As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Denton County climbed to 30 Sunday, health officials announced new restrictions to help slow the spread of the virus.
The restrictions, which go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday, include the limiting of all gatherings to 10 people or fewer, closes to the public bars, commercial amusement establishments, theaters, gyms and other businesses that do not sell essential household items.
“Today, we are taking further stringent steps to reduce the risk of infection across Denton County as part of a regional approach to reducing the spread of COVID-19,” Denton County Judge Andy Eads said. “However, we cannot ask our businesses to bear the brunt of these actions and not do our own part. It is incumbent upon all of us to stay at home, if possible, and take common sense steps to limit our interactions with others outside of our respective homes."
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The order allows restaurants to continue operating drive-thru, takeout and delivery services and keeps grocery stores, package stores, drug stores, nonprofits, shelters and other essential services open.
The order will be in effect until March 30 unless either rescinded or amended before that date.
“We acknowledge this is a dilemma, and that everything done prior to a pandemic will appear like an overreaction and alarmist," Eads said. "Everything done after will seem inadequate."
The order came after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott opted not to order a statewide "shelter in place" mandate, instead leaving it up to counties to decide how to fight the new coronavirus.
Earlier Sunday, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued a "shelter in place" order.