Denton County strongly recommends but will not require face masks

Mother puts mask on boy
Countywide mask ordinances have taken center stage in North Texas' fight against coronavirus, but Denton County commissioners said they have no plans to join Dallas and Tarrant counties in requiring face masks. (Courtesy Canva)

Countywide mask ordinances have taken center stage in North Texas' fight against coronavirus, but Denton County commissioners said they have no plans to join Dallas and Tarrant counties in requiring face masks. (Courtesy Canva)

Face masks were a hot topic among Denton County commissioners during their weekly meeting June 30 as the number of coronavirus cases in the county and across the state continues to increase.

County Judge Andy Eads and the four commissioners pleaded for constituents to wear coverings around their mouths and noses, but they decided not to go as far as declaring an official order. It is their view, they said, that such an ordinance would be unenforceable with the laws at their disposal and without dependence on local police for enforcement.

“Even without mandates, [mask usage] has increased and will continue to increase as we—as the county—kick off a campaign either this afternoon or tomorrow that will be increasing awareness,” Eads said.

The city of Denton, the county seat, issued its own mask ordinance last week requiring all employees and visitors in businesses and nonprofits to wear a mask at all times. Dallas and Tarrant counties issued similar countywide ordinances last week, though leaders in Colleyville issued a statement that they would not enforce the Tarrant County order; the city has not yet faced reprimand.

McKinney in Collin County became the latest municipality to adopt a mask order June 29.


Lewisville, Flower Mound, Highland Village and Frisco do not currently have mask policies.

“With the most emphasis, we should encourage people to cooperate with the mandates of public health," Commissioner Hugh Coleman said. "But knowing the county, at this point, has very little authority or teeth to be able to enforce it, I think that’s the best position we can take. We have to be realistic about our ability. ... People are asking us to do something we don’t have the ability to do.”

The discussion came minutes after Dr. Matt Richardson, the county health director, presented the latest coronavirus data within the county. The number of new positive cases in the county jumped from 395 the week of June 14-20 to 517 for the week ending June 27, he said.

Richardson said several hundred more tests were conducted in the past week than the preceding week. Positive results among all patients tested jumped from 9.3% to 11.6% in that same time frame, he said.

As of June 30, Denton County had 2,845 total positive cases with 37 deaths and 1,153 recoveries. There were an estimated 1,655 active cases as of that day.

Still, county officials said they believe that the most effective solutions will come from cities due to their smaller size and more robust enforcement abilities.

“We have to treat people the way we want to be treated,” Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell said. “I personally wear my mask every day, sometimes in my office if I have a visitor, and I wear it when I go around the community. I would recommend people wear masks, but I cannot require you wear one because of your own personal liberties. If we decide we’re going to do a mandate for masks, then we’re going to have all the exclusions, and we’re right back to where we began. ... Protect yourself, and in doing that, you’ll protect others.”
By


MOST RECENT

Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced in a June 30 State Board of Education meeting that students will be taking the STAAR in the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Pixabay)
Education organizations call for STAAR requirements to be waived another year

Gov. Greg Abbott waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, testing requirements in March of earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Denton County Public Health has reported 113 new positive cases of novel coronavirus and one death in the county in the past 24 hours. (Community Impact staff)
Tracking COVID-19: ZIP code 75067 has the most cases in Lewisville, Flower Mound, Highland Village

On July 3, the county recorded 152 new cases of COVID-19, the most confirmed cases in a single day since Denton County began tracking the virus in March.

With a clinical background in internal, pulmonary and critical care medicine, Corry has been with BCM for 20 years. He now focuses primarily on inflammatory lung diseases, such as asthma and smoking-related chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. (Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Baylor College of Medicine's Dr. David Corry discusses immunity, vaccine production amid COVID-19 pandemic

Rapid development and distribution of a vaccine worldwide and successful achievement of herd immunity will be key players in determining the lifespan of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr. David Corry, a professor of Medicine in the Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology Section at Baylor College of Medicine.

The annual Heights Car Show will look slightly different from years past. (Courtesy David Alvey)
Richardson car show to carry on, part of Keller trail to close: DFW business, community news

Read the latest business and community news from Dallas-Fort Worth here.

The new partnership will provide on-site, same-day testing and results for assisted-living facility staff and their residents. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
State announces partnership for increased COVID-19 testing for patients, staff at assisted-living facilities, nursing homes

These test sites will help the state work toward the goal of processing up to 100,000 tests in the first month.

Lewisville, Highland Village and Flower Mound residents are still filing unemployment claims, but the rate of filed claims is slowing down compared to a month ago, according to Texas Workforce Commission data. (Tobi Carter/Community Impact Newspaper)
Number of new unemployment claims drops in Lewisville, Highland Village, Flower Mound

Lewisville, Highland Village and Flower Mound residents are still filing unemployment claims, but the rate of filed claims is slowing down compared to a month ago, according to Texas Workforce Commission data.

The Weihenstephaner Pils, a hoppy pale lager, is one of the German beers Bavarian Grill serves straight from the tap. (Courtesy Bavarian Grill)
Lewisville school plans, police reform talks and other popular DFW stories from this week

Here are five recent updates from Greater Dallas on restaurants opening and closing, community conversations about policing and more.

If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, establishments are encouraged, but not required, to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state guidelines. (Katherine Borey/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas restaurants, businesses not required to disclose positive COVID-19 cases

If an employee of a business or restaurant tests positive for COVID-19, establishments are encouraged, but not required, to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state guidelines.

Here's the latest real estate market data for Lewisville, Flower Mound and Highland Village

The median home sale price went up in all six of the area's ZIP codes compared to the previous year, according to market data from the Collin County Association of Realtors.

Highland Village announced the continued delay of a community build for Kids Kastle until sometime in 2021. (Brian Pardue/Community Impact Newspaper)
Highland Village delays community build for Kids Kastle until 2021

The community build for Highland Village's Kids Kastle is delayed once again due to the coronavirus pandemic, this time until 2021.

Effective July 9, hospitals in more than 100 counties across the state must now postpone elective surgeries unrelated to COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
MAP: Governor expands restrictions on elective surgeries to more than 100 Texas counties

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott expanded the restrictions that initially required only hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties to postpone all non-medically necessary surgeries and procedures that are unrelated to COVID-19.

The Riverwalk Chapel and Water Works Hall event space will hold a grand opening Aug. 3 in Flower Mound. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)
Riverwalk Chapel creates bridge to next phase of Flower Mound's Riverwalk at Central Park Development

The 210-person chapel and similarly sized event hall will provide a flexible space for weddings as well as rotary clubs, churches and other organizations in town, manager Michael Hallford said.