As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Smith County, Tyler's mayor Martin Heines has made a request for the citizens of his city, 'stay at home' if you don't have to leave home.

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The following press release was issued by the City Of Tyler:

Tyler, Texas (Wednesday, March 25)

 Local officials held a news conference on Wednesday, March 25, at which Tyler Mayor Martin Heines made a specific request of all residents:

“At this time, I am issuing a ‘stay-at-home’ request,’ said Heines. “If you don’t have to leave your home, then don’t.”

Officials specifically stressed the importance of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, or who are waiting on test results, to isolate at home until cleared by a medical doctor. All community members should socially distance and stay at home as much as possible to mitigate the spread of the disease.

“When you must go out for essential goods and services, take the proper hygiene precautions and do not linger,” added Heines. “Get what you need and go home.”

As part of the briefing, City Manager Ed Broussard addressed the business community.

“Since we are a regional city, we have a lot of people working and shopping. We need our retail and business community to step up by implementing the best practices advised by the CDC and enforcing good public policy,” said Broussard.

Workplaces are asked to implement social distancing measures that include distancing employees and patrons by six feet and allowing for telework when possible.

“We are working daily with public health officials to respond effectively and appropriately to this disease. At this time, we are actively pushing for voluntary compliance,” said Broussard. “If this doesn’t occur, then there will be greater non-voluntary restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the disease.”

Additionally, all businesses and residents must follow the Governor’s Executive Order GA--08, issued on March 19 and order GA-09, issued on March 24, 2020.

All law enforcement divisions have the ability to enforce these orders. The Tyler Police Department and Smith County Sheriff’s Office are regularly checking businesses to ensure they are compliant.  If a business chooses not to be compliant, there could be consequences, including fines and jail time.

“They do carry the potential for a fine up to $1,000. They carry the potential for jail time up to 180 days," said Broussard. "But, I don't believe it will come to that. I expect people to make good decisions."