Natchez is staying the course for now

Published 6:20 pm Thursday, May 7, 2020

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Much of the state and nation are loosening restrictions on many non-essential businesses.

Restaurants and bars throughout Mississippi are now allowed to serve sit-down customers again as long as those establishments follow social distancing and sanitization requirements under the statewide order and are not located in a jurisdiction with more strict guidelines.

That is the case inside the Natchez city limits where a local order that is more strict than the state order is in place, so restaurants and bars are still only allowed to offer curb side, pick up and delivery service.

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In Louisiana, businesses are still under stay-at-home restrains on non-essential businesses under the state orders.

Regardless of where you stand on whether it is too soon to reopen such businesses, the orders dictate our behavior within the jurisdictions.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves’ order amending his “Safer at Home” order issued Monday advises more vulnerable people, elderly people and people with underlying conditions to continue sheltering in place, and Reeves’ order also acknowledges that local orders can be more strict than his own order but cannot be less strict.

Meanwhile, some restaurants and bars outside of the city limits of Natchez are planning to go back to business, but inside Natchez, we will stay the course.

In Adams County, the numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths continue to go up each day, so Natchez is making the safe call to continue the current stay at home order through May 31 even as other parts of the state and county begin to reopen some businesses.

In the meantime, we encourage all Miss-Lou businesses to gain Shop Smart Miss-Lou certification through Natchez Inc. and the Concordia Economic Development Authority to show that your business has taken the steps to ensure customer and employee safety when you do reopen.