LONGVIEW, Texas — Gregg County has issued a mandatory shelter-in-place after two more cases of the coronavirus were confirmed on Wednesday, bringing the county's total to three.
The shelter-in-place is in effect for the next two weeks, beginning Thursday, March 26, at 11:59 p.m., and lasting through Thursday, April 9, at 11:59 p.m.
According to City of Longview Mayor Andy Mack, few key points about the mandatory shelter-in-place order include:
- You should shelter at home unless doing essential activities or business.
- You may still leave your home, but we ask that you limit your activities.
- You may still go to the grocery, pharmacy, medical appointments, or to get necessary supplies.
- You may still go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery or drive-thru.
- You may still go outside.
- You may still go to work for an essential business.
- You should restrict your non-essential travel.
This order does not place the city on lockdown. Travel into and out of the city is still allowed to perform essential activities, operate essential businesses or maintain essential governmental functions.
Essential businesses should continue to operate, but non-essential businesses should cease activities except minimum basic operations.
"We’ve already received a lot of questions about what is or isn’t an essential business," Mayor Mack said in a statement. "The mandatory order includes a long list of essential businesses that we need to continue to operate. These business provide essential goods and services for the community, such as healthcare, grocery stores, gas stations, hardware stores, banks, laundromats, transportation, media, construction, critical infrastructure, and several others that are detailed within the directive. But, if your business is not listed as essential, please do the right thing for the well-being of our community and reduce to minimum basic operations for this period of time."
As outlined by Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order and these signed emergency declarations for the city and county, there are stiff penalties in place for those that do not comply. Those penalties include fines and/or jail time.
"I would certainly home our citizens realize the significance of what is taking place and won’t require us to use valuable manpower to police noncompliance," Mayor Mack said. "I am counting on you, Longview, to do what is right. Longview, we will get through this one day at a time. We are going to be stronger than ever, because we did this together. With each of us making personal sacrifices for the greater good, we can’t help but be stronger. I want to encourage all of you to take time each day to pray to God and ask for His help and guidance through this. Ask Him to be with those in need, to be with those healthcare workers who are fighting on the front lines and to pray for your community leaders making these decisions. We need His help more than ever during a time such as this, and I believe if we ask for it, we will receive it."
According to CBS19's newspaper partner, the Longview News-Journal, as of Wednesday, Gregg County has issued 70 total tests. Of those tests, 27 have been negative, three have been positive and 40 are pending.
Other East Texas counties with positive coronavirus cases include:
- Angelina County - 1
- Bowie County - 1
- Cass County - 1
- Hopkins County - 1
- Morris County - 1
- Nacogdoches County - 1
- Rusk County - 2
- Smith County - 16; 1 death
- Upshur County - 1
- Van Zandt County - 1
For more information on the coronavirus, text "FACTS" to (903) 600-2600.