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Governor’s Order Requires Bars to Close and Other Businesses to Reduce Capacity to 50% in Denton

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Restrictions Occurring Due To High COVID-19 Hospitalization Rates in Trauma Service Area-E

DENTON, TX, Dec. 3, 2020 – Under Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32, certain businesses within Trauma Service Area-E (TSA-E), including the City of Denton, that have been operating at 75 percent capacity must reduce capacity to 50 percent. Bars that do not qualify as a restaurant under TABC rules must close. Additionally, under gubernatorial order GA-31, elective surgeries will be suspended.

Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32 went into effect on Oct. 14, 2020, and allowed for bars to open and businesses, such as retail and restaurants, to operate at 75 percent capacity in areas without high COVID-19 hospitalization rates. The Order defines high hospitalizations as seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity exceeds 15 percent within a Trauma Service Area.

Denton is located in Trauma Service Area E (TSA-E), and for the past seven days, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in TSA-E exceeded 15 percent, making it an area with high hospitalizations. A press release from Denton County on the GA-31 and GA-32 restrictions is available on their website, dentoncounty.gov.

Based on GA-32, business capacity restrictions and closures will last until the TSA has seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients is less than 15 percent.

In order to return to a region with low hospitalizations, the City of Denton would like to remind residents to stay home if they are able to and avoid larger social gatherings, especially around the holidays. When going out, residents should also wear a mask, wash hands often, and keep distance from those not in their same household. For businesses, the City has extra requirements under the Tenth Order of Council:

  • All commercial and non-profit entities providing goods or services directly to the public are required to develop and maintain a health and safety policy that:
  • Incorporates face covering and social distancing requirements of gubernatorial order GA-29;
  • Must be posted conspicuously at or near any commercial or non-profit entity in the City of Denton in clear view of any employees or members of the public entering the business.

Additionally, the Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency adopted by Council is set to expire on December 31. This order was first executed by Mayor Chris Watts on Friday, March 13. It is expected that the Council will consider an extension of this declaration at the next City Council Meeting on Thursday, Dec. 17.

More information on GA-32 may be found at: www.dshs.texas.gov/ga3031/. (Note the Texas Health and Human Services website has not yet been updated to include TSA-E in its list of counties over the 7-day threshold.) Additional information on GA-31 and other Executive Orders is available on the Texas Health and Human Services website here: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/execorders.aspx?terms=ga-31#eos.

A copy of the Order of Council and its full provisions is available online at www.cityofdenton.com. Visit www.cityofdenton.com/coronavirus for additional updates.

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