Coronavirus COVID-19

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March 28, 2020 12:02 PM



TO MISS. CODE ANN. SECTIONS 21-19-3 AND 33-15-17

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared a national emergency due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the Governor of the State of Mississippi issued a similar declaration of emergency on March 14, 2020; and
WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, the Mayor of the City of Moss Point, Mississippi, pursuant to Miss Code Ann. § 21-19-3, et seq. and Miss. Code Ann. § 33-15-17, et seq., issued a “Proclamation by the Mayor of the City of Moss Point Declaring a Civil and/or Local Emergency to Exist as a Result of a Threatened or Existing Public Health Emergency (COVID-19)”; and
WHEREAS, on March 17, 2020, the Board of Aldermen ratified the proclamation of local emergency and continued the existence of same; and
WHEREAS, on March 20, 2020, the Mayor of the City of Moss Point issued further restrictions under the Emergency Order entered on March 17, 2020 with same being approved and adopted by the Board of Aldermen; and
WHEREAS, on March 23, 2020, Governor Tate Reeves issued Executive Order 1463 in response to COVID-19 emergency, and in said Order stated that any “order, rule, regulation or action by any governing body, agency or political subdivision of the state that imposes any additional freedom of movement or social distancing limitations on Essential Business or Operation, restricts scope of services or hours of operation of any Essential Business or Operation, or which will or might in any way conflict with or impede the purpose of this Executive Order is suspended and unenforceable during the COVID-19 State of Emergency”; and

WHEREAS, the City of Moss Point’s Emergency Order entered on March 20, 2020 did impose additional freedom of movement and social distancing, as well as further restricted scope of services and hours of operation on businesses that the State deemed “essential” but the City of Moss Point did not, and therefore despite the City’s desire and efforts to protect its citizens with more restrictive measures, the Mayor announced that the City’s Order was no longer enforceable and advised the citizens to follow the Governor’s Order to avoid litigations; and
WHEREAS, on March 26, 2020, after numerous requests for clarification from local governing authorities, the Governor’s office, and local legal sources, Governor Tate Reeves issued a Supplement to Executive Order No. 1463 which clarified his previous Order and stated “no governing body, agency, or political subdivision of the State shall adopt any measures that are less restrictive than the provisions Executive Order No. 1463 and the orders, rules, regulations, resolutions, and actions taken by political subdivisions of the State prior to issuance of Executive Order No. 1463 on March 23, 2020, as well as subsequent thereto, may continue to be in effect and shall not be suspended or unenforceable, so long as the same provide the minimum applicable restrictions set out in Executive Order No. 1463 and do not impose restrictions that prevent any Essential Business or Operation as identified in Executive Order No. 1463 from operating at such level necessary to provide essential services and functions during COVID-19 State of Emergency”; and
WHEREAS, this still is not in the best interest of the people and does not eliminate or prevent the spread of COVID-19, and
WHEREAS, COVID-19 is a disease that can result in severe illness or death and can easily spread from person to person, and which is caused by a new strain of coronavirus that had not previously been identified in humans; and
WHEREAS, COVID-19 is currently impacting communities in Mississippi aggressively and that I as Mayor do not see where the governor is truly doing all he can to protect to safety and welfare of the citizens, and
WHEREAS, I would like to put in more restrictive measures, I received legal advice to not do so as it could cause more harm to myself and taxpayers, and
WHEREAS, heretofore Federal, State, and Local Authorities have continually impressed upon the public the importance of heeding the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state department of Health, and the President concerning steps necessary to stop the spread of this outbreak, which has now been turned into a pandemic, one of the most significant of which is the need to “social distance” ourselves from others in all places, including in the public; and
WHEREAS, authorities have previously advised the citizens of the State of Mississippi to practice social distancing measures and to avoid large gatherings; and
WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, the President of the United States recommended the avoidance of gatherings of more than ten (10) people; and
WHEREAS, unfortunately there are many in our communities who have refused to follow or otherwise ignored this guidance and promulgated aids in maintaining social distancing and who have persisted to congregate in the public, including at places of business, all of which have and, if permitted to continue, will contribute to the spread of this disease and prolific exposure of our citizens to this emergent threat to public health and safety; and
WHEREAS, this is another reason why the Governor’s Executive Order is contradictory to his words that he want to decrease the spread of COVID-19, and
WHEREAS, in an effort to curtail the lack of civic responsibility, to prevent the spread of this disease, and in an effort to curb the growth of cases of affected persons and conditions, authorities across the country have taken and are continuing to take extraordinary measures to limit and inhibit close personal contact in the community through the issuance of orders and enactment of legislation, many of which have restricted access to areas that are routinely used for gatherings of people; and
WHEREAS, the City of Moss Point does not have the luxury of a “wait-and-see” approach to the coronavirus pandemic and, trends across the world have demonstrated that such an approach can and will be costly in terms of public health, including an increase in deaths; and
WHEREAS, the Mayor and Board of Aldermen find that it is necessary and in the best interest of the public welfare and safety to impose certain regulations pursuant to Mississippi law for the purposes of protecting life and property, preserving the public order and safety, and limiting and containing the spread of COVID-19.
WHEREAS, as Mayor, I appreciate you for following this law that is put in place to protect you. My goal is not to put you in jail or cause you any hardship. Nevertheless, it is my job to lead and provide you with a safe environment. What is in our shared environment has caused me to act in your best interest by providing you with more measures to protect your safety, welfare, and wellbeing. I need you to please be cognizant of those around you to ensure you are always practicing social distancing.
A. I need you to check the City of Moss Point (sign up for email and text alerts), Singing River Health System, CDC, MSDH, websites daily so that you can be aware of all current happenings.
B. I need you to share this with those who do not have access to technology.
C. I need you to explain this to those that are not social distancing and not taking this seriously.
D. I need you to not have church.
E. I need you to stay in your home unless it is necessary to go out to enact essential business.
F. I need you to understand that I choose saving lives over the economy any day.
G. I need you to call the City if you have any questions @228-475-0300.
H. I need you to leave a message if we do not answer and we will get back with you in a timely manner.
I. I need you to understand that I value you as a citizen, as does the Board of Aldermen, and our goal is to save lives by STOPPING THE SPREAD of COVID-19.
J. I need you to join our campaign to STOP THE SPREAD by staying at home and adopting an action to STOP THE SPREAD!
1. The City of Moss Point, Mississippi hereby adopts and implements the following temporary regulations, which shall become effective at close of business on March 28, 2020:

a. Indoor and other seated dining shall be prohibited at all restaurants, bars, and other dining establishments. Such establishments may only sell or distribute food and beverage by means of carryout, walk-out, curbside, drive-up, drive-thru and delivery. For any such establishment
selling or distributing food and beverage by means of carryout, no more than five (5) customers shall be allowed in the establishment at any given time. Such establishments are responsible for ensuring compliance with the foregoing limitation. Such establishments shall always post signs inside the restaurant to make customers aware and monitor.

b. Carryout, walk-up, drive-up, self-service and delivery services, of any kind (i.e. not limited to restaurants), may still operate with the social distance policy to be fully enforced. This mean that there shall only be a max of 5 people in line standing outside of a restaurant preferably in the car.

c. The following buildings, non-essential businesses, establishments, and places shall be closed: gyms, salons, nail salons, barbershops, pools, cross fit, and indoor and outdoor entertainment venues.

d. Essential retail was defined by the Governor as the following: supermarkets, food and beverage stores, food providers, convenience stores, pharmacies, hardware and building materials, gas stations and restaurants (with the above restrictions). “As Mayor I recommend that each essential retailer define by the Governor shall practice social distancing and adopt a policy that demonstrate such measures.
e. IF YOU ARE NOT LISTED ON THE ESSENTIAL RETAIL LIST THEN YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE MORE THAN FIVE (5) customers in your store at one time and you must provide hand sanitizer and wipe down all surfaces where the public touches after each customer exits the building. In addition, it is my recommendation that and non-essential retailer close as you will contribute to the spread of COVID-19 by staying open.

f. A Curfew shall be in place from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. beginning tonight at 11:00p.m.

g. A Shelter-in-Place shall be in effect 24 hours per day 7 days per week. This means that all individuals shall remain at home, with less than ten people present (INSIDE OR OUTSIDE YOUR HOME), and practice social distancing UNLESS you need to leave your home for any Essential Business as listed in the Governor’s Executive Order 1463. This Order is not limiting the citizens right to leave home for Essential Business.

h. The City will enforce the Governor’s Order limiting religious organizations (i.e. church services) to 10 people. Specifically, the Governor’s Order states that “Religious entities including religious and faith-based facilities, entities and groups, religious gatherings” may remain open as an essential business “provided that they adhere to the CDC and the Mississippi Department of Health recommendations and guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19.” THE CDC AND MDHS STATES THAT SOCIAL GATHERINGS WHERE 10 PEOPLE OR MORE MAY COME INTO CLOSE CONTACT SHALL BE AVOIDED. It is my recommendation as Mayor that all CHURCHES SUSPEND IN-PERSON SERVICES.
All persons in the City of Moss Point are strongly encouraged, to the extent reasonably practicable to exercise safe social distancing practices by avoiding groups in excess of ten (10) and staying at least six (6) feet away from others.

i. All essential retail establishments still in operation must offer customers hand sanitizer and must disinfect and sanitize common areas on a regular basis (at least daily). All products must be FDA approved.

j. If not, you are not following state law and will be mandated to closed and issued a citation for not adhering to the AMENDED EMERGENCY MAYORAL PROCLAMATION OF EXECUTIVE ORDER ISSUING REGULATIONS TO PREVENT THE INTRODUCTION AND SPREAD OF COVID-19 AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES, PURSUANT TO MISS. CODE ANN. SECTIONS 21-19-3 AND 33-15-17

k. All regulations and restrictions established by Executive Order No. 1463 and Supplement to Executive Order No. 1463, and any additional Orders or Supplements related to COVID-19, issued by Governor Tate Reeves are hereby adopted and enforceable by the City of Moss Point.

ORDERED that this Proclamation of Emergency Order shall be: (1) filed with the City Clerk; (2) distributed to the news media and other organizations reasonably calculated to bring its contents to the attention of the general public; and (3) distributed to others as necessary to ensure proper implementation of this Proclamation of Emergency Order.
ORDERED that violations of this Proclamation of Emergency Order may be subject to misdemeanor prosecution pursuant to State Law, including, but not limited to, Miss. Code Ann. § 21-19-3, and Miss. Code Ann. § 33-15-17 and Miss. Code Ann. § 33-15-43; and ENFORCEABLE BY ANY LOCAL, STATE, or FEDERAL AGENCY. All violators of this Emergency Order will be fined at a minimum of $500.00 per person over the amount.
ORDERED that, except for what is otherwise set out herein, this Emergency Mayoral Proclamation of Executive Order shall be, and hereby is, effective at close of business on March 28, 2020. It is further,
ORDERED that this Emergency Mayoral Proclamation of Executive Order shall be, and hereby is, effective at close of business on March 28, 2020, and shall remain in effect until amended, rescinded, or superseded by another applicable Mayoral Proclamation or Executive Order or the termination of the current (and ongoing) State of Emergency related to this pandemic issued by the City of Moss Point, whichever shall occur first.
THIS, the 27th day of March 2020, at 8:00 p.m.

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