COVID restrictions and the city-wide curfew are still in effect as more deaths are reported within Yazoo County.
With two aldermen abstaining, the majority of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen continued the city’s 9 p.m. curfew. Alderman Sir Johnathan Rucker and Alderwoman Elizabeth Thomas voiced their concerns over enforcing the curfew when restaurants within the city are allowed to remain open until 10 p.m.
“Why have a curfew if the restaurants are open,” asked Rucker. “It causes more work on the police officers. I don’t see a purpose in the curfew.”
“Why not move it to 10 p.m. since you can eat in the restaurants until then,” Thomas asked.
Police Chief Jay Winstead said that is a difficult task to enforce the curfew when many citizens can claim they were out to handle essential needs.
“A third of our reported arrests were COVID-related, and most of those were curfew violations,” Winstead said. “If they say they are going to get gas or food, you can’t do anything about it. Unless there is a shutdown of the city at a certain time, there are going to be people out because they are circumventing that loophole.”
Although Rucker and Thomas abstained from voting on the curfew, the city council approved continuing the 9 p.m. restriction.
Delaware said she continues to take COVID seriously, and she urges the public to continue following the city-issued restrictions and ordinances.
“There are those who think I talk about COVID-19 too often,” Delaware said. “Being Diane Delaware, I found it necessary to check some numbers.”
Delaware said about 170,000 people have died from COVID across the country in the last four months. She added that up to about 61,000 people have died from the flu annually since 2010.
“This pandemic is real,” she said. “It has not chosen to leave us. And we haven’t found a way to make it go away. With COVID-19, there is no cure or vaccine.”
Winstead also said that his department will be enforcing the regulations heavily during the Labor Day holiday weekend.
“The barbecues, where people gather and don’t follow social distancing and the sanitary guidelines, are one of the places where family members and friends spread COVID,” Delaware said. “Other places are where we long to be, such as funerals, weddings, family and class reunions. In Yazoo City, we ask that you please think about this because after every holiday, we have a spike in COVID.”
As of press time, the state reported a total of 958 cases reported in Yazoo County with 21 deaths. Of those reports, 29 cases and four deaths were reported at long-term care facilities.