After an emergency special meeting over the weekend, city leaders have set limitations on the number of people allowed within a business in Yazoo City.
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen recently passed an emergency resolution that limited non-essential gatherings of no more than five people within the city limits. But the city council has taken additional steps concerning the amount of people within businesses and operations labeled as “essential,” which remain open.
The recent resolution said that the city council finds “conditions of extreme peril to the health and safety” of citizens within Yazoo City, adding that many are not adhering to the social distancing guidelines and precaution efforts.
“The city of Yazoo City is a small city where more extraordinary measures must be taken for health, safety and welfare of the citizens...especially when social distancing guidelines are being ignored,” reads the recent order.
All businesses still open and operating with 100,000 or more square feet can only have 30 customers inside their establishment at one time. Businesses with 25,000 to 99,999 square feet are limited to 20 customers at one time. And businesses with less than 24,999 square feet can only have up to ten customers at any given time.
Those businesses must also provide hand sanitizer and adhere to the social distancing guide lines of remaining six feet apartment.
Both the Yazoo City Police Department and the Yazoo County Sheriff’s Department distributed the order to businesses within Yazoo City in an effort to inform the public of the council’s latest action.
Those found in violation of the recent order are subject to misdemeanor prosecution. Those fines can go up to $1,000, following another order from another special meeting.
Last week, the city council set the violation fines up to $1,000, setting the maximum amount allowed by the state.
Alderman Sir Johnathan Rucker and Alderwoman Elizabeth Thomas opposed setting the fines that high.
“We want to impose a $1,000 fine in these times of financial crisis,” Rucker asked.
Rucker then moved to amend the fine back to its original amount, which did not pass with Mayor Diane Delaware and Aldermen Ron Johnson and Andre Lloyd in opposition.
Thomas said she had reservations that the fines will not be applied fairly.
“I don’t want to label or perhaps getting even with people,” she said.
As of press time, board attorney Lilli Evans-Bass said no one has been charged with violating any of the city’s emergency orders.