LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) — The city of Longview has dropped its mandate to wear a mask at city events and in buildings.
Mayor Andy Mack said the city dropped its mandate after the CDC announced that people who have been vaccinated no longer need to wear a mask indoors around others.
“If you have been vaccinated, you are free to take your mask off in this public arena,” Mack said at the council meeting. “If you haven’t been vaccinated, we ask you to keep it on but you don’t have to. It’s up to you. That’s your choice. … If you so choose to wear a mask, go ahead and wear a mask.”
Mack said at least 62,000 people have received a COVID-19 vaccination at the vaccination hub in Longview.
“That’s a phenomenal number,” Mack said. “What that tells me is that our work of the hub has done its job. We tried to get as many people vaccinated that wanted to be vaccinated. We’ve done that.”
Others have received vaccinations at pharmacies and other places.
Mack also cited a willingness of people to follow CDC guidelines as a factor that likely kept the outbreak of COVID-19 lower in Gregg County than other areas.
The number of COVID-19 illnesses and hospitalizations in the county have dropped significantly, he said without citing specific numbers.
“We don’t want to go through this (pandemic) again,” he said. “We’ve had enough of this.”
The city will continue to follow CDC recommendations, he said.
The projects in $103 million bond package passed in 2018 are so far all within budget and progressing, the city council was told.
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“Every dollar that was voted on will be spent where it was designed to be spent,” Mack said.
Citizens gave the city approval to make improvements in public safety, streets and infrastructure and parks. Dwayne Archer, assistant public works director, provided the update
- Construction of a new police headquarters began in January
- Construction of a new Fire Station No. 5 began in September and should be finished by the end of the year
- Work has begun on the design of a new Fire Station No. 8
- The city is acquiring land needed for the High and Mobberly streets entryway reconstruction project
- A traffic study and design study is underway for the Mobberly Avenue/Complete Street project
- Final design work is taking place for the Cotton Street streetscape
- Bids will be received next month for the Fairmont Street reconstruction
- The city is acquiring right-of-way for the Reel Road widening project
- Leer Park improvements began in September and are about 30% complete
- Phase 1 improvements have begun at McWhorter, Stamper, Womack, Lois Jackson, Spring Cree, and Patterson parks
- Construction of the Broughton Park/Rec Center project began in July
- The Arboretum improvements project is finished.
- Bids for work on the Cargill/Long feconstruction are set to be received next month.