Following both the federal government, state of Texas and Tarrant County direction, Burleson Mayor Ken Shetter has issued amendments to the state of disaster declaration for the city of Burleson that was originally enacted on Saturday. The amendments took effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.
• Limiting the size of gatherings to no more than 50 people and mandating the cancellation of all such gatherings of more than 50 people until further notice. Does not include gatherings of people in multiple, separate enclosed spaces (including separate cubicles) in a single building such as different floors of a multi-level office, residential building, or hotel, so long as 50 people are not present in any single space at the same time. Also, does not prohibit the use of enclosed spaces where more than people may be present at different times during the day, so long as more than 50 people are not present in the space at the same time.
• Restaurants with or without drive-in or drive-through services; drive-in restaurant; drive-through restaurant; or microbrewery, micro-distillery, or winery may only provide take out, delivery, or drive-in or drive-through services as allowed by law.
• Closure of a bars, lounges or taverns; commercial amusement; theaters; gyms; and private clubs.
• Limiting the occupancy of the following locations to 50% occupancy as set forth on the business’ certificate(s) of occupancy or 125 individuals, whichever is less:
a. Event centers
b. Hotel meeting spaces and ballrooms
c. Retail stores
d. Convenience stores
f. Places of worship
g. Malls (the occupancy of a mall is limited as follows: (i) common areas in a mall to 50% occupancy as set forth in the business’s certificate(s) of occupancy or 125 individuals, whichever is less, and (ii) individual Retail Stores within a mall to 50% occupancy as set forth in the business’s certificate(s) of occupancy or 125, whichever is less).
This 50% occupancy limit does not apply to areas not listed above, including office buildings, government buildings, critical infrastructure such as airport and transit facilities, residential buildings, grocery stores, manufacturing locations, non-profit
service providers, airports, homeless and emergency shelters, day cares, and medical facilities.
The city of Burleson strongly recommends the following:
• Cancel all nonessential gatherings and meetings of less than 50 people.
• Create smaller groups for essential meetings, and consider holding video/audio meetings instead.
• For individuals at increased risk of severe illness, cancel gatherings of more than 10 people, and limit nonessential outings. “Individuals at increased risk of severe illness” includes but is not limited to individuals 60 years and older; with compromised immune systems; with medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or disorders, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or other lung conditions.
• For operators of public spaces, provide ways for patrons to maintain safe social distancing, for example, maintaining six feet of separation between individuals; have hand washing capabilities, hand sanitizers and tissues available; and frequently cleaning high touch surface areas like counter tops, hand rails, and door knobs.
• For workplaces, promote telecommuting; ensure employees do not work while sick; do not require a doctor’s note for employees who are sick; maximize flexibility in sick leave benefits; and minimize the number of employees working within arm’s length of one another.
• For grocery stores and pharmacies, increase the use and capability of drive-thru, curbside, or delivery services; limit or restrict the number of customers permitted in a store at one time; minimize the number of employees working within arm’s length of one another; provide handwashing capabilities, hand sanitizers, and tissues; and frequently clean high-touch surface areas like countertops, doorknobs, and handrails.
• Determine ways to consider providing support services, including meals, to individuals at increased risk of severe illness while limiting group settings and exposures.
• Minimize all nonessential travel.
City of Burleson facility closures and adjustments
• Burleson Senior Activity: CLOSED until Monday, April 6. City staff is working with area volunteers to meet the needs of seniors who rely on the center for meals.
• Burleson Recreation Center (BRiCK): CLOSED until at least March 31. Please check Burleson Recreation Center’s Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/BurlesonRecreationCenter/ for more information.
• Burleson Public Library: INDOORS CLOSED until at least March 31; limited services available. Limited material pick-up services will remain available at the Library. Please check Burleson Public Library’s Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Burlesonlibrarytx/ for information about curbside pickup.
• Russell Farm Art Center: all events, classes, and programs will be postponed or canceled until Monday, April 6. Please check Russell Farm Art Center’s Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/RussellFarmArtCenter/ for information about particular classes or programs. If you have a reservation at the facility, please contact the facility to inquire about your reservation.
• Burleson Municipal Court: all March court dockets will be moved to no earlier than April 7. The municipal court will still remain open to take payments during regular business hours.
• Community Room at PD: CLOSED. All community meetings in the police department’s community room will be canceled until at least April 5.
• Burleson City Hall: OPEN. Where feasible, we encourage members of the public to conduct business with city staff through phone calls and emails rather than in person. As a reminder, utility bill payments may be made by bank draft or credit card through an online portal. There is also a payment drop-box available in the parking lot on the east side of the building. Please call, 817-426-9600, if you have any questions.
• City parks and trails: OPEN. Restrooms will be cleaned regularly. Participants are encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after using park equipment. We have dozens of trails that are available and encourage residents to get out and use them.
• City meetings: Meetings of the Burleson City Council will continue, but public hearings will be limited or canceled for the upcoming council meetings. City boards and commissions will be discontinued until further notice. Meetings can be watched live online at www.burlesontx.com/watchlive
City events that will be canceled or postponed include:
Check back at www.burlesontx.com/events at a later date to see if the event will be rescheduled.
The goal of our actions is to mitigate the spread of the disease as much as possible. The city is aware that this situation is very fluid and could change at any given time. We will continue to monitor and evaluate if additional changes are needed. You can stay up-to-date with information at www.burlesontx.com/coronavirus
What the city is doing to assist small businesses
In the midst of a global pandemic, our community is in uncharted territory, gauging the full societal and economic impacts of COVID-19. The city of Burleson is committed to work with all of our community partners and local businesses to help provide as much assistance as possible in this trying time. Elected officials have formed a “Local Business Coalition” to spearhead some grassroots efforts to help support these businesses quickly.
In addition to Mayor Ken Shetter’s request to the state in relaxing the restrictions on local use of sales tax expenditures in order to use those funds directly toward job retention, this group is finalizing a platform to allow consumers to purchase gift cards from local businesses. This website will roll out to the public as early as March 19. The website will be a central point and will transfer gift cards purchased directly to the merchant without any fees. The city will continue to broaden these initiatives and develop more avenues as more needs arise.
The city has also compiled resources for small businesses in regards to funding and loans, which can be accessed through a link at www.burlesontx.com/coronavirus
Gift cards for local businesses
Our community is in uncharted territory when trying to gauge the full economic impacts of the coronavirus. The city of Burleson is committed to work with all of our community partners and local businesses to help provide as much assistance as possible in this trying time
The public can help support local businesses by purchasing electronic gift certificates from these businesses at www.btxgiftcards.com
The public’s generosity and support of our local businesses will not only directly help the employees at these locations, but also indirectly help our local economy continue until this event has passed
Consider the amount that you and your family spend at local businesses and the drastic reduction in those numbers with the recommendations of social distancing and mandated closures. Without financial support now, some businesses will not be able to reopen when this threat subsides.
Whether you choose to use the gift cards now for to-go/curbside, after the threat has passed, as a gift in the future, or choose to not to use at all as a donation, our local businesses need our community’s support now more than ever.
Retail and Food spending make up 60% percent of the city’s entire spending, the ripple effect of this financial impact will be unprecedented. By purchasing gift cards now, we can help lessen this impact.
More than 3,500 employees work in the food service industry alone in the city limits.
What the city is doing to assist individuals in need
The city has compiled a list of resources for our residents that range from food needs to child support issues to companies that are hiring. The information is provided through a link at www.burlesontx.com/coronavirus
What the city is doing to assist COVID-19 questions or concerns
The city has a hotline set up to answer questions related to COVID-19. You can call 682-312-2780 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. This hotline will only be able to answer questions in regards to the city of Burleson’s response, we will not be able to inform you on other cities, states, counties, ISD’s, private businesses, utility, cable, phone companies are doing for their response to COVID-19. We will also not be able to give you medical advice.
COVID-19 medical concerns
Texas Health Resources Coronavirus Hotline allows you to speak to a nurse 24/7 and is available at 682-236-7601.
If you do not have a doctor, call 877-THR-WELL (877-847-9355)
You can also get more information from the COVID-19 Health Related Questions/Concerns link at www.burlesontx.com/coronavirus.