HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker has made revisions to the executive order that was announced Tuesday in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The updates came during a news conference from Barker Saturday morning, announcing new changes to guidelines for businesses from the original version of the executive order that was taken into effect March 18.
“After looking at our own community data and conferring with our medical professionals – specifically Drs. Farrell and Rouhbakhsh from Forrest General Hospital and Hattiesburg Clinic – we decided to move forward with updating the restrictions that were included in the executive order from Tuesday. It also reflects the guidelines that the Department of Health issued on Friday night,” said Barker.
Updates in the new version of the executive order will mainly effect bars, nightclubs, restaurants, coffee shops, event venues and fitness centers in Hattiesburg and will go into effect Sunday and will remain in effect until April 30 as the guidelines will be enforced citywide.
The following revisions to the executive order for Hattieburg are as follows:
- All restaurants located in the City of Hattiesburg, with or without drive-in or drive-through services, may only provide take-out, pick-up, delivery or drive-through services as allowed by law. There shall be no in-house dining or available sitting areas for the public.
- Bars, taverns, lounges and nightclubs shall close, except to the extent that such establishments may only provide take-out, pick-up delivery or drive-through services for food as allowed by law.
- Public and common areas in malls, including food courts, shall close.
- Entertainment venues, such as skating rinks and bowling alleys, shall close.
- Movie theaters shall remain closed until April 30, 2020.
- All dance hall permits remain suspended.
- There shall be no gatherings of more than 10 people for any event. This includes, but is not limited to, church services, weddings, concerts and other entertainment events.
- Funerals shall also be limited to 10 or fewer people. Graveside services are encouraged; however, indoor services and viewings are permitted, as long as there are 10 or fewer people inside at one time. Funeral home directors are encouraged to livestreams services for those who cannot attend. Funeral home directors should also follow all CDC guidelines as it relates to visitations, viewing and funerals.
- All gyms and fitness centers shall be closed.
“The potential for this to carry on for two or three more months is real,” said Barker. “This alone should be a sobering thought for anyone. We are about to be stretched like never before. And, when we make decisions like this; when we take into account those who will be adversely affected economically; when we think about those who are sick right now; when we think about our doctors and nurses and the risks they are taking on... it should make it really easy for us to just stay home and make good decisions.”