Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Lafayette County Closes Retail Businesses Not Using Curbside Pickup

By Alyssa Schnugg
News editor

The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution Tuesday during a specially-called meeting that extends required closing of retail businesses not utilizing curbside pick-up services in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The resolution includes recreational facilities, tattoo parlors, barbershops, hair/beauty/nail/tanning salons, spas and gyms.

“As we know now we have eight confirmed cases in the county,” said Board President Mike Roberts. “Which is better than expected but we still don’t need to give up our fight to control this.”

The board is meeting periodically outside of its usual bi-monthly meeting schedule to discuss options and get updates on the situation. 

“We ask for your prayers, your patience,” he said. “These aren’t easy decisions to make. It’s not to penalize anybody but to protect our county as a whole.”

The discussion and vote on the resolution took place in an executive session and Roberts announced the decision afterward in the board room.

Prior to going into executive session, the board received an update from Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Quarles, who told the supervisors the county received 10,000 masks from the state that are being distributed to about 20 health agencies in Oxford and Lafayette County.

He said there are seven testing sites in Lafayette County. Some are using private labs for testing for COVID-19, while others are using state labs.

“Some of the independent labs are getting results back in four to five days and longer in some cases,” he said. “That’s what causes the lag with cases that we know about but aren’t seeing reported by (Mississippi State Department of Health) right away.”

Quarles also reported on the Lafayette County School District’s efforts to make sure children receive food while school is closed. He said more than 500 meals have been served each day since Friday and expect the numbers to increase this week once it stops raining Wednesday.

He said teachers are also delivering groceries and LovePacks to many students in the county.

“They’ve been doing an exceptional job,” Quarles said of the school district.

Quarles said the county is contracting churches asking them to continue reaching out to the elderly who may not be able to get out and get groceries and other household needs.

According to Quarles, more than 130 local businesses have already applied for disaster assistance from the Small Business Association through the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce.

“That number is probably higher since there are ways to sign up outside of going through the chamber,” he said Tuesday.

The Board of Supervisor will meet again at 4 p.m. on Monday at the Chancery Building unless the need to call another special meeting arises.

Videos of the meetings are available to view on Lafayette County Facebook page.