As two more cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Yazoo County this week, local officials were taking steps to try to reduce the impact.
Yazoo County declared a State of Emergency, and the City of Yazoo enacted an 11 p.m. curfew.
The city enacted a curfew Monday with aldermen Sir Jonathan Rucker and Elizabeth Thomas voting against it and Mayor Diane Delaware and aldermen Ron Johnson and Andre Lloyd voting for it.
The number of confirmed cases continues to rise statewide with Yazoo County now having three confirmed cases. The first case within the state was reported on March 11. Statewide cases reached 320 Tuesday, with those numbers increasing each day. With a limited number of individuals being tested, the numbers of cases are likely to be much higher.
Emergency and elected officials continue to ask that the entire Yazoo community practice all safety precautions that are in place to battle this worldwide pandemic.
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen and the Yazoo County Board of Supervisors have both approved emergency declarations. The city council also passed a resolution last week that prohibited the gathering of more than ten people, which included the closure of all bars, nightclubs and event centers within the city limits. City restaurants were also asked to close their dining areas and only handle pick-up, delivery or curbside orders.
County supervisors asked that their department heads identify essential employees and ask that they work from home if possible.
County officials also said no events, meetings or gatherings of more than ten people shall take place at public buildings, facilities and other places until further notice.
The Yazoo County Sheriff’s Department may implement visitation policies for the Yazoo County Jail to minimize and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Visitation with prisoners by their attorney shall not be unreasonably restricted.
Supervisor Cobie Collins, president of the county board, was also given authority to officially close any county public buildings.
Yazoo County Emergency Management Director Jack Willingham said he completely understands the uncertainty among citizens. He said the important thing is to practice precautionary recommendations and remain calm.
“We ask that people not hoard food,” Willingham said. “This is to ensure everyone has access to the supplies they need. There is not a food shortage. The overwhelming demand has slowed the process of getting food back on the shelves.”
Willingham said the presence of the National Guard should not concern anyone.
“They are assisting with delivering supplies and doing humanitarian services to help the Mississippi Department of Health and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency,” he added.
Willingham said small businesses that are economically impacted can apply for an economic disaster loan through the Small Business Administration. Applications can be made online.
“You can also apply for unemployment benefits if you are unable to work because you are quarantined by a medical professional or government agency, if you were laid off or sent home without pay by your employer for an extended amount of time because of COVID-19, if you were diagnosed with COVID-19 or if you are caring for an immediate family member who has been diagnosed,” Willingham said.
To file an unemployment claim, visit the MDES website at www.mdes.ms.gov.