Eads: Safely support your local businesses

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Denton County Judge and Flower Mound resident Andy Eads. (Photo by Helen’s Photography)

We are glad that a number of our local businesses are beginning to reopen amid what has become a tough season for many economically.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to Open Texas outlines steps for many of our retail establishments to open safely, providing specific guidelines to ensure employees as well as customers remain protected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As our Denton County Health Director Dr. Matt Richardson often reminds us, the virus is not gone. It is still very contagious and has the potential to infect many additional individuals if we are not careful.

As Texans, we are naturally an independent sort and proudly so. However, we can remain independent and cautious simultaneously. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control recommend wearing face coverings if you are out shopping or serve as an employee in any retail operation. The idea is to protect each other from sharing the virus, which is highly infectious even before symptoms occur.

Practicing social distancing is also key. Stay 6 feet or more away from anyone wherever you go and follow the guidelines each business puts into place to help keep both you and their employees safe.

Our careful steps today will enable more businesses to open if our state does not see a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases. It will also allow our businesses to operate at 50 percent capacity instead of the current 25 percent capacity allowed under state rules.

I know that I speak for the entire Commissioners Court in saying that we want to see our economy back to its thriving state before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

It was an extremely tough decision to close businesses in the first place, one not undertaken lightly in the hope of flattening the curve enough that our hospitals were not overburdened to the point of not being able to handle an influx of patients. Your willingness to abide by the stay-at-home mandate truly made a difference in Denton County. Your actions helped save lives and, for that, you should be proud.

As you helped to support the take-out and delivery services offered by our local restaurants, I am asking you to support our retail businesses. If they offer online purchasing, please buy something. If you are symptom-free and take precautions, stop by our local businesses and shop.

Just as we have supported each other in the past, we should support each other now. The Denton County Commissioners Court is also doing its part to support our local businesses. Whenever we can, we purchase locally.

We know many of our residents are hurting in terms of lost income. For this reason, the Denton County Commissioners Court donated $735,000 to the United Way of Denton County to assist our local non-profits in providing rental relief, supplemental food supplies and other assistance. As need continues, we likely will do more.

Our hope is that one day, in the not too distant future, we will look back on this pandemic as a time when we all came together as one in Denton County, supporting and caring for each other. We are fortunate to be in a county filled with individuals willing to go the extra mile to make sure we successfully reach the other side.

Together, we are #DentonCountyStrong!

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If you have any questions or comments, please let me hear from you. My email is [email protected], and my office number is 940-349-2820. For more information, register for my newsletter at https://dentoncounty.gov/Departments/Commissioners/County-Judge/Subscribe.

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