Following shortly behind similar declarations issued by officials in Forrest County and Hattiesburg, Petal Mayor Hal Marx has declared an emergency declaration restricting all city restaurants, bars and nightclubs to take-out, pickup or delivery only, along with restrictions for certain other establishments, until further notice.
On Monday, Marx issued Executive Order 2020-1 in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, heeding the advice of the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.
“(Those organizations) advise that this pandemic is a serious risk to the lives of millions of Americans, including our citizens within the City of Petal, and threatens to overwhelm our local health care facilities,” Marx said in a statement. “Whereas, the best defense against a pandemic is to limit person-to-person contact, and both the MSDH and CDC have issued guidelines calling for ‘social distancing’ to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Beginning March 24, all Petal restaurants with or without drive-in or drive-through services may only provide take-out, pick-up, delivery, or drive-through services allowed by law. There shall be no in-house dining or available sitting areas for the public.
Bars, taverns, lounges and nightclubs are required to close, except to the extent that such establishments may only provide take-out, pick-up, delivery, or drive-through services for food as allowed by law. Entertainment venues, such as skating rinks and bowling alleys, also must close, along with gyms and other fitness centers.
In addition, gatherings for any event are limited to no more than 10 people. This includes, but is not limited to, church services, weddings, concerts and other entertainment venues.
Marx’s order comes on the heels of the same orders from Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker and the Forrest County Board of Supervisors, both of which were issued March 21.