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Updated 'Houses of Worship' Guidance for Fort Worth

Posted April 24, 2020

The City of Fort Worth has revised its Stay Home – Work Safe Declaration in regard to Houses of Worship during the COVID-19 crisis. The revision updates the Declaration to reflect the Governor’s Order (GA-16) signed by Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday, April 17 and the Revised Guidelines for Houses of Worship During the COVID-19 Crisis issued jointly by the Governor and the Attorney General on April 21.

By executive order, the Governor has defined essential services to include “religious services conducted in churches, congregations and houses of worship.” While local governments may not order houses of worship to close, religious services, regardless of religion, conducted in churches, congregations or other houses of worship should be conducted in accordance with the Revised Guidelines for Houses of Worship During the COVID-19 Crisis. These measures include:

  • Instruct sick employees, volunteers and guests to stay home;
  • Practice social distancing by maintaining appropriate distance between people;
  • Maintain good hygiene by washing your hands frequently, using hand sanitizer, using your elbow to cover coughs and not touching your face;
  • Implement environmental cleanliness and sanitization practices; and
  • Clean and disinfect work areas frequently.

“While the City’s order has been updated to comply with the governor’s latest order, it is important to remember that Fort Worth is still seeing substantial community spread of the virus,” said Mayor Betsy Price. “As such, we are continuing to encourage places of worship to hold services remotely when possible. I am proud of Fort Worth’s vibrant faith community, and I am confident that our faith leaders will do what is right for their respective congregations.”

If houses of worship are unable to meet remotely, they are strongly encouraged to consider implementing the suggested practices outlined in the Revised Guidelines for Houses of Worship During the COVID-19 Crisis. This document includes suggestions on family unit seating, the use of gloves and masks, and potential “senior services.”

Based on the level of substantial community spread of the virus, as determined by the Tarrant County Public Health Department, the City is strongly recommending that all religious services continue to be provided remotely, including outdoor drive-up services where individuals remain in their vehicles.

For more information about COVID-19 and the actions being taken by the City of Fort Worth please visit fortworthtexas.gov/COVID-19. For questions please call the public hotline at 817-392-8478.

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