By Alyssa Schnugg
City of Oxford Board Meeting – March 22, 2020
City of Oxford officials shuttered all non-essential businesses including bars, entertainment venues, beauty salons and retails stores not offering curbside service Sunday evening with the passing of a “Stay at Home” resolution.
During a special meeting Sunday evening, Mayor Robyn Tannehill sat at the long table void of her fellow Board of Aldermen who all attended the meeting via conference call. Only 10 people were allowed inside the courtroom.
Effective immediately, The city of Oxford requests that all citizens stay at home except for essential needs. The intent of the resolution is to ensure the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible.
It is the second resolution passed this week in hopes to curb the spread of COVID-19. Last week the Board of Aldermen closed dining areas of restaurants requiring that only curbside, delivery or drive-thru services be used.
There was no curfew implemented Sunday.
“I’d rather allow citizens to plan trips at all times of the day rather than have everyone in the grocery store at the same time,” she said Sunday.
Effective immediately, all bars, entertainment venues, meetings of fraternal and civic organizations, bowling alleys, theaters, tattoo parlors, barbershops, hair/beauty/nail/tanning salons, spas, gyms, convention centers, community centers and parks – except for walking trails – shopping centers and retail stores – except where curbside pick-up is available – shall be closed to the public.
Liquor stores may remain open if they do curbside pick-up service only.
This also applies to municipally-owned convention spaces, community centers and parks and anyone who has already paid to rent those facilities will be given a full refund.
While walking trails are open at city parks, the playgrounds at parks like Avent Park are now closed.
Governmental services, such as fire, police, courts, sanitation and utilities are to remain open as well as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, veterinarian offices, gas stations, drug stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, farmer markets, laundromats, food banks, convenience stores, hardware stores, security companies and businesses providing necessary services such as landscapers, plumbers, electricians and HVAC. Benefit organizations such as Interfaith Compassion Ministries, United Way, Salvation Army, Red Cross and Communicare, accountants, attorneys, engineers and architects may also remain open as may accountants, attorneys, engineers and architects to the extent that such professional services are able to operate under CDC and MSDH regulations.
The resolution also mandates that all churches, temples and places of worship, assemblies and gathering including but limited to private clubs, shall adhere to the guidelines of the CDC and MSDG and limits numbers of gathering to no more than 10 people at once, and includes funerals, wedding and other social gatherings.
Aldermen Janice Antonow asked about daycares since many parents working in the health fields and other professions still rely on daycare.
Tannehill said daycares are considered a service and are allowed to remain open if they follow the CDC guidelines of not grouping more than 10 children in one area and having the same worker in the room with them.
For more information, the city of Oxford has posted a FAQ in regards to the resolution on its website.