Mississippi mayors respond to governor’s Shelter-In-Place extension
Civic and business leaders from across Northeast Mississippi reacted to the governor’s decision Friday to extend his shelter in place order for one more week.
The coronavirus may have shuttered some businesses in Houston, but work was underway on new sidewalks and lighting on the square.
Sean Johnson is executive director of the Chickasaw Development Foundation.
He believed work on the beautification project was a visible sign that the city will see a rebound after the shelter in place order has been lifted and people get safely back to work.
“Everybody needs to stay safe, we need to make sure our hospitals are overrun with cases they can’t handle, but this thing will end , it will end at some point and we’re going to be prepared for a great time when it does,” said Johnson.
Houston has a series of concerts planned for the summer after winning a “Leavitt Amp” to promote outdoor music. The first few concerts may have to be rescheduled, but Mayor Stacey Parker said the public’s safety is paramount.
Parker also owns a funeral home, so he believed the extension of the shelter in place order was wise.
“I pray we don’t rush into something from an economic standpoint. Nothing against our businesses actually shut down, I think they’ve been taking it to heed, they are trying to do the right things too,” said Mayor Parker.
The city of Tupelo was among the first in the state to have restrictions on businesses and public gatherings to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Mayor Jason Shelton has been hopeful people will keep safety a priority, once the shelter in place order expires.
“My fear is that as soon as we reopen the economy we will see a spike. I think that will happen, but hopefully, it won’t be all that bad. Hopefully, people will continue to be mindful of social distancing. I know a lot of places will require masks,” said Mayor Shelton.
The governor’s order allowed non-essential businesses to offer curbside, delivery or drive-through sales. The order also opened lakes and beaches as long as social distancing rules were enforced.
The April 27 target date to lift Mississippi’s shelter in place order comes a few days before the May 1 target date set by President Trump to start reopening the national economy.