Friday, May 22, 2020
As a precaution against the spread of COVID-19 in Jackson, Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba has extended the 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. citywide curfew for five more days through Monday, May 25, which is Memorial Day.
His first curfew order, which lasted from May 16 to May 20, is part of a plan to slowly open up the city for economic and social activities after being in lockdown starting April 3 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new order is up for review Monday, May 25.
In the statement extending the curfew order, Lumumba said it is in the public interest and the general welfare of Jackson, noting that the State of Mississippi's reopening order has forced the City to lift its stay-at-home order. “[T]he Governor's hasty reopening of the State of Mississippi has forced the City of Jackson to lift the Stay-at-Home Order and begin the precarious process of reopening the City,” the mayor stated in the order.
Lumumba pointed to a need for extraordinary measures to prevent the coronavirus' spread, protect public peace and preserve lives, saying in the order that “the need for all due caution is still indicated by the science and the data.”
The mayor ordered essential businesses or operations within Jackson to provide verification or documentation on request for their essential workers who need to travel during curfew hours.
“It is further ordered that all pedestrian and vehicular movement, standing and parking, except for individuals who have obtained written permission from the Chief of Police pursuant of Section 45-17-11 of the Mississippi Code and individuals commuting to and from places of ‘Essential Business or Operation’ as defined by the Amended Stay-at-Home Order issued on Thursday, April 30, 2020, places of essential employment, the provision of fire, police, emergency and hospital services, and emergency calls by physicians within the above curfew area, are prohibited during curfews hours,” the order reads.
The City is today on the sixth day of its first phase of reopening, which will last for two weeks. Guidelines and resources are on the City's website.
Hinds County Workers Back to Work Tuesday
At a press conference today, the Hinds County Board of Supervisors said all of its 800 employees will return to work on Tuesday.
In line with Centers for Disease Control and Mississippi State Department of Health guidelines, the employees must wear face masks or other kinds of facial coverings.
Other protective measures include temperature measurement at the entrance of county facilities and offices with anybody sick going back home, as well as plexiglass separation.
The Board also announced that the County will give away 150,000 masks to residents, which mayors will distribute to the nine municipalities. Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency and the governor’s office provided the masks to the county with another shipment expected soon.
Supervisors said employees will travel throughout the county to distribute the face masks to the homeless.
Young People: Take the Pandemic More Seriously
As the Board encouraged people to continue to wear masks, wash hands and practice social distancing, District 2 Supervisor David Archie observed that young people are still not taking the pandemic seriously enough.
In a statement, the Board said that it remains diligent in its effort to help reduce the spread of COVD-19 and reopen county offices.
"It is of utmost importance to each member that the citizens of Hinds County can do business and receive necessary government services in a safe environment," the statement said. "During these uncertain times surrounding COVID-19 crisis, we continue to work hard and prioritize the safety, well-being and security of our employees and every citizen of Hinds County."
Sheriff Lee Vance warned at today’s press conference against complacency as the county continues to record new cases.
The Mississippi State Department of Health today reported 855 cases in Hinds County as of 6 p.m. yesterday.
Email story tips to city/county reporter Kayode Crown at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @kayodecrown.