News Flash


Posted on: March 12, 2020

COVID-19 Emergency Information - Updated 04/07/2020 @ 3:00 p.m.

Tarrant County Coronavirus Hotline:  817-248-6299

Information for Individuals

Information for Businesses & Employers


Updated 04/04/2020 @ 5:30 p.m.

Tarrant County Judge B. Glen Whitley has issued an update to the Executive Order Declaring a Local Disaster due to a Public Health Emergency.  The update shall take effect on April 4, 2020 and shall remain in effect until April 30, 2020 unless suspended.

Updated 04/03/2020 @ 3:00 p.m.

Mayor Miner provides an update regarding COVID-19 in Watauga.

Mayor Message 2

In a letter to the Mayor and City Manager,  Atmos Energy has indicated that they understand that the coronavirus outbreak may cause some customers to experience financial difficulty, whether because of illness, quarantine or a disruption at work.  Atmos Energy has temporarily suspended natural gas disconnections.  

Updated 04/03/2020 @ 11:30 a.m.

Governor Greg Abbott has announced the Comfort Food Care Package (CFCP) program to provide meals for at-risk youth and families in communities across Texas as the state responds to COVID-19.  Participating restaurants offer CFCPs for patrons to purchase on behalf of families and youth in need.  Each care package contains enough food to feed a family of 5 to 6 and will be delivered to recipients’ homes.  The program is a partnership between the Governor’s Public Safety Office, the Texas network of Family and Youth Success Programs (formerly called Services to At-Risk Youth), Favor Delivery and the Texas Restaurant Association.

Updated 04/02/2020 @ 5:00 p.m.

Update Regarding Trinity Metro Service

Reduced Seating Capacity

We are working tirelessly to safeguard the health and well-being of our customers and employees and to reduce the risks of COVID-19 exposure. Trinity Metro services are indispensable for many Tarrant County residents who rely on our services to access health care and food, as well as for transportation to get to their essential jobs.

What You Need to Know

Trinity Metro will continue to operate on a modified service schedule through Friday, May 1, and rides on Trinity Metro buses, ACCESS paratransit and TEXRail will continue to be free to reduce the risks of COVID-19 exposure.

Modified Schedule

Reduced Seating Capacity

Starting as early as today, you will see blocked seats on board select Trinity Metro buses and TEXRail. To help with social distancing, we are reducing seating capacity to 35 percent. We are also adding more buses to the routes with higher ridership at peak times so no passenger is left behind. When you are riding, please refrain from using the seats with the sign shown to the left and help us reduce the risks of COVID-19 exposure.

Social Distancing on Board

Updated 03/31/2020 @ 3:00 p.m.

Governor Greg Abbot has issued Executive Order No. GA-14 relating to statewide continuity of essential services and activities during the COVID-19 disaster.  The order shall go into effect starting April 2, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and shall remain in effect through April 30, 2020 unless extended.  The order requires that every person in Texas shall, except where necessary to provide or obtain essential services, minimize social gatherings and minimize in-person contact with people who not in the same household.  Citizens should review the complete order for details.

COVID19 Do This Not That

Updated 03/26/2020 @ 3:30 p.m.

Tarrant County has confirmed a second positive case of COVID-19 within Watauga.  The case is linked to travel.  This brings the total positive cases in Tarrant County to 100, with 96 cases still active, 1 death and 3 recovered.

Updated 03/26/2020 @ 9:00 a.m.

Update Regarding Trinity Metro Services

Trinity Metro Services essential to many Tarrant County residents who rely on Trinity Metro to access health care, food and medicine. This includes many first responders, healthcare professionals and essential workers who use our services daily to get to their jobs. Our top priority is to help safeguard our customers and employees while we continue to meet the mobility needs in Tarrant County. To reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure, we have enhanced our cleaning regimen and have implemented temporary service adjustments. Click here to view schedule.

Social Distancing on Board

To assist with social distancing, Trinity Metro is asking customers to board and exit all buses through the rear door. Passengers who use wheelchairs will board at the front to access the ramp. To help minimize the amount of contact between operators and customers as well as conductors and riders, we are offering free rides on all Trinity Metro buses, ACCESS paratransit and TEXRail. When on board, please observe the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended social distancing of 6 feet from other passengers at this time.

Trinity Metro customers, partners and employees are reminded to protect their health and the health of others by practicing the following recommended precautions:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important before eating, after going to the bathroom, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • For more information on symptoms and prevention, please visit the CDC’s website.

For questions regarding Trinity Metro’s precautionary measures in response to COVID-19 or Trinity Metro’s services, please contact our customer care department at 817.215.8600.

Updated 03/25/2020 @ 3:00 p.m.

Mayor Miner offers additional information regarding COVID-19 in this new video message.  Included is information regarding how the City is responding in coordination with County and State officials, the City’s Emergency Declaration, the County’s Stay at Home Order, what you can do to "Stop the Spread," and ways you can help support businesses and each other.

COVID Message Youtube

Updated 03/24/2020 @ 12:00 p.m.

Tarrant County has issued an Executive Order of the County Judge, B. Glen Whitley, imposing a shelter in place requirement for all persons currently residing within the incorporated and unincorporated territory of Tarrant County except as allowed for essential travel, to work in essential businesses, government service or essential critical infrastructure, or to perform minimum basic operations as defined.  The order shall take effect at 11:59 p.m. on March 24, 2020 and shall remain in effect until April 7, 2020 unless terminated or modified by a subsequent order.

Updated 03/21/2020 @ 7:30 p.m.

Tarrant County has issued a 2nd amendment to its original Declaration of a Local Disaster due to the Public Health Emergency.  The amendment, which took effect at 6:00 p.m. on March 21, 2020 contains additional restrictions/closures of Event Centers, Hotel Meeting Spaces and Ballrooms, Retail Stores, Convenience Stores, Plazas, Places of Worship, Malls and other venues and limits the number of gatherings to 10 people

Updated 03/19/2020 @ 4:30 p.m.

Pursuant to his powers as Governor of the State of Texas, Greg Abbot has issued Executive Order No. GA-08 relating to COVID-19 preparedness and mitigation.

Commissioner of the Department of State Health Services, John W. Hellerstedt, M.D. has issued a Declaration of a Public Heath Disaster within the State of Texas.

Updated 03/19/2020 @ 4:00 p.m.:

The Tarrant County Health Department has notified Watauga officials that there has been a confirmed positive case of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) with the City.  This is the only case in Watauga currently.  At this time, the City does not have any other active cases, or any other individuals being monitored.

The Mayor of Watauga, Art Miner, has already declared a local State of Emergency.  The City continues to actively enforce the Tarrant County Declaration of Disaster and all amendments. Public Safety departments have implemented proactive measures to respond to calls for service to protect both citizens and personnel.  Public Safety personnel have personal protective gear available to respond to calls.  City facilities remain closed.  All City business should continue to be conducted through online services, email, or telephone.  Staff is here to assist residents and businesses.

Updated 03/19/2020 @ 6:30a.m.:

Tarrant County has issued an amendment to its original Declaration of a Local Disaster due to the Public Health Emergency.  The amendment, which took effect at 12:01 a.m. March 19, 2020 contains additional restrictions on Event Centers, Hotel Meeting Spaces and Ballrooms, Retail Stores, Convenience Stores, Plazas, Places of Worship, Malls and other venues.

Updated 03/18/2020 @ 10:00a.m.:

The City of Watauga Mayor, Arthur L. Miner, has declared a Local State of Disaster for the City of Watauga effective March 17, 2020. This declaration is made in accordance with Texas Local Government Code Sec. 418.108 and is made in coordination with other efforts at the State and Federal level and is required to address the growing health threat of the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

Proclamation Declaring A Local Disaster

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has designated COVID-19 as a qualifying event for the provision of Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for businesses and private non-profits in affected communities. Texas is currently working with SBA to qualify for this declaration. 

Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and some private nonprofit organizations that have suffered substantial economic injury due to COVID-19 may be eligible for an EIDL of up to $2 million, which will provide the necessary working capital to help businesses survive until normal operations resume after a disaster. EIDL assistance will only be available to small businesses when the SBA determines they are unable to obtain credit elsewhere. 

SBA Loan Information

Updated 03/17/2020 @ 5:00p.m.:

PD YoutubeUpdated Police Department Procedures:  In light of the evolving situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), effective immediately, patrol officers, Code Enforcement and Animal Services will be responding by phone for non-emergency situations which can be possibly resolved over the phone.  Upon calling the non-emergency number, 817.514.5897, an officer will speak with you, take a report, and/or provide you with additional resources – the same as they would in-person.

The Watauga Police Department has been closely monitoring the evolving situation regarding COVID-19, and we recognize that social distancing is strongly recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent the spread of this virus.  This new protocol will limit the risk of exposure from coming into direct contact with residents or entering resident’s homes.  Our goal is to proactively protect both our residents and our officers from potentially exposing each other.  However, an officer might still be dispatched to your location depending on the circumstances.

As always, if you have an emergency, please do not hesitate to call 911.  Our officers will continue to respond in-person for emergency situations, including the following (this is not an all-inclusive list):

  • Assaults
  • Domestic Disturbances
  • In progress thefts, burglaries and robberies or situations that just occurred
  • Major accidents with road blockage or injuries
  • Missing persons
  • Fights in progress
  • Injury to child/elderly/disabled
  • Intoxicated drivers or people
  • Welfare concerns
  • Any in-progress calls that have a potential risk of life or safety

Thank you in advance for helping us through this temporary response protocol.  We appreciate the public’s understanding of our need to limit face-to-face contacts at this time for the benefit of all.

Updated 03/17/2020 @ 1:30p.m.:

Although the Watauga Animal Shelter remains closed to the public and will continue to not accept animal surrenders or walk-in traffic, the staff will accept appointments for those already in the process of adopting, or for those serious about an adoption.  To make an appointment, please contact the Animal Services Center at 817.656.9614.  You may be required to answer a few screen questions.  This is to protect both you and the staff of the shelter.

Updated 03/16/2020 @ 3:30p.m.:

Additional closures and cancellation information continues to become available.  As of 3:30p.m. the Lobby of the Police Station and the Animal Services facility will be closed to the public until further notice.  

The Records division will continue to accept and process Public Information Requests via electronic means or mail.

The Animal Services division will continue to answer calls but will not accept animal surrenders or walk in traffic.

Playgrounds in all City Parks are closed to the public.  The playground equipment could be infectious to others.  Also, the CDC currently recommends that individuals avoid congregating in groups larger than 10 persons.

Updated 03/16/2020 @ 11:30a.m.:

The City of Watauga has made the decision to close both City Hall and the Water Tower to the public effective today at 12:00-noon due to COVID-19.  This closure shall be in effect until further notice.  Please continue to use alternative methods of contact with City personnel including the use of the City’s online payment portal and contact via phone or email

Updated 03/13/2020 @4:30p.m.:

The health and well-being of our citizens, employees and the community is a top priority for the City of Watauga.  We understand the concern and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are committed to being responsive to the needs of the community as the situation evolves.

In coordination with Tarrant County Health Services and in response to the declarations of a State of Emergency by the County, State of Texas and the President of the United States, the City of Watauga is following recommendations to minimize the potential for spread of the COVID-19 virus.  Included in these recommendations are the closures of the Hector F. Garcia Community Center and the Library to the public as well as the cancellation of Watauga sponsored events for the next 2 weeks, effective immediately.

City offices will remain open at this time, however, City Administration strongly recommends that citizens utilize alternative methods of contact with staff including the use of the City’s online payment portal and contact via phone or email.  Please remember that the City is expecting heavier than normal call volume, so the wait times may be longer than usual. 

We strongly encourage you to use the City’s digital applications.  You can access updates on the City’s website. 

If you haven’t registered for emergency updates through the City’s Civic Ready application, you are encouraged to do so. The Civic Ready notification tool will be utilized to provide emergency updates. All other updates may be found on the City’s website and the City’s Facebook page.

With the health and safety of our citizens in mind, the City would like you to know:

  • All City facilities are cleaned and sanitized daily as part of our normal business operations. In light of COVID-19, we have increased the extent of daily cleanings and taking steps to ensure all City buildings have ample hygiene and sanitation supplies available.
  • City facilities have hand sanitizer in place at varying locations throughout the buildings, and we encourage our employees and the public to utilize sanitizer to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
  • Consistent with the CDC, we encourage all citizens and employees to follow appropriate preventive actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases. Please stay home if you aren’t feeling well or believe you may be at risk.

The City will continue to keep the public updated and appreciate the cooperation of all concerned.

More information regarding the COVID-19 disease is available from:

Tarrant County Public Health

Texas Department of State Health Services

The following is a partial list of programs that have been cancelled:

  • The 2020 State of the City Event
  • All Library events through March 27, 2020
  • All Recreation and Community Services events through March 27, 2020 including the Donut Dash, Pickleball Clinic and the Paws in the Park Event
  • The Animal Services Microchip Event and Vaccination Clinic

Additional Info...