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County grants exceptions to curfew for casino, city expected to follow

NATCHEZ — Adams County officials are granting exceptions to a curfew created in the COVID-19 pandemic to allow citizens to travel to and from lawfully opened businesses after hours.

A curfew adopted by officials last week lasts from 11 p.m. through 5 a.m.

In a regularly scheduled meeting of the Adams County Board of Supervisors Monday, which was hosted via teleconference, Emergency Management Director Robert Bradford requested for board officials to grant exceptions to the curfew allowing businesses to operate.

Bradford said the request stemmed from conversations with owners of the Magnolia Bluff’s Casino who wanted to allow casino employees to clean and sanitize surfaces between the hours of 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. once they reopen May 21.

The board adopted the exception to the county’s curfew unanimously.

The exception would not allow people to loiter or gather in groups outside of businesses or in public spaces, officials said.

Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell said in a meeting of his Coronavirus Task Force on Monday that the city is expected to consider granting exceptions to its curfew for the casino and other approved businesses already excepted from the curfew at an upcoming  special called meeting of the board of aldermen.

In his report during Monday’s meeting, Bradford said 19 reported COVID-19 cases in Natchez and Adams County were still active cases while the county has had a total of 173 COVID-19 cases and 15 virus-related deaths confirmed by the Mississippi State Department of Health since March 11.

Bradford said 58 of the reported COVID-19 cases in the county and 96 reported cases within city limits were no longer active, meaning those patients had either recovered or succumbed to the disease.