Denton County’s Stay-At-Home mandate now in effect

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Denton County Judge Andy Eads signs a Stay-At-Home order on March 24 (photo courtesy of Denton County).

Denton County’s Stay-At-Home order is now in effect in the most restrictive effort yet to slow the spread of the coronavirus locally.

Denton County Judge Andy Eads announced the order earlier this week. It went into effect at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday and will last for seven days, unless extended by the Denton County Commissioners Court. The biggest difference between this order and previous executive orders in the county is that now, all public or private gatherings of any number of people — outside of one household — are prohibited. Before, gatherings of 10 people or fewer were permitted.

The Stay-At-Home order means residents may only leave their homes for essential activities, which include:

  • Going to work at an essential business
  • Obtaining necessary services or supplies for yourself or others
  • Engage in outdoor activity — such as walking, biking, running, hiking, etc. — as long as you stay six feet away from people who are not members of your household. The use of playgrounds is prohibited.
  • Caring for a family member or pet in another household

Essential businesses include healthcare operations, government functions, some education functions (such as providing meals for students, supporting at-home learning, etc.), critical infrastructure, foodservice, household retail providers, providers of basic necessities to the needy, trash and recycling collection, mail and shipping services, news media and childcare services. Click here for the full list of examples from each category. Non-essential businesses should either have employees work from home or close their doors during the mandate.

Restaurants may continue to serve food via delivery, pickup or drive-thru. Religious services may be provided via video or teleconference. All elective medical, surgical and dental procedures are prohibited.

If you are unsure if your work qualifies as an essential business, email your questions to [email protected], and someone with the county will respond to you promptly.

Police officers are authorized to enforce the order. A violation is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or 180 days in jail.

There have been 70 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Denton County, as of Wednesday, and more than 400 in North Texas.

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About The Author

Mark Smith

Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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