and other private transportation providers that provide transportation services necessary of the performance of essential activities, essential businesses, essential infrastructure, and essential government function, solid waste collection and removal, internet, and telecommunications systems, and financial.

Only businesses and organizations that are providing these necessary products or services to the public during this public health crisis will be allowed to continue to operate. All other businesses shall close, but may allow employees to work from home.

Also, all elective medical, surgical, and dental procedures are prohibited anywhere in Tarrant County. Hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental offices and other medical facilities are directed to identify procedures that are deemed "elective" by assessing which procedures can be postponed or cancelled based on patient risk considering the emergency need for redirection of resources to COVID-19 response.

Nursing Homes Order

  • The order prohibits nursing homes, retirement and long-term care facilities from allowing access to non-essential visitors unless they are providing critical medical assistance or visiting a friend or family member expected to pass away soon.

For more information, call Tarrant County's 24/7 coronavirus information hotline at 817-248-6299. Click here to visit the City of Arlington's coronavirus website. 

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