Denton County Public Health (DCPH) now offers COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics. Please visit DentonCounty.gov/COVID19vaccine to sign up for a waitlist to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on the new Vaccine Interest Portal.
Once DCPH receives vaccines from the state, those who meet eligibility requirements as set by the Texas Department of State Health Services will receive further notification and appointment scheduling confirmation of their date, time, and place to receive their COVID-19 vaccination. The Vaccine Interest Portal will continue to be utilized as additional vaccine supply is sent to DCPH. View Denton County's January 8 Press Release for more details on the Vaccine Interest Portal.
January 11 Update - DCPH has received 3,500 vaccines for their clinics this week. Over the weekend, DCPH sent out the first 500 appointments for Tuesday's vaccine clinic. Tomorrow, January 12, they will send out the next 3,000 appointments for Thursday's vaccine clinic.
If you received a confirmation text or email, you are on our waitlist and do not need to do anything else. As we are allocated additional vaccines, we will send out appointment scheduling to the next eligible individuals on our waitlist, as well as scheduling second doses for individuals who already received their first vaccine thru DCPH.
If you do not receive a confirmation text or email within 24 hours of submission into the waitlist, please call our COVID-19 hotline at 940.349.2585 and we can verify your information.
State Announces Locations of Large COVID-19 Vaccination Hubs
The Texas Department of State Health Services just released the locations of its vaccine hubs along with how to sign-up at: https://bit.ly/3qjZOMP
Who can get the vaccine right now:
Front-line health care workers
People 65 and older
People 16 and older with health conditions that increase risk of severe COVID-19 illness
The vaccine remains limited based on the capacity of the manufacturers to produce it, so it will take time for Texas to receive enough vaccine for the people in the priority populations who want to be vaccinated. The supply is expected to increase in the coming months, and additional vaccines are in clinical trials and may be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration. Providers should use all doses allocated to administer the first dose of vaccine to people. There is no need to reserve shots for a second dose because they will get a matching number of doses for that at the appropriate time.
Denton County provides a count of the recovered confirmed cases. To view that data, visit https://bit.ly/2JAQeBw
December 8 Updated COVID-19 Quarantine Criteria
On December 8, Denton County Public Health (DCPH) updated COVID-19 quarantine criteria for those who have been exposed to COVID-19, mirroring the CDC's updated scientific brief.
Both DCPH and the CDC recommend a 14-day quarantine for most situations, with the date of exposure being day zero. However, quarantine after exposure may be shortened in these situations:
Only ten days of quarantine are required when no symptoms were ever present
Only seven days of quarantine are required when no symptoms were ever present and the individual exposed tests negative from a diagnostic specimen collected on day five through seven.
Daily symptom monitoring must continue through quarantine day 14, along with correct and consistent mask use, social distancing, hand and cough hygiene, environmental cleaning and disinfection, and avoiding crowds. View the latest CDC guidance on quarantine recommendations and CDC scientific brief regarding lessening quarantine timelines.
Previous Denton County Mandates
Denton County issued a Disaster Declaration that expired on May 15, 2020 that stated:
The Denton County Emergency Operations Plan and the Denton County Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Plan shall remain activated through the end of the COVID-19 disaster.
As allowed by Local Government Code 262.024, exempt bidding requirements for the purpose of purchasing items necessary to preserve or protect the public health or safety of the residents of the county. This exemption shall remain in effect until a time when the Disaster Declaration is lifted.
Nothing in this Order is intended to impose restrictions inconsistent with Order GA-18 or any other subsequent order issued by the Governor in effect relating to COVID-19. Please visit www.gov.texas.gov/news to read the current Executive Orders of the Governor.
To the greatest extent possible, all businesses and residents shall comply with the Social Distancing Guideline set forth by the CDC and Governor’s Report to Open Texas dated April 27, 2020. (www.gov.texas.gov/opentexas)
State of Texas Response
December 3 Restrictions Update
Denton County is part of Trauma Service Area Region E, along with 18 other counties. In Gov. Abbott’s Executive Order No. GA-32 it outlines occupancy restrictions when hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients in a Trauma Service Areas (TSA) exceed 15 percent for seven consecutive days.
On December 3, TSA Region E exceeded this threshold, which triggers the following occupancy restrictions, as outlined in Executive Order GA-32 (and Executive Order GA-31 for elective procedures):
Any business currently operating at 75 percent occupancy, will now be limited to 50 percent occupancy. This occupancy limit does not apply to any services listed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, religious services, childcare facilities, youth camps, recreational sports programs, schools, drive-in concerts, movies, or similar events (under guidelines that maintain appropriate social distancing and that generally require spectators to remain in their vehicles, and that minimize in-person contact between people who are not in the same household or vehicle), and local government operations. This also excludes certain personal care/service businesses that operate with at least six feet of social distancing between work stations such as hair salons/barber shops, nail salons, tattoo studios, tanning salons, and massage establishments.
Any non-essential medical surgery or procedure must be postponed, if such surgery would deplete any hospital capacity needed to cope with the COVID-19 disaster.
All Denton County bars will close, until operations determined by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC).
The visiting of nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, or long-term care facilities is determined through guidance from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).
The occupancy limits can return to 75 percent when TSA Region E has seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity is 15 percent or less.
September 17 State of Texas Update
Governor Abbott has issued Executive Orders Nos. GA-30 and GA-31, allowing most of Texas to take the next step in reopening due to the decline of COVID-19 throughout much of the state. During his press conference, there were three main updates to the current guidelines:
Starting Monday, September 21, all restaurants, retailers, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms, museums, and libraries will be able to expand their maximum capacity from 50 to 75 percent capacity.
Hospitals may schedule elective procedures
All nursing, State-supported living centers, assisted living and long-term care facilities will be allowed to open for visiting, as long as they comply with the State’s health protocols and do not have a COVID-19 outbreak within the facility, as early as Thursday, September 24.
Bars are still not allowed to reopen at this time, although the governor said his team is still trying to find a way to safely reopen them soon. Several other types of businesses will remain at 50 percent capacity for now, including wedding reception venues, movie theaters, amusement parks and waterparks, bowling alleys, fine arts performance halls, video game facilities, zoos, aquariums, natural caverns and more.
Gov. Abbott is relying most heavily on hospitalization data when making decisions and reiterated it has always been his goal to contain COVID-19, minimize its harm, and to prevent our medical system from being overwhelmed. He stated he would be using the benchmark of 15 percent of hospitalizations being COVID-19 patients for seven consecutive days to determine if the virus was adequately contained within that region. Three regions near the Texas’ southern border do not meet this threshold and will maintain current State mandates.
Gov. Abbott did not address his statewide mask order in today’s press conference other than to say that wearing masks, social distancing, and other CDC-recommended sanitation protocols were responsible for the state’s downtrends in hospitalization and positivity rates.
Governor Abbott issued Executive Order No. GA-29, requiring Texans residing in counties with more than 20 COVID-19 cases to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth while in a commercial space, public building, or in an outdoor setting that does not allow for six feet of social distancing, with few exceptions. The statewide order goes into effect at 12:01 p.m. on Friday, July 3.
The face-covering requirement does not apply to the following:
Children under 10 years old
Anyone with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering
Eating or drinking, or seated in a restaurant to eat or drink
Exercising or engaging in physical activity outdoors (as long as distance is maintained)
Driving alone or with passengers from the same household
Obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the face covering for security surveillance, screening or a need for specific access to the face (i.e. visiting a bank or obtaining a personal care service involving the face), but only to the extent necessary for the temporary removal
While in a swimming pool, lake or similar body of water
Voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher or actively administering an election (though a face covering is strongly encouraged)
Actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship (though a face covering is strongly encouraged)
Giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience
Not excepted from the requirement are those attending a protest or demonstration involving more than 10 people who are not practicing safe social distancing of six feet from people outside their household.
Following a verbal or written warning for a first-time violation, the order includes a fine of up to $250 for subsequent violations. In addition, mayors and county judges can impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of over 10 people. To view the Executive Order, please visit https://bit.ly/2BZDl3G.