As of midnight Saturday morning the city of Denison’s ’Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order is in effect until further notice.

The city council adopted the ordinance at an emergency meeting following an extension of a previous disaster declaration made by Denison Mayor Janet Gott.

Here are 5 things to know about the ordinance.

1. It is currently voluntary

The city has issued a warning with the measures, saying it isn’t a shelter-in-place order, yet, but should residents not comply willinginly the city is prepared to take that next step.

City Manager Jud Rex said the city is keeping a close eye on the situation. He said most businesses have already begun implementing similar measures under the guidelines of the state of Texas and federal government issueing similar guidelines.

2. Social distancing is top priority

The purpose of the order, Gott said, was to ensure the public is taking the crisis seriously. The guidelines ask all residents to avoid shopping at any retail establishment in person that is not deemed as essential. Similarly those businesses are asked to either implement measures to promote social distancing, such as allowing online orders and curb side pickup or delivery options. Otherwise the business is asked to close its doors entirely during the remainder of the health crisis.

People are asked to stay out of crowds in 10 or larger. This includes going to work and shopping. When out in public if people cannot be avoided they are asked to remain more than six feet from one another. Likewise touching, such as shaking hands or similar gestures, is discouraged during this time.

3. Restaurants can stay open with conditions

Restaurants are not being asked to close at this time However, they are being asked to keep people out of their dinning in areas.

Other food delivery services or those who provide support for people to stay at home are also considered essential under the ordinance.

4. Personal care industry asked to close

Businesses that do not support the social distancing measures are asked to close entirely. The main ones here are personal care services such as hair and nail salons, barber shops and similar businesses.

Rex said he hasn’t had a haircut since the pandemic started. He is asking all residents to similarly do without for the time being.

5. Public spaces are limited

The city has already shut down the majority of its facilities and spaces. Some parks remain open but the senior center and library remain closed during this time.

The city is evaluating the measures daily. Things became more urgent following the discovery of two confirmed cases of COVID-19 within Denison city limits.

For information on the coronavirus,