The Petal Senior Center will reopen for the first time since March after temporarily closing its doors because of the threat caused by COVID-19, although that opening date is pending some cleaning and disinfecting measures.
The Petal Board of Aldermen voted to reopen the center – which is located on Central Avenue in Petal – at Tuesday’s meeting after Ward 2 Alderman Steve Stringer made a motion to put the item on the board’s agenda. Occupancy will be limited to no more than 25 people, and visitors must wear a mask at all times.
“They’re fogging the building as we speak, and they have the hand sanitizer stations on the wall,” Stringer said. “With those restrictions, I think it’s okay – wearing a mask it the key, and (we’re) also working on a waiver that they can sign.
“I know we’ve got a lot of people that use it and are ready to see it open.”
Officials will likely give cleaning measures about a week before the building opens.
“Let’s just say as soon as we can adequately cleanse (the building), and whenever they think it’s clean,” Mayor Hal Marx said. “Nobody’s been in it for more 14 days, so anything that’s there (virus-wise) should be dead, as far as that goes. It’s been closed for over three months.”
In addition, one employee that was furloughed when the center was closed will be brought back to work beginning July 8 to help start the cleaning process. Another employee who was temporarily moved to another location also will come back to the center.
Ward 3 Alderman Clint Moore reminded the public to continue to exercise caution after the center reopens.
“Like (Gov. Tate Reeves) said, this (virus) is still a very real threat to our health, so just be mindful of that as you’re out and about,” he said. “We as a city are very thankful that, to this point, we’ve made it through the coronavirus pretty well.
“A lot of cities have been hurting and have had to lay off a lot of people, but fortunately our team has done a good job of staying safe, so we haven’t had to have sweeping personnel changes. So we’re thankful for that, and the city’s in good shape, but just continue to be mindful of that going on.”