With concerns over the threat of neighboring New Orleans’ coronavirus cases, six state senators from the Mississippi Coast are calling on Gov. Tate Reeves to close all beaches and direct local law enforcement to patrol restaurants, stores and other facilities to ensure social distancing directives.
The letter was signed by Phillip Moran (SD 46), Mike Thompson (SD 48), Joel Carter (SD 49), Scott DeLano (SD 50), Jeremy England (SD 51), and Brice Wiggins (SD 52).
The senators first ask the Governor to ensure Coast medical professionals and facilities have what they need to treat patients with the coronavirus.
“We want to ensure our hospitals have the equipment needed to respond to the likely influx of COVID-19 cases coming to the State,” the senators write, asking the Governor, MEMA and MSDH to report back on PPEs and facilities’ needs.
The part of the letter that is likely to draw attention, however, is where the senators call for the Governor to close beaches and have local authorities patrol businesses.
The senators request the Governor implement the following:
– Direct that all coastal beaches, public and private, be closed effective immediately to all non-residents, and remain so until April 30, 2020 or until further notice is given, with recommendation that all counties and municipalities direct law enforcement agencies to enforce the order; and
– Request that municipal and county officials patrol restaurants, grocery stores, retail stores, and other public facilities within their jurisdictions to ensure that people are abiding by the respective ordinance of the local governing authority relating to COVID-19.
“We respectfully request these actions be handed down immediately from your office,” the senators state. “We will stand by your decision to issue these directives, and we are confident that the people of the three Coastal counties of Mississippi will applaud these moves aimed at curbing the further spread of COVID-19.”
No response has been issued publicly by the Governor’s office as of yet.
Earlier today, cities in Harrison County stepped up local measures, ordering non-essential businesses to close, restricting numbers in box stores, and enacting curfews.
In Gulfport, citizens and businesses who ignore the directives could be fined up to $300 and/or up to six months in jail.