MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - On Sunday, Moss Point mayor Mario King called on Governor Tate Reeves to “shut down the state” and to put in writing that Reeves’ executive order has no power to supersede municipalities’ effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
King said five new positive cases of COVID-19 were reported in Moss Point, bringing the total in the city to 19.
“This is serious,” King said. “People are not social distancing, they are continuing to have large gatherings. We are going to have to step it up a notch.”
There is now a shelter in place order in Moss Point after the Board of Aldermen voted Friday to put stricter measures in place. The daily curfew hours are 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The shelter in place order means “you can only leave your house to go to work at an essential business or to conduct essential business such as shopping for food medicine or going to the doctor,“ King told WLOX News shortly after the board meeting ended.
King said he’s been concerned that people continue to gather in groups larger than 10 across the city. Moss Point Police were sent to at least five homes over the weekend, where 15 or more people were gathered, said the mayor.
King said some summons were issued and reminded homeowners that they could be fined $500 for each additional person at their residence, adding “neighbors who see large gatherings should call the police."
While he cannot order churches to shut their doors, the mayor said is strongly opposed to churches having services and violating health officials’ recommendations of social distancing and not gathering in groups larger than 10 people. King urges pastors to consider using social media to stream Sunday services.
Moss Point resident Lakeisha Hardimon is glad to see the mayor taking action.
“I think it’s a good thing what he’s doing,” Hardimon said. “ We really need that because with people, and everything right now that’s going on, we don’t know the side effects and everything.”
Other people believe that people need to be more responsible for themselves.
“I think mainly if people just practice social distancing, take all the precautions. We’re all adults,” said Moss Point resident, Renee Lass. “We should know what to do and just don’t take any unnecessary chances. Stay at home as much as you can.”
Open churches and daycares are also among King’s concerns, and he wants them closed.
“People need to stay home. If you have food in your house, stay home,” King said. “We will do everything we can to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the city of Moss Point."