The original item was published from March 23, 2020 6:05 PM to March 28, 2020 11:11 AM
The Mayors and Boards of Aldermen of Southaven and Olive Branch held special meetings on Sunday, March 22, 2020. Both municipalities adopted Ordinances of Civil Emergency to aid in the control of contagious and infectious diseases. These steps were taken on the advice of local health authorities who state that extraordinary measures are necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of the citizens and visitors to both cities.
Both Ordinances authorize such further orders as are necessary. Because Olive Branch and Southaven residents, totaling nearly 100,000 people, constitute approximately half of the total population of Desoto County, and because both Cities have a large number of workers who live elsewhere but travel here for employment, the Cities desire for the enforcement of the civil emergency to be as uniform as possible. It is important to note these necessary actions are in response to unprecedented circumstances with a two-fold goal which is to minimize the risk of the spread of this virus to protect the health and safety of people, but also to minimize the economic risks to both cities. Accordingly, Mayor Musselwhite and Mayor Phillips have issued this joint supplemental proclamation pursuant to the authority granted by state law and the aforementioned City Ordinances for the purpose of clarification for all.
WHAT IS CLOSED?
In Southaven, all restaurant dining rooms, bars, nightclubs, lounges, taverns, gyms, theaters, and recreational and amusement facilities shall be closed. In Olive Branch all restaurant dining rooms are closed. In Olive Branch, no bar, tavern, or similar establishment shall allow any inside service or on-premises (indoor or outdoor) consumption.
WHAT IS OPEN, BUT SUBJECT TO COMPLIANCE WITH CDC GUIDELINES REGARDING THE SIZE OF GATHERINGS?
Non-essential businesses, clubs, organizations, places of worship (not restricting worship, just physical gatherings), or other gatherings shall adhere to the CDC guidelines to limit crowds or gatherings to no more than 10 people. In Southaven, this includes non-essential retail stores of 4000 square feet or smaller and salons. In Olive Branch it includes non-essential retail stores of any size. In Olive Branch, other non-essential facilities such as gyms, salons, and recreational facilities are also subject to CDC guidelines and the limitations of the Ordinance.
The Cities of Southaven and Olive Branch have ordered all non-essential operations to implement the CDC guidelines. Each facility may determine the method of compliance best suited for its operations. However, failure to comply is a violation of the ordinance, punishable as a misdemeanor, and may result in the consideration of further restrictions if necessary to protect the public health. Again, both cities stress the importance of a common-sense approach and encourage all to use their own good judgment to minimize risks.
WHAT ARE CONSIDERED ESSENTIAL SERVICES AND OPERATIONS WITH NOMANDATED RESTRICTIONS?
The following are considered Essential Services and Operations pursuant to the Ordinances:
Healthcare and Public Health Operations: hospitals; nursing homes; clinics; dental offices; pharmacies; drug stores; public health entities; manufacturers and suppliers of public health supplies; blood banks; eye care centers; home healthcare operations; mental health providers; rehabilitation services; ancillary healthcare services including veterinary care, but excluding fitness and exercise gyms, spas, salons, barbershops, and similar facilities.
Government Operations: City, County, State, and Federal offices and facilities.
Essential Distribution and Manufacturing Infrastructure and Services: distribution centers; manufacturers and distributors of household goods and items for the supply chain; hardware stores; building management and maintenance; airport operations; automobile dealerships and distributors; insurance companies; utility companies; flood control, solid waste, and recycling operations; internet, telecommunication, security (including cybersecurity) and related emergency communication systems; construction operations conducted pursuant to an issued building permit.
Food Services: Grocery stores; food production and distribution facilities; convenience stores (but not dine-in); stores that sell food and medicine and essential household goods; food pantries.
Banks; Financial Institutions.
Licensed daycares (subject to guidance from state licensing authorities).
Critical trades: Plumbers; electricians; exterminators; cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and government facilities; security companies; HVAC; auto repair, small engine repair, and essential sales operations; and other service providers that maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences and other essential structures.
Educational institutions for the facilitation of remote learning.
Hotels and motels: for lodging (with ancillary food service conducted pursuant to the restaurant guidelines contained herein).
Restaurants: drive-through; curbside delivery; home delivery; and take out, provided that CDC guidelines are maintained. No on-premises consumption of food.
Professional services needed for the support of essential activities.
Lawn care services.
Funeral homes and related services and activities; places of worship solely for funeral activities.
Organizations providing essential charitable services.
Essential Critical Infrastructure Operations pursuant to Department of Homeland Security CISA guidelines.
Essential service providers are vital to the local, state, a national economy and provide necessary supplies for public health, safety, and welfare. Essential service providers are urged, where possible, to comply with all applicable CDC guidance.
HOW LONG WILL THIS ORDINANCE AND MANDATED RESTRICTIONS LAST?
These regulations are in force in Southaven until further order of the City with an ongoing re-assessment as new information develops daily with ever-changing circumstances. The Olive Branch Ordinance extends until April 21st (unless rescinded earlier). It is both cities’ hope to rescind this Ordinance as soon as it is safe to do so and return to the thriving local economies we both have enjoyed.
Before passing this Ordinance, both cities promoted the recommendations of public health experts and also implemented these recommendations into City operations. Both Cities have maintained the services essential for citizens while limiting risk with public gatherings at park facilities, both City Halls, and Municipal Courts. Recreational activities that do not promote mass gatherings of people are still available in both cities and much needed for the health of our citizens.
Southaven and Olive Branch are growing, dynamic, and active communities with people of all ages and activity levels, business and industry of all types, and diverse economies. Adoption and enforcement of any Ordinance is complicated in towns with so many intersecting interests and activities. When facing unprecedented circumstances, the implementation of an Ordinance dealing with a state of civil emergency is certain to carry with it a measure of confusion, complexity, and unforeseeable issues. Both Cities, and both Mayors, are committed to protecting public health, maintaining the supply of vital goods and services, and promoting the welfare of the community. Both Cities encourage all citizens and visitors to voluntarily comply with the Ordinances, with current CDC and Health Dept. guidance, and with common-sense hygiene. Please help your community successfully limit the effects of the virus. Ideally, further regulation of public activity will not be needed. We appreciate your patience, support, and cooperation.
Scott Phillips, Mayor of Olive Branch
Darren Musselwhite, Mayor of Southaven