Denison council issues "stay home, stay safe" ordinance

DENISON, Tex. (KXII) - The Denison city council approved an ordinance Wednesday that encourages a Stay Home, Stay Safe Order that goes into effect 11:59 p.m. Friday.

The Stay Home, Stay Safe Order encourages limiting all non-essential activities, businesses, and travel while providing businesses the flexibility to operate in creative ways, the city said in a prepared statement.

"Denison residents are directed to stay home and avoid all public gatherings, practicing social distancing in an effort to stop the spread of the COVID-19," the statement goes on.

A city spokesperson says this order does not mean a “lockdown” is in effect.

"Trips for essential services or activities such as those to visit the grocery store, pharmacy, curbside/drive-thru dining and retail establishments, as well as outdoor activities are acceptable, as long as social distancing is practiced."

“We remain committed to leading the community through this current situation and the best way to accelerate progress is to further encourage people to stay home,” Mayor Janet Gott said in the statement. “Residents should not panic but should eliminate leaving home for non-essential reasons.”

Grayson County officials announced the first two confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Monday, both of which are located in Denison. The Grayson County Health Department is working with the families of those infected to ensure that they are appropriately quarantined and that those who have come in contact with them take the necessary precautions.

"Residents are reminded to take steps towards social distancing, limit exposure to others, and wash hands frequently," the spokesperson said. "Anyone experiencing symptoms such as fever and a cough or difficulty breathing should self-isolate immediately and call their healthcare provider for medical advice."

"Please be aware that our response to the COVID-19 outbreak may change quickly depending on the virus’ spread," the statement concluded.