City of Longview modifies public access to city offices in response to COVID-19

Changes in place to mitigate spread of virus
Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 11:34 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - In response to the spreading virus the City of Longview has come up with several measures in an effort to protect the public as well as city employees.

KLTV spoke with Longview City Spokesman Shawn Hara about those temporary measures.

Longview City Hall has been locked up for now, but it’s still in operation. Hara said this is the City’s way of minimizing exposure to COVID-19.

“Really the goal with all of this is to say okay, here’s what the CDC is recommending. We want to base our decisions based on what’s taking place; what is the CDC recommending, what are those mitigation strategies that they are suggesting and make sure we’re doing our part locally as a city organization here within our local community,” Hara said.

Hara said they have been taking a stair-step approach —calling off events and gatherings until they chose to eliminate as much close contact as possible in keeping with the CDC guidelines.

“We still have to be operating in the midst of this with regard to police and fire, all of our public safety; our public works. We still have to make sure we’re providing services. We have to do that in a safe manner. And so that’s where we are right now,” Hara explained.

Police and fire still must respond to calls, there are now more safety protocols in place to prioritize calls and limit contact as much as possible. And inside city hall there is a lot of cleaning and sanitizing going on including employees who:

“Are cleaning way more often as well inside our facility,” Hara said.

Residents can still pay bills at the drive-thru or:

“Online, by phone. If you just need to drop something off we can still accept that. We want to still be able to make sure we’re moving forward with the business that needs to take place,” Hara stated.

And you can call for an appointment if you need to see someone at city hall.

“Obviously as a city we still have to function, but we need to make sure that we’re also following those guidelines, following those recommendations so that we’re doing it in as safe a manner as possible,” Hara added.

The Longview Public Library has also temporarily closed its doors to the public and offering curbside checkout of library materials.

If you have a library card, you can go online and order books you would like to check out, and go by the back door of the library where they will bring them to you.

Books left in the book drop will be cleaned before they are checked back in. Mothers like Cassie Minter are already taking advantage.

“This was incredible. I was in the library actually when they made the decision to close. And I heard one of the librarians telling someone over the phone, and it kind of made my heart stop a little bit. And so they said they were going to start doing curbside and then it was good,” Minter said.

Click here if you have a Longview library card and would like to reserve a book you can find the site by clicking here.

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