Mayor's Report

Apr 01


The original item was published from April 1, 2020 5:54 PM to April 1, 2020 7:06 PM

Today, Governor Tate Reeves issued Executive Order #1466 which orders a “Shelter-in-Place” for all of Mississippi effective at 5:00 PM on Friday, April 3, 2020 in force until Monday, April 20 at 8:00 AM to slow the spread of the COVID-19 Virus.

This order will offer strength and more enforcement capabilities from our state government to add to our “Stay-Away” Order issued by me on March 28, 2020 and our Civil Emergency Ordinance passed on March 22, 2020.  As I’ve stated throughout this crisis, it is not possible to literally mandate that people stay at home 100% of the time, indefinitely.  People must be able to travel to get the necessities of life for their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.  I’ve communicated this and now the Governor is emphasizing this with this order that minimizes the risk of spread of this disease as much as possible.

I commend Governor Reeves for his willingness to listen to the specific concerns of local mayors, like myself, and other elected officials and provide the much-needed support that we need to protect all people in our state and beyond.  I’ve repeatedly communicated specific concerns for Southaven and Desoto County because of the increased risk of spread due to our population density and close proximity to the Memphis-Metro area.  This virus knows no boundaries at all and poses a serious risk to the public health and safety of our people.

While I encourage all to read the Executive Order in its entirety, my statement today is being made for the purpose of clarifying and simplifying how this order correlates with the City of Southaven’s Ordinance and the ultimate effect both will have on our citizens and businesses.  The Governor has ordered all individuals to stay at their principal dwelling, unless it is unsafe, or unless traveling to perform or acquire essential services as further defined.  Individuals may use outdoor spaces as long as social distancing of a minimum of 6 feet is maintained between each individual and gatherings in groups of more than 10 people are avoided.  In addition, the City still pleads with all people to adhere to all CDC guidelines at all times as well as using facial coverings of the mouth and nose when moving inside essential buildings.


The following are considered Essential Services pursuant to the Governor’s Orders:

Government operations, including defense operations, law enforcement, and courts

Healthcare, including home health care, and veterinarian care

Essential retail, including grocery stores, pharmacies, food and beverage stores, nutrition stores, convenience stores (excluding inside dining ), gas and fuel stations, hardware and building material suppliers,  firearm and ammunition suppliers, telecommunication equipment suppliers, sanitation, cleaning, and household necessity suppliers, office and professional service suppliers, and restaurants for drive-through, curbside service, or delivery (excluding inside dining and take-out)

Essential infrastructure, including utilities, supply chain, communications, telecommunications, public works, transportation, and hotel/lodging

Manufacturing, wholesale and distribution, and shipping


Essential services, including mail, sanitation, laundry, medial and hazardous waste management, building cleaning, building security, home sales and repair, automobile sales and repair,  and mortuaries and cemeteries

Construction and related trades, including but not limited to lumber, building materials and hardware, electricians, plumbers, painters, cleaning and janitorial, and moving and relocation services

Banks and financial services

Professional services, including attorneys, accountants, architects, engineers, real estate sales and service, and insurance sales and service

Media outlets

Education to facilitate remote learning, critical research, or meal provision

Technological and logistics support

Child-care programs and services

Churches, funerals, weddings, and religious gatherings (subject to CDC limit of 10 persons)

Basic-necessity services for disadvantaged persons

Lawn care

Pest control

Essential services required to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences and essential businesses

Non-essential facility maintenance and minimum operations


The following list is not all-inclusive, but is provided for the purpose of answering frequently-asked questions:

Restaurant dining rooms, including take-out options, but drive-through, curbside, and delivery options remain available

Bars, taverns, and nightclubs

Theaters and museums

Gyms, fitness clubs, spas, and dance studios

Salons, barber shops, and tattoo parlors

Recreational and amusement facilities, including playgrounds, golf courses, tennis courts, basketball courts, volleyball courts, baseball/softball fields, and football/soccer fields (walking/running trails remain open)

City government facility interiors, excluding those facilitating public meetings mandated by state law, fire stations, and police stations ( all services provided by drive-through windows, drop boxes, and other remote means)

Clothing stores and other non-essential retail

Local law enforcement’s enforcement of eviction orders

This crisis continues to change daily and my hope is this time period will show significant progress in controlling the spread so that we can move towards normalcy in our lives as soon as safely possible.

Stay calm; stay smart; stay tough; stay positive; and stay away from risk as much as you can.  We will get through this and return stronger than ever!   #mississippitough #southavenstrong

With the most concern and respect,

Mayor Darren Musselwhite