MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - Moss Point Mayor Mario King is ordering businesses and churches in the city to close by noon on Friday. This policy is in effect through April 19.
In a statement released late Thursday night, King said businesses are being closed in accordance with a state law that gives municipalities authority to make decisions that will prevent contagious diseases from spreading.
According to King, the following must shut its doors by noon on Friday: all restaurants, churches, religious venues, parties, cafes, coffee houses, bars, movie showcases, indoor and outdoor performance venues, gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, and spas.
The emergency order does not apply to office buildings, grocery stores, markets, food pantries, pharmacies, drug stores, and providers of medical equipment and supplies, health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities, warehouse and distribution centers, shelters, and industrial and manufacturing facilities.
However, the social distancing policy maintaining six feet from others is in effect for all facilities in the city.
Carryout, walk-up, drive-up, and delivery services may still operate with the social distance policy in mind. Restaurants may allow five people inside at a time to pick up orders, as long as they stay six feet apart from each other.
Initially, the mayor said salons and barber shops could stay open if social distancing was maintained. However, he later amended that action, saying salons and barber shops must be closed by noon on Saturday, March 21.
The mayor has also mandated that all citizens stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19 unless it is necessary. Those exceptions include needing medical attention, food, work, childcare, laundry services, restaurants that offer takeout or delivery, and other essential services.
“This disease is very challenging for the city and our country, and I must implement policies to protect the safety and welfare of each individual I serve,” said King in the statement. “These are tough decisions, but they are for the common good of the people and much needed. We all must understand that our choices can impact others, so we must be intentional about how we navigate this pandemic.”
“As the superintendent and leader of the City of Moss Point, I am entering this executive order followed by my decision to declare a local emergency to prevent the introduction and spread of contagious or infectious diseases; to make quarantine laws for that purpose, and to enforce the same within five miles of the corporate limits, and to establish pesthouses outside the corporate limits, and to provide for the support and government of the same. Please exercise extreme caution when in public, and avoid the public at all times possible. At its best, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) will impact our city immediately; at its worst, the communal gatherings will continue to allow the mutation of this disease in our country.”
Moss Point emergency and critical services will continue unaffected from the impact of COVID-19 and city hall will remain operational until further notice. The mayor is also asking the citizens do not come to public buildings like city hall, saying most city business can be conducted online, by telephone, email, and through the mail.
Questions about the policy can be directed to the City of Moss Point by calling 228-475-0300 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.