The Denton County Commissioners Court unanimously agreed Tuesday to extend the existing Executive Order and Disaster Declaration through April 7.
The order, issued by Denton County Judge Andy Eads on March 24 and ratified by the Commissioners Court in an emergency meeting on March 27, includes a Stay-At-Home mandate and the continued closure of non-essential businesses, according to a news release from the county.
The Court will review the order again during its next regular meeting on April 7.
“We have extended the stay at home mandate in Denton County today on the recommendations of our health officials and we anticipate it will continue longer,” said Denton County Judge Andy Eads. “As we try to flatten the curve of community spread, we must continue to keep residents at home and non-essential businesses closed to limit the potential for overwhelming our medical facilities.
“This is a difficult decision to make and we know it is causing hardships for our Denton County residents,” he said. “However, we must keep your health and safety uppermost in our minds as we continue to deal with COVID-19.”
Denton County Public Health officials have confirmed a total of 191 cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus and three deaths related to COVID-19 in Denton County as of Monday evening. The new executive order is effective through 11:59 p.m. on April 7, 2020. A copy of the declaration is available at dentoncounty.gov.
The order stipulates that:
- All public and private gatherings regardless of size are prohibited
- Visiting nursing homes is prohibited
- Use of public playground equipment is prohibited
- Any business not listed in the order as essential must close to the public. Residents working for a nonessential business are required to stay home and not travel to their place of employment. For specific questions about essential businesses, email [email protected].
- Essential retail does not include furniture stores
- Car dealerships showrooms should be closed. However, online sales and repair services are allowed.
- Al elective medical and dental procedures are prohibited
- Religious services only allowed by video or teleconference
- All golf courses in Denton County shall be closed
- Outdoor clubs, including shooting ranges, shall be closed
- Dine-in is not allowed at any restaurant. Take-out, curbside, drive-through and delivery services are allowed as well as businesses that ship groceries, food, goods or services directly to residents.
- A modification to the existing order outlines curbside services allowed for non-profits and non-secular organizations.
- If you have questions about the mandate, you may find answers here.
Pursuant to Texas Government Code Section 418.173, failure to comply with the order is an offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000, confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days, or both. Any other lawfully available enforcement measures may be taken including, but not limited to, revocation of a certificate of occupancy.
As the mandate is extended, county officials are also working on plans to re-open businesses across Denton County once health officials indicate that a strict stay-at-home measure is no longer necessary.
“We appreciate the extra efforts both individuals and businesses have taken and want you to know that we understand your concerns about not being able to conduct business as usual,” Eads said. “We are closely watching the trends and have started developing a plan to bring businesses back online to get the local Denton County economy back to work as soon as it is safe to do so.”