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Apr 17


Posted on April 17, 2020 at 4:03 PM by Melitta Duncan

Phase One-April 28-May 15, Phase Two-May 15-June 1, Phase Three-After June 1 

Today, Governor Reeves indicated that his “Shelter-in Place” Order will be extended until April 27.  The only changes to his order is that he will allow lakes, beaches, and fishing to open as well as drive-through, curbside, and delivery commerce options for all businesses.

The purpose of our meeting today is not to change anything until April 28.  Everything we do as a City will be in compliance with state law and orders.  Our purpose today is to bring HOPE.  Our people have done what we asked, made many sacrifices, and come together while showing their toughness and resilience, but it’s time for all to know what lies ahead and to have a plan to re-open our businesses and lives.  This plan is contingent upon Governor Reeves allowing us this leniency on April 28.

We’re not “in the clear” yet and must continue to be smart, but local statistics are indicating that we have slowed the spread of the COVID-19 virus, minimized our public health risk, and flattened the curve of a potential over-run of our health care facilities. 

We’ve made significant progress and must now weigh other health risks as well as the economic risks that these efforts have created.  It’s time to plan our comeback and restore HOPE for everyone in returning to some form of normalcy.

For this reason, effective April 28, 2020 at 12:01 AM, all businesses, organizations, and facilities, except those listed as closed below, shall be allowed to re-open in the City of Southaven, subject to a 33% building capacity occupancy limit and social distancing requirement of a minimum of 6 feet between all persons at all times and at all locations.  This limit shall be increased to 50% capacity on May 15, 2020 at 12:01 AM with a longer range hope of allowing 100% capacity on June 1, 2020, subject to further update.  All listed as essential will remain unchanged, however, the City still recommends adherence to the CDC guidelines as it relates to social distancing between persons as well as recommending facial coverings of the mouth and nose when traveling in heavily-frequented locations.  Furthermore, we continue to plead with all of our citizens that may face a higher risk due to underlying health issues to continue to use all safeguarding measures to protect themselves.

PHASE ONE… What remains closed from April 28-May 15?


Recreational and amusement facilities, including playgrounds, basketball courts, volleyball courts, baseball/softball fields, and football/soccer fields (golf courses, tennis courts, walking/running trails, and other activities performed without teams are permitted with a social distancing requirement of 6 feet)

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)

PHASE TWO…What remains closed from May 15-June 1?

Playgrounds, stadium/bleacher seating at City parks, park concessions, and Forever Young senior activities


      Churches, funerals, weddings, and religious gatherings have always been listed as essential, but will have no other physical gathering restrictions.  Our churches have been incredible in cooperating with us and protecting the health of their congregations and our public, in general.  (It is important to note that U.S. Supreme Court rulings in the past have expressed that governments do have the Constitutional right to limit assemblies temporarily under the pressures of great dangers to the general health and welfare of the public.) Jacobsen vs. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11, 29 (1905)  

Restaurant dining rooms may open with capacity limitations and social distancing requirements on April 28.

Gyms may open with capacity limitations and social distancing requirements on April 28.

Golf, tennis, and other recreational activities performed without teams are permitted with social distancing requirements of 6 feet on April 28.

Snowden Grove, Greenbrook, and the Arena will open for baseball, softball, and volleyball tournaments as well as recreational league games with social distancing requirements on May 15.


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

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

This plan will allow us continue to analyze and minimize our public health risks while also minimizing economic risks and moving towards normalcy in our lives as soon as safely possible. 

We will continue to analyze statistics daily and make appropriate changes if our numbers move in a negative direction.

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!    #southavenstrong

With the most concern and respect,

Mayor Darren Musselwhite

Click here to view Special Meeting April 17, 2020