It really comes as no surprise, and the vote was unanimous, the Wichita Falls City Council voted today to officially enact their Shelter In Place protocols.

The vote came after a lengthy special session meeting this morning and will go into effect at 11:59 p.m., 03.27.20, continuing through 1:00 p.m. 04.8.20.

According to the new protocols citizens are to stay at home for all but essential work and shopping in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 in Wichita Falls.

According to Henry Florsheim, the President and CEO of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce, here are answers to some of the more 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.

The city council has already called another meeting for next week to discuss possible amendments to the order.

The full text of the Shelter In Place Order can be found on the NewsChannel6Now website.

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