PROCLAMATION THAT A CIVIL EMERGENCY EXISTS IN THE CITY OF VICKSBURG, MISSISSIPPI DUE TO THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID -19)
AND IN THE INTEREST OF PUBLIC SAFETY
AND WELFARE, MEASURES SUCH AS SHELTER IN PLACE, A CURFEW, CLOSURE OF NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES, SOCIAL DISTANCING AND LIMITATIONS ON GATHERINGS ARE HEREBY ORDERED BEGINNING AT 5:00 A.M. ON MONDAY APRIL 20, 2020
UNTIL 8:00 A.M. ON APRIL 27, 2020
WHEREAS, pursuant to §§45-17-1 through 45-17-13, and §33-15-17 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended, the Mayor is authorized to proclaim that a Civil Emergency exists defined as any natural disaster or man-made calamity resulting in the death or injury of persons to such an extent that extraordinary measures must be taken to protect the public health, safety and welfare; and
WHEREAS, §21-19-3 gives municipalities the authority to make regulations to prevent the spreading of contagious or infectious diseases and to make quarantine laws for that purpose; and
WHEREAS, §33-15-17 authorizes the Mayor to control or restrict egress, ingress and movement within the local emergency area necessary to facilitate the protection of life and property; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to these laws, the Mayor is authorized to issue such orders as he deems necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Vicksburg, Mississippi; and
WHEREAS, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) that has spread across this nation is a worldwide pandemic and as of April 17, 2020, the Mississippi Department of Health has reported 3,793 positive confirmed cases and 140 deaths in Mississippi, 1 of which was in Warren County; and
WHEREAS, extraordinary measures related to the spread of the Coronavirus are necessary for the health, safety, welfare and good order to protect the public and a Proclamation was issued effective March 23, 2020 at Noon to employ certain measures which were intended to minimize the spread of the COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, on March 29, 2020, an amendment to previous proclamations, policies and procedures for employees were adopted; and
WHEREAS, on April 2, 2020, a Proclamation was issued to require Shelter In Place, established a curfew and required closure of non-essential business and established regulations for other businesses and is set to expire on April 20, 2020; and
WHEREAS, in an effort to eliminate further spread of COVID-19, it is necessary to further decrease interaction in public spaces and non-essential businesses and extend portions of the April 2, 2020 Proclamation until April 27, 2020.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE FLAGGS, JR., MAYOR OF THE CITY OF VICKSBURG, MISSISSIPPI, PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME PURSUANT TO §§45-17-1 THROUGH 45-17-13; §21-19-3 and § 33-15-17 OF THE MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, AS AMENDED, HEREBY ISSUE THIS PROCLAMATION THAT A CIVIL EMERGENCY EXISTS IN THE CITY OF VICKSBURG, MISSISSIPPI DUE TO THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) AND IN THE INTEREST OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND WELFARE, DO HEREBY ORDER THE FOLLOWING MEASURES UNITL 8:00 A.M. ON APRIL 27, 2020 UNLESS MODIFIED, EXTENDED OR REPEALED BY SUBSEQUESNT PROCLAMATION:
FOR THE PUBLIC:
- Shelter in Place – All individuals currently living in the City of Vicksburg are ordered to stay at home or in their place of residence except as allowed by this Proclamation. Individuals using outdoor space when outside of their homes or residences shall maintain social distancing. There shall not be gatherings of more than 10 persons at a residence unless the persons live there. This includes a prohibition against house parties, barbeques and other social gatherings of more than 10 persons at a residence. Individuals may leave their residences for the following activities:
- To engage in activities or perform tasks necessary to their health and safety, or the health and safety of their family or household members (including pets) or the health and safety of those persons who are unable or should not leave their home.
- To obtain necessary food, services or supplies for themselves and members of their household needed to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of the residence, or to deliver those goods or services to those persons who are unable or should not leave their home.
- To engage in individual outdoor activity and recreation (not group recreation or activities such as soccer or basketball games).
- To perform work providing essential products and services at businesses allowed to remain open or to carry out activities permitted in this Proclamation.
- CURFEW– A general curfew will be in place from 11:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. Persons should not be on the public street or in any public place unless it is for traveling to or from work, or for medical personnel in the performance of their duties, or to a business that is open such as a gas station or grocery store. First Responders and law enforcement are exempt from this curfew.
- JUVENILE CURFEW– Additionally, in order to preserve the resources of the Vicksburg Police Department, to keep good order and to decrease gatherings, a curfew will be in place for juveniles 17 and under from 7:30 p.m. until 7:30 a.m. Juveniles should not be on the public streets during this time unless the juvenile is traveling to or from work or with a parent or responsible guardian.
- Social Distancing – Social distancing should be enforced throughout the city – persons should stay at least 6 feet away from others to the extent possible. Additionally, persons are encouraged to wear a mask or other face covering while in public.
- Anyone 65 years or older, or anyone with underlying medical conditions, should not be in or near gatherings of over 10 people.
- Persons shall not visit hospitals, nursing homes and retirement homes or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance, to visit residents receiving imminent end-of-life care, or as otherwise directed by the healthcare facility, provided in the professional opinion of the supervising physician or other supervising healthcare professional at such facility that such visits can be accomplished without unreasonable risk to staff or other residents of such facilities. In lieu of in-person visits, electronic visits are encouraged.
- Gatherings – Unless otherwise allowed herein, there shall not be gatherings of more than 10 persons at any gathering for business or social activity.
- Religious Services: Places of worship are encouraged to limit attendees to ten (10) persons or less. All persons present are encouraged to wear masks. Additionally, it is recommended that a list of all attendees be kept. At all times, social distancing and sanitizing or washing hands should be practiced. Curbside church or communion services where attendees remain in their vehicles are encouraged along with live-stream, online broadcast or other social media platforms for viewing services.
- Funeral Services – During this emergency, funeral services are recommended to be held outside at grave side with a limit of 25 persons, and social distancing should be practiced. Alternatively, funerals are recommended to be on the property of a funeral home. Funeral services held inside shall be limited to 10 persons, and social distancing should be practiced. Additionally, it is recommended that a list of all attendees be kept. Regardless of the location, all funeral services shall be at 11:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. through April 27, 2020. There shall not be any repast or other meal following the funeral with more than 10 persons.
- Restaurants and private clubs – Restaurants and private clubs shall be limited to pick-up, curbside service, delivery, or drive-through services for food, but shall close any dine-in or outside seating area available to the public. There shall not be more than 10 employees and 10 customers inside (waiting to pick-up) the abovementioned businesses at any one time. These establishments must close by 11:00 p.m. and remain closed until 5:00 a.m. Employees are encouraged to wear a mask and gloves to the extent possible.
- Bars and Nightclubs – Bars and nightclubs that sell food shall be limited to pick-up, curbside service, delivery, or drive-through services for food, but shall close any dine-in or outside seating area available to the public. The sale of alcoholic beverages shall follow the “doggie bag” rule or other regulations as set forth by the Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Revenue. There shall not be more than 10 employees and 10 customers inside (waiting to pick-up) the abovementioned businesses at any one time. These establishments must close by 11:00 p.m. and remain closed until 5:00 a.m. Employees are encouraged to wear a mask and gloves to the extent possible.
- Liquor stores – Liquor Stores shall have no more than 10 persons, including employees, inside at any one time. Employees are encouraged to wear a mask and gloves to the extent possible.
- Cigar shops: Cigar shops shall have no more than 10 persons, including employees, inside at one time and shall not have any seating available to the public inside or outside. Employees are encouraged to wear a mask and gloves to the extent possible.
- Retail and convenience stores – Retail and convenience stores shall allow no more than 10 persons inside the store and no more than 10 persons in the parking lot/gas service areas of the premises at any one time. This excludes grocery stores and other essential retail stores that provide food and beverage, medicine, building materials, or plumbing supplies. These businesses should require social distancing and have hand sanitizer available. Employees are encouraged to wear a mask and gloves to the extent possible.
- For any City of Vicksburg public meetings, Zoning Board of Appeals, Board of Architectural Review, code enforcement hearings, or public gatherings in a city building, there will be no more than 10 people in the room and social distancing shall be practiced. For meetings of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, the Mayor will determine which 10 people will be permitted to be present, giving priority to Division Heads and the Deputy City Clerk. A Vicksburg Police Officer will escort people in and out as needed. Alternate viewing options include online streaming, VTV channels, and the City of Vicksburg training room (no more than 10 people). This policy will be re-evaluated on or before April 27, 2020.
- Permitted Travel – Individuals engaged in travel must adhere to the CDC and the Mississippi Department of Health recommendations and guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing and aggressive hygiene including frequent handwashing, and use of sanitizer. Permitted travel includes the following:
- Travel to and from work
- Travel to and from grocery stores, pharmacies, medical and dental clinics, other retail allowed to remain open,
- Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons including to obtain COVID-19 testing for such individuals
- Travel to or from educational institutions including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, and other educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and other education related purposes
- Travel to or from their place of residence
- Travel required by law enforcement
- Travel for health and safety reasons not specifically mentioned herein
- The following categories of businesses are deemed to be non-essential and must temporarily close until April 27, 2020, in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. This will be re-evaluated on or before April 27, 2020:
All places of amusement and recreation, whether indoor or outdoor
Barbers and beauty salons
Massage, nail and day spas or salons
Sporting and concert venues
Bars (except for the sale of food)
Nightclubs (except for the sale of food)
children’s party & play facilities
- All other businesses not specifically mentioned herein should require social distancing from its employees and patrons and follow the environmental cleaning and hygiene guidelines from the CDC. Employees are encouraged to wear a mask and gloves to the extent possible.
- Except for the Vicksburg Police Department which will remain open to the public, entrances to City buildings where the public normally conducts business shall be closed until April 27, 2020, with the understanding that the public can still contact and perform business with City officials and essential employees via telephone, e-mail, drive-through (where available), and written communication during this period of time. In the event someone needs to conduct face-to-face business with a city department, it is recommended that they call the number listed herein and posted on the door of that city building in order to be admitted:
City Hall – 601-634-4553
Community Development – 601-634-4528
Animal control – 601-636-6982
Cemetery – 601-634-4513
Auditorium – closed
Convention center – closed
Robert M. Walker Building – 601-631-3710
Purchasing Department – 601-634-4550
Recreation – closed
Airport – 601-636-4925
Senior Center – closed until June 1, 2020
Water & Gas – drive-through only
- Violations of this EMERGENCY PROCLAMATION will be subject to misdemeanor prosecution pursuant to Sec. 45-17-9 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended, Sec. 33-15-7 and Sec. 1-9 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Vicksburg, including a fine of up to $1,000.00 and 90 days in jail.
FOR EMPLOYEES OF THE CITY OF VICKSBURG:
- All employees are expected to report for work on Monday, April 20, 2020 at their regularly scheduled time unless any COVID-19 symptoms or confirmed cases affect them or their household or they have a school-aged child that is out of school. Prior to reporting to work, each employee should have had a temperature check between April 14 and April 16 by City personnel.
- Except for sworn police officers and fire department and EMS first responders who are compensated on an hourly basis, all employees will be compensated at their regular rate of pay.
Sworn Police officers and Fire Department/ EMS first responders who are compensated on an hourly basis will continue to be paid hazard duty pay which is time and a half for hours worked paid at the regular hourly rate.
- All police and fire/EMS personnel should take proper precautions, such as wearing a mask and gloves, when making physical contact with the public.
- Gloves and masks will be made available for all employees. Employees are encouraged to wear them. Employees should not share headsets or any equipment that is close to the nose or mouth. Employees should clean and disinfect all common office areas and equipment. Employees should maintain 6 feet from any other person and practice social distancing as work duties permit in the workplace.
- Every city-owned restroom will be checked for sufficient amounts of soap and/or hand sanitizer, and paper towels each hour of the workday until April 27, 2020. This policy will be re-evaluated on or before April 27, 2020.
- The City of Vicksburg Senior Center will remain closed until June 1, 2020. The closure will be re-evaluated on or before June 1, 2020.
- The City of Vicksburg is suspending water and gas customer disconnects as required by the Mississippi Public Service Commission. The City will follow the guidelines of the MPSC which currently prohibit disconnects until May 14, 2020.
- All City-funded employee travel for any distance is suspended, unless deemed necessary by the Mayor, until April 27, 2020. The city-funded travel suspension policy will be re-evaluated on or before April 27, 2020.
- Any city employee, or family member within their household, who comes in contact with a person confirmed to have the virus is to immediately report it to the City of Vicksburg Safety Director Steve Williams (601.738.0029) or the Human Resources Department (601.631.3710). This policy will be re-evaluated on or before April 27, 2020. Additionally, any city employee who travels outside of Warren County, Mississippi must contact Steve Williams or HR prior to returning to work.
- Should an employee become ill at work, the employee should immediately notify his/her supervisor and the safety director and go home immediately. Surfaces in the employee’s workspace should be cleaned and disinfected. Information on persons who had contact with the ill employee during the time the employee had symptoms and two (2) days prior to symptoms should be complied. Others at the workplace who had close contact with the employee – within 6 feet- would be considered exposed and must wear a face mask while working for 14 days.
- The City of Vicksburg is relaxing its dress code policy to provide for the comfort of its employees until April 27, 2020. This policy will be re-evaluated on or before April 27, 2020.
- If an employee is deemed to be vulnerable to the COVID-19 because the employee is over 65 years of age or has an underlying medical condition and HR concurs, that employee may use available personal leave or sick leave and shelter in place.
THIS PROCLAMATION SHALL BE IN EFFECT BEGINNING FRIDAY APRIL 20, 2020 AT 5:00 A.M. AND SHALL CONTINUE UNTIL 8:00 A.M. ON April 27, 2020 UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED HEREIN OR EXTENDED, MODIFIED OR REPEALED BY A SUBSEQUENT PROCLAMATION.
THIS EMERGENCY PROCLAMATION SHALL BE PLACED IN THE CITY OF VICKSBURG MINUTES AND REVIEWED EVERY THIRTY (30) DAYS AS REQUIRED BY LAW. THIS PROCLAMATION REPLACES AND SUPERSEDES PREVIOUS PROCLAMATIONS.
THIS THE ____ DAY OF _________________ 2020.
GEORGE FLAGGS, JR.
MAYOR, CITY OF VICKSBURG, MS
WALTER W. OSBORNE, JR