DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) - Denton County Judge Andy Eads announced a stay at home order for the county going into effect at midnight.
"Sometimes you have to decide between two bad choices, and I am choosing on the side of saving lives," said Eads.
The "stay at home" order means that residents will only be allowed to leave their homes for "essential" means, which can include grocery shopping, seeking medical attention or going to jobs that are still open.
Denton Mayor Chris Watts made an impassioned plea to the community, saying, "The flattening of the curve, us returning to normal behaviors and normal life, is going to depend on all of us doing what is right. It's going to depend on us staying in our homes and only going out when it's essential. That's why we made sure that the essential businesses stayed open, so that we could have what we need, so that we can continue to stay in our homes as much as possible because if we do not do that, then that's only going prolong this environment."
He continued, "It's going to prolong the hurt. It's going prolong the pain and sickness. Quite honestly, it's going to prolong the death of the community."
There were six more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Denton County this week, increasing the countywide total to 36 cases.
Collin County Judge Chris Hill also ordered residents to "stay at home" due to the continuing outbreak of coronavirus.
Anyone having COVID-19 symptoms was ordered to stay home for at least 14 days unless they are leaving to get medical treatment. The 14-day period starts on the first day symptoms started appearing. Those with symptoms are also being told to stay at home for at least 72 hours without the use of medicine after those symptoms have improved.
Hill's order is an extension of a disaster declaration that was already in effect for Collin County.
Dallas, Denton, Hunt, Tarrant and Rockwall counties have all issued "stay at home" orders.
for more features.