Tupelo MS – With respect to the coronavirus pandemic, the City of Tupelo has ordered “social distancing” restrictions on when and how restaurants in Northeast Mississippi’s largest city may operate.
For the short term the city’s proclamation says restaurants may be occupied by no more than 50% of their licensed occupation or not more than 20 persons, whichever is less.
Then, beginning on Monday, March 23rd, Tupelo restaurants are required to close their dining rooms and to offer only “curbside, carry-out, to-go or other such services.”
Tupelo Executive Order 20-004 does allow businesses, including restaurants, to “erect tents, banners and take any other reasonable steps” to facilitate such restricted food service.
Restaurants will be allowed to use on-street parking spaces to help make curbside or carry-out service workable for their customers.
Regardless of how food is served, restaurants in Tupelo are ordered to close by 9 PM daily, with that restriction lasting until April 1, 2020.
Large retailers, such as grocery stores, are required to “adhere to CDC requirements including, but not limited to, social distancing; all employees shall wear latex gloves.”
Smaller retail businesses such as gasoline stations and convenience stores are ordered to allow no more than ten customers inside at any one time. Employees of such facilities are also ordered to wear latex gloves.
Playgrounds in all Tupelo parks are “closed until further notice.” Other facilities in city parks may remain open so long as they observe the “social distancing requirements of the CDC.”
Recreational facilities such as skating rinks, bowling alleys, arcades are required to close by 5 p.m. today, Friday, March 20, and to remain closed until Wednesday, April 1st. The order notes that movie theaters are excepted because they have already closed.
The Tupelo proclamation complains about the lack of direction from state and federal officials “regarding major employers within our city limits.” The proclamation urges federal and state officials to “take decisive action immediately.”
The proclamation concludes that all directives will “be revisited Monday, March 23, 2020, at 10 a.m. and are subject to being amended by any applicable state or federal proclamation, rule or regulation.”
Tupelo Executive order 20-004 was signed by Jason Shelton, Tupelo’s mayor, on Thursday, March 19.
Need some practical help with the whys and hows of social distancing? Here’s two good suggestions based on information from Asaf Bitton, a primary-care physician, public-health researcher, and the director of the Ariadne Labs, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health: A short one –Social Distancing: This is Not a Snow Day
A much more detailed one: How to practice social distancingcoronavirus, executive orders, Mississippi COVID-19, politics, social distancing, Tupelo MS