The state’s shelter-in-place order came at the heels of the city council modifying its city-wide curfew.
Unless citizens within Yazoo City are conducting “essential” business, they have to be off the streets by 9 p.m. within Yazoo City.
“In an effort to help law enforcement agencies to maintain a safe city, we have the authority to close our city down as necessary in an emergency situation,” said Mayor Diane Delaware.
“Essential business” after the 9 p.m. curfew includes going to the hospital, grocery store or pharmacy. It also includes being allowed to purchase food or drinks.
“I am not telling a business what time to close,” Delaware said. “If you need groceries, get groceries. If you need to go to the pharmacy, go to the pharmacy. If you need food, go get food. But we will be calling on certain businesses who are making it impossible to stay six feet apart.”
Alderman Sir Johnathan Rucker abstained from voting on the curfew, stating that he had concerns the curfew wouldn’t be enforced fairly or properly by local officers.
“My issue is not having a curfew,” he said. “My issue is what are we doing once we out these things in the books? I am for keeping the citizens safe and for stopping COVID-19. But the real issue is what are we supposed to be doing because we are not doing it?”
Delaware admits the manpower behind the local police force is down. But she said she feels the police department is doing a good job. She asked that fellow board members who have concerns with any department within the city come visit with her prior to the board meetings.
“Come visit me individually,” she added. “Don’t wait until the meeting.”
Delaware also reminded the city council that non-essential businesses should not be open.
“We can’t close the down the whole town, but some businesses have to be open,” she said.
With Rucker abstaining, the board approved the 9 p.m. curfew.