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City’s COVID-19 restrictions, mask mandate and crime task force extended a month

During a question and answer session Monday afternoon, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. announced the city’s civil emergency plan in response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus was being both tightened and extended beginning immediately.

To reflect orders from Gov. Tate Reeves handed down Friday, the city’s orders address indoor and outdoor social gatherings, the operation hours for bars and establishments that serve alcohol. The city’s order also extends the city’s mask mandate and the work of the Vicksburg Police Department’s special crime task force.

The order is now set to expire Sept. 8 at 8 a.m.

In the city’s orders, indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people, while outdoor gatherings are limited to 20 people. “This limitation shall not apply to religious entities, students in classrooms or gatherings in facilities governed by other capacity limitations,” the order reads. 

Businesses that sell alcohol, or allows alcohol for on-premise consumption, shall not sell alcohol or allow consumption on the premises between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. This pertains to restaurants, BYOB, “or other entertainment venues that sell or allow consumption of alcohol on the premises.” This order excludes those establishments under the jurisdiction of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, such as casinos.

The city’s order, which mirrors the state’s order, limits the number of customers in bars to 50 percent of maximum capacity. It also calls on those establishments to adjust their floor plans to “ensure at least six feet of separation between each party/group.” The order also limits the number of people in a party to a maximum of six customers per table.

The order also provides additional restrictions and guidelines that are specific to Vicksburg.

The city pavilion will remain closed and not available during the time outlined in the order. Also, funerals are encouraged to be graveside services.

Funeral services can be held at a church at funeral home, “as long as there is room for social distancing, or held at the City Auditorium.” Funerals will also be limited to be held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and all persons must wear a face covering indoors.

If the death is due to COVID-19, and proof is provided, the cost for using the City Auditorium will be half of the regular auditorium fee.

The city’s special law enforcement task force, which has been operating for two weeks, will continue operating through the end of this order.

The task force calls for a minimum of 11 patrol officers on duty, with a watch commander and deputy chief patroling, each Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. The task force was put in place effective July 15 and was originally set to disband Aug. 3.

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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