North Texas Daily

Denton County announces state of disaster, holds press conference

Denton County announces state of disaster, holds press conference

Denton County announces state of disaster, holds press conference
March 13
18:16 2020

Denton County officials announced Friday afternoon that a local state of disaster was to be enacted and followed the announcement up with a public press conference.

Denton County Judge Andy Eads led the press conference with the official statement on the state of disaster.

“Today’s measure is a proactive response in mitigation action,” Eads said.

The state of disaster included seven declarations:

  1. “A local state of disaster is hereby declared for Denton County.”
  2. “The state of disaster shall continue for a period of not more than seven days from the date of this declaration unless continued or renewed by the Denton County Commissioners Court.”
  3. “This declaration of a local state of disaster shall be given prompt and general publicity and shall be filed promptly with the county clerk.”
  4. “This declaration of a local state of disaster activates the Denton County Emergency Operations Plan.”
  5. “This declaration shall take place immediately from and after its issuance.”
  6. “Recommendations to reduce the spread of infections such as coronavirus (COVID-19) include: avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home when you are sick, cover your mouth and nose to reduce the spread of germs, wash your hands thoroughly and often, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.”
  7. “Recommend the postponement or cancellation of all large gatherings over 250 people.”

Eads began the conference by stressing that Denton County has zero confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) but is taking proactive steps due to local cases.

“[The tipping point] is because there is community spread here in the metroplex,” Eads said. “Because of our close adjacency to Dallas, [which is] experiencing this, we believe this is the most prudent measure to take because we realize that so many of our residents may live here in Denton County but might travel or work in Dallas County.”

Denton County Health Director Matt Richardson was present at the press conference and spoke to the testing protocol that the county is currently enacting.

“We have coordinated several tests over the last 6-8 weeks,” Richardson said. “We don’t disclose those testing numbers because those change every day. The important thing to remember is that we have zero positive cases but testing is ongoing in public health laboratories.”

Denton County officials were unaware of any private laboratories running tests for COVID-19 but would be alerted if such tests came back positive, according to Richardson.

Eads recommended that all houses of worship hold services through Skype and other “online presences.” The declaration closed with a focus on the available resources.

“Denton County provides vital local services 24/7, 365, and our essential county functions will continue,” Eads said. “Our next steps will be focused on balanced continuity of service and safety of all Denton County residents.”

Eads also touched on grocery store runs with consumers purchasing large quantities of household items.

“In light of recent shortages in consumables, such as hand sanitizer and other household necessities, I am asking that our Denton County citizens be thoughtful and generous in their consumption activities,” Eads said. “Individuals and groups must apply common sense social distancing measures. As a result, I am asking that we be thoughtful and considerate in our interactions with others, especially with citizens who are immune-compromised or at a high risk.”

For more coronavirus information, visit the North Texas Daily’s coronavirus page, found here.

Courtesy Facebook

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Zachary Cottam

Zachary Cottam

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