PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - When walking up to city buildings in Pascagoula, you will see signs posted on the windows and doors notifying you that a mask is required to enter the building.
Pascagoula Public Information Officer, Katarina Luketich, said the city is also asking people to refrain from visiting city buildings. But if a visit is absolutely necessary, make sure you are wearing a mask.
“If it is something that can be taken care of over the phone, please do that. We are really trying to limit the exposure that is there. So if you don’t have to come into city buildings, please don’t,” said Luketich. “We’re discouraging residents from attending city council meetings. We do provide a live stream of that, so we’re encouraging people to take advantage of that option.”
It is not just visitors that are required to wear a mask, but employees too.
“We have had several employees who have tested positive. So we want to make sure that we are not spreading the virus,” said Luketich. “Effective immediately, we’re mandating that all city employees, as well as anyone coming into city buildings, wear a mask.”
Any employee who came in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus is currently isolating. The City of Pascagoula is also having any employees that show even mild symptoms stay home and get tested.
“We want to make sure that we’re being proactive in doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. We want to make sure that we are not spreading the virus, but we are also containing it,” said Luketich. “Wearing a mask is just a simple measure that you can take to protect not only yourself but to protect people around you as well.”
The mask mandate also extends to the Pascagoula Police Department, which is currently closed until July 8 for deep cleaning after officers tested positive for COVID-19. Pascagoula Police Officer, Captain Chris Weeks, said the department is implementing new protocols to increase safety.
“One thing that we’ve mandated is all of our officers, when they’re dealing with the public, is wearing masks,” said Weeks. “Police are still here. It’s business as usual, as far as we’re concerned. We’re just taking some extra steps and some precautions to keep not only officers but our citizens safe.”
Police Chief Matt Chapman emphasized that anyone in need of police assistance can still call 911 for emergencies or call 228-762-2211 for non-emergencies.
Municipal court hearings, which are heard in the municipal courtroom inside the police department, have been canceled for July 8. Anyone with a court date on that day will be notified of the rescheduled dates.
Additional testing for City of Pascagoula employees is ongoing.
City Council meetings are streamed online on the City of Pascagoula YouTube channel.