LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – After more cases were confirmed in Gregg County, Longview officials placed more restrictions on residents to protect the community and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Longview Mayor Andy Mack said this is the new normal and people must adapt to the situation.
“Everyone’s lives have changed because of this virus, but remember we’re all in this together. Everyone’s businesses have been affected. My business has been completely affected. But that’s part of it. We have to do what’s right for everybody,” said Mack.
The Longview Chamber of Commerce agrees with Mayor Mack’s decision and understands businesses will be conducted differently. Now they are focusing on how these additional restrictions will affect local stores and ‘mom and pop shops.’
“Our priority right now is to uplift our business community, to help them figure things out because we care. It’s a difficult time, we’re going to help as best we can to connect the dots, so mom and pop businesses know where to go for resources,” said Kelly Hall, President and CEO of The Longview Chamber of Commerce.
She said habits formed during the coronavirus crisis will affect what life is like when everything passes.
“Getting back to normal. It’s phasing back in and creating what the future is going to hold. This virus is changing a lot of habits and habits are hard to break. Once those habits are broken, we all will be doing business differently, “said Hall.
A full list of restrictions and voluntary restrictions can be found below and there is no indication on when these will be lifted other than the stay-at-home order is in effect until April 30.
- Businesses must assign safety monitors who will be responsible for implementing CDC-recommended protocols.
- Retail stores will be required to reduce how many people are allowed within the store. This would be equal to 5 persons per 1,000 square feet, or a maximum of 450 people.
- Retail stores will be required to implement line restrictions to better maintain social distancing.
- Retail stores will be required to establish hours reserved only for vulnerable populations.
- Retail stores will be required to establish purchase limits on high demand items like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies.
- Playgrounds at city parks are closed, but parks remain open.
- Residents are encouraged to follow a voluntary curfew from 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. People conducting essential business will be exempt from the curfew.
- Residents are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when out in public. However, please refrain from using medical-grade masks, so they may be reserved for healthcare workers and first responders.
- Households should limit the number of people going to retail stores. Choose one person in your family to go to the store when you have a need. There is no reason for an entire family to be going to an “essential” store. Leave your children at home with another adult if at all possible.