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City of Denton Postpones Amending Local Order due to Governor Abbott New Executive Order for State

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City Postpones Discussion of Amending Local Order to a Future Meeting

DENTON, TX, March 31, 2020 – On Tuesday, March 31, at 2 p.m., Gov. Greg Abbott issued a new Executive Order (GA-14) relating to statewide continuity of essential services and activities during the COVID-19 disaster. The new statewide order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, April 2, and extends through Thursday, April 30, 2020. It provides, among many items, that:

  • Every person in Texas shall, except where necessary to provide or obtain Essential Services, minimize social gathering and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household;

  • Essential Services are those defined by the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and TDEM shall maintain an online list of essential services at www.tdem.texas.gov/essentialservices;

  • All Texans should follow the President’s and CDC’s hygiene guidelines;

  • All Texans should avoid eating out, but take advantage of carry out and drive-thru restaurants;

  • It does not prohibit people from accessing essential services or engaging in essential daily activities, such as going to the grocery store or gas station, providing or obtaining other essential services, visiting parks, hunting or fishing, or engaging in physical activity like jogging or bicycling, so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and to minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household;

  • People should not visit nursing homes and similar facilities; and

  • Schools shall remain temporarily closed to in-person classroom attendance and shall not recommence before May 4, 2020.

A copy of Executive Order GA-14 is found at gov.texas.gov. Anyone with questions regarding essential businesses should visit www.tdem.texas.gov/essentialservices.

Executive Order GA-14 also stated that it shall supersede any conflicting order issued by local officials in response to the COVID-19 disaster, and suspend certain sections of the Texas Government Code to ensure that local officials do not impose restrictions inconsistent with the Executive Order. In order to allow time to understand what can be done by local officials under Executive Order GA-14, City Council postponed consideration of an item at their special-called meeting today to amend the Stay-At-Home Order for the City of Denton issued by Mayor Chris Watts on March 24. Consideration of the item will be scheduled for a future meeting.

It is important for residents to know that Denton County has issued a Stay-At-Home Order effective through Tuesday, April 7, 2020, unless further modified. The County’s Stay-At-Home Order applies to all residents and businesses of the city of Denton. A copy of the order is available at dentoncounty.gov.

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Additionally, the disaster declaration adopted by City Council on March 20 by Ordinance 2020-20-740 is still in effect, including that all City of Denton utility non-payment shut-offs are suspended through April 30, 2020; up to $500,000 of funding is authorized to be spent for COVID-19 response activities; and up to $50,000 of funding is authorized to be provided to the United Way of Denton County to assist individuals and families living in the City of Denton, who have experienced income or job loss directly resulting from COVID-19, in eviction avoidance.

Visit www.cityofdenton.com/coronavirus for additional COVID-19 information, including resources for businesses and community members.

Contact: Ryan Adams, (940) 349-8565, Ryan.Adams@cityofdenton.com

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