Mayor Barker Provides Further Guidance to Businesses in Response to COVID-19

Mayor Barker Provides Further Guidance to Businesses in Response to COVID-19

Hattiesburg, Mississippi – On Tuesday night, Mayor Toby Barker issued an updated executive order to provide guidance to essential and non-essential retail businesses, spas, nail salons, hair salons and barbershops.

This order goes into effect on Thursday, March 26 and will be enforced until April 30, 2020. It includes the following:

  • All financial services institutions (including banks and related financial institutions, insurance, payroll, accounting, processing financial transactions and services related to financial markets) should limit public access to the building’s interior through and by appointment only. Banks can continue drive-through service to customers.
  • Gas stations, laundromats, automotive/bicycle repair shops, liquor and beer stores should limit access to 10 or fewer customers at one time.
  • Grocery stores, dollar stores, convenience stores, pharmacies and hardware/building material stores should implement systems to limit access to a certain number of customers at one time in the store. This limit should correspond to the square footage in their sales areas. Guidelines for these ratios will be sent to each store, and these systems should be in place no later than March 26, 2020.
  • Grocery stores, dollar stores, convenience stores, pharmacies and hardware/building material stores should not allow lines to form outside their entrances. Customers waiting to enter the building should wait at a vehicle.
  • Grocery stores, dollar stores, convenience stores, pharmacies and hardware/building material stores should provide at least six (6) feet of space between customers in and around checkout lines.
  • Grocery stores, dollar stores, convenience stores, pharmacies and hardware/building material stores should take steps to discourage the clustering of customers in sales areas.

The order also includes the following recommendations for non-essential businesses in the City of Hattiesburg, taking effect tomorrow, March 25, 2020, until April 30, 2020.

  • All spas, nail salons, tattoo shops and massage parlors shall close.
  • All barbershops and hair salons may continue to operate by appointment only. The barber, cosmetologist, stylist or other practitioners must wear personal protective equipment to cover his/her mouth. There shall be no available sitting area for waiting customers. There shall be a maximum of one customer in the building at one time. All barbershops and salons shall adhere to best practices and state regulations in regards to hand washing and cleaning, sanitizing and/or disinfecting chairs, floors and equipment thoroughly after each customer.
  • Nonessential retail stores (sporting goods, clothing stores, florists, furniture stores, auto dealers – excluding auto repair shops-, book stores and jewelry stores) shall limit access to their stores to either curbside service, pickup sales or by appointment only. However, at no time shall there be more than 10 customers in a building at a time.

Barker closed his address by stating, “We as a city can set policies that hopefully lead to good collective outcomes of flattening the curve; but the ultimate success of whether we slow the spread of coronavirus in the Hattiesburg community…depends on you. You ultimately decide – on whether or not you make good decisions with your health and the health of those you come into contact with.

The reason that the city acts in the form of policy and executive order…acts that have devastating economic consequences to your fellow citizens…the reason we do that is to enable you to make better decisions. COVID-19 is dangerous. It is a threat to the lives of our people. I need you, I’m asking you – to stay home. Do only what is essential, and then go home.”
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SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

Executive Order 2020-3, issued on March 24: http://www.hattiesburgms.com/…/uploads/exec_order_2020-3.pdf
Executive Order 2020-2, issued on March 21: http://www.hattiesburgms.com/…/uploads/exec_order_2020-2.pdf
Executive Order 2020-1, issued on March 17: http://www.hattiesburgms.com/…/uploads/exec_order_2020-1.pdf

Executive Order 1463, issued on March 24 by Governor Tate Reeves: http://www.hattiesburgms.com/wp-content/uploads/Executive-Order-1463-Governor-Tate-Reeves.pdf