Public health alert doesn’t impact plans for some events, but does alter others

Public health alert doesn’t impact plans for some events, but does alter others

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - As we’ve seen COVID-19 numbers increase, we’ve also seen more health officials speak up about needing the public’s help.

Wednesday, the Department of Health issued a public health alert recommending that everyone in the state avoid social gatherings. The alert and the comments by Dr. Thomas Dobbs were cause for concern for Bishop Brian Seage of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi.

“I really felt like they’re asking us for help.” So Thursday morning he put out this directive to suspend all in-person services.

The Rt. Rev. Brian R. Seage announces a recommendation specifically extending to and including “in-person church services.” #episcopal

Posted by The Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi on Thursday, December 3, 2020

“Church doesn’t stop just because we leave the building,” described Seage. “Church continues and we can continue to reach out in those ways. It’s tough, you know, we all want to be together. But I’m asking the question, Can we all make a small sacrifice in order to protect the greater good?”

Among the bullet points of activities to avoid in that health alert were sporting events. But the Mississippi High School Activities Association say the football championship games are still set to be played Friday and Saturday.

“If the governor said you do not play and we would certainly follow those guidelines but it’s a recommendation,” explained MHSAA Executive Director Don Hinto. “We feel like we’ve been doing with all sports and activities throughout the whole year, our folks have been doing a great job at following the guidelines and that’s what we’re going to do this weekend.”

Each school has been given a COVID-19 screening document and they will have to provide that information for all football players, cheerleaders, and band members before they can get off the bus at the stadium.

Some cities are cancelling Christmas parades or events in light of the guidance. But Clinton’s Chamber is moving forward.

“We’re still going to have a parade but we’re encouraging everybody to watch it online,” said parade committee chairman Clay Mansell. “So, we’ll stream it. The city has a service where they can stream. It’ll be on Facebook, their YouTube channel and we’re already in all our communications, we’re asking people to watch it on Facebook.”

And they’re hoping that the two mile route will allow more social distancing for those who still watch in person. They’e also suggested watching from inside your car if you park in one of the parking lots along the route.

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