Stay-at-home enforcement, service changes up in the air in Roanoke

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ROANOKE, Va (WDBJ7) Monday, Roanoke City and County leaders said they're still evaluating Gov. Ralph Northam's stay-at-home order, and will be reaching decisions on how to enforce it in the coming days.

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Both jurisdictions have already taken a number of precautions to deal with coronavirus and increase social distancing, including closing municipal buildings to the public. Both may take steps in the coming days, depending on how they interpret the executive order.

"Well, we're gonna be talking," said Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea. "We'll meet with our city administration."

Lea says the city is also looking to partner with neighboring communities in the Roanoke Valley.

"It's not just an individual Roanoke issue, but it's all of us in the region coming along," he said.

As for how the executive order will be enforced, the city says that, too, remains up in the air. The Roanoke City Police Department says, for now, its focus will remain on educating the public.

"What's clear is that each community can help to limit the spread of the coronavirus," said Del. Sam Rasoul, who represents Roanoke City in the General Assembly.

He hopes, enforcement or not, this order will help people take social distancing seriously.

"I think the frustration is there are people who have been gathering at parks, at parties, at different places, and we know that the coronavirus spreads like wildfire in these places," he said.

Mayor Sherman Lea says the city will hold a press conference Wednesday. He hopes to announce what changes, if any, will be made as a result of the Governor's executive order.

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