Update: 3.31.20 City Council Meeting:
The City Council just voted on these changes to their shelter-in-place plan. Some of the changes were made to match the County’s declaration, and some of them are specific to the city.
To Match the County
- Grass, plants, flowers, and trees may now be purchased from retailers and nurseries. Such purchases must be done over the phone or online, and orders must be delivered from the retail location to the purchaser’s home.
- All real estate transactions, including new listings and, contracts are allowed. Business must be conducted virtually. No real estate business may take place in person.
- Golf courses may open, with very strict guidelines. One person per cart. Pro shops, driving ranges and putting greens will close. Golfers must remain 50 feet away from one another. Rakes and pins/flags will be removed from the course.
Specific to City:
- Food and retail stores must enforce a six-foot spacing between customers in lines both outside and inside the facility. Each store must limit the number of customers to 50% of their total allowed occupancy, and must also develop a written plan to implement these rules.
- Automatic car washes may open. No car wash or detail service that requires an individual to physically touch a vehicle or the cleaning equipment to clean or dry it is allowed.
The City Council just voted to implement shelter-in-place rules for the City of Wichita Falls. These rules take effect at 11:59 tonight, and will last until 1:00 PM on April 8 – unless they amend it before then. The City has already called another meeting for next week, where they’ll be able to discuss possible amendments to this order. During this time, only those businesses deemed essential in the order may operate; in addition, travel around town will be limited to those taking care of essential business. Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions:
- Grocery stores and pharmacies will be open.
- Restaurants can still serve food to-go.
- Outdoor exercise is allowed, so long as the participants do not gather closely together. You cannot use public park equipment like playgrounds, picnic tables and workout stations.
- Manufacturing and construction are allowed.
- Essential trades such as plumbing, sanitation and electrical are allowed.
- Home-based businesses can operate, so long as you can function 100% from home. You may also travel to acquire supplies to run your business from home.
- You can leave home to take care of a family member, friend or pet.
- Taxi, Uber and other transportation services are allowed, so long as the passenger is traveling for an essential purpose.
- Mail and delivery services can operate.
- Lawn services can operate, but are limited to removal of grass, weeds and emergency removal of trees. Landscaping work is not allowed.
- Car dealers may open, but only for the purposes of auto sales related to an essential function or business. Such transactions must be handled by appointment only.
- Real estate business for existing contracts may take place. New listings and showings are prohibited.
- Childcare services may remain open, with very strict guidelines.
- Liquor stores may remain open.
- Grass, flowers and other plants for decorative purposes cannot be sold. Fruits and vegetables for agricultural purposes may be sold.
This order specifically applies to companies, residents and activities within the city limits of Wichita Falls. Wichita County may take up similar action sometime in the future, but they have not done so at this point. Obviously, my list does not cover every scenario and business type. You can read the language from the meeting packet here.
If you have specific questions, send them to me and I’ll try to get you an answer. We’re not experts, but we’re working to make sure you get the right answers. So hang tight, share this with anyone who’s interested, and stay in touch.