Mayor suggests caution, and fact checking, while supporting local businesses

Published 12:36 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Within the city of Picayune it’s business as usual. City employees are still working to ensure all services are up and running, public works personnel are keeping water running and just about all local businesses are open.

Mayor Ed Pinero said that he and other city personnel have been fielding a number of questions from the public concerning COVID-19, such as whether the city will shut down, and/or if the City Council will ask local businesses to shutter.

Pinero said there are no plans to close the city down, nor ask any business to close. He added that the city’s administration has been reporting to work, but access to City Hall is being restricted currently.

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“We are fully functional and fully staffed,” Pinero said.

However, bill payments can only be made via the city’s drive-thru or through the city’s online bill pay option on the website.

“We are not shutting down anyone’s business. Businesses are working hard to exceed any level of cleanliness,” Pinero said.

Many local restaurants are even offering a curbside pickup service if the customer is concerned about sitting inside the establishment.

“We suggest supporting those local businesses at this time,” Pinero said.

While he did not have a complete list on hand, Pinero said that he has heard that a majority of local restaurants that do not already have a drive-thru are offering curbside pickup.

He also suggested checking the local media and the city’s website for updates concerning local news such as event cancellations.

As far as precautions concerning crowd sizes and proper health protection, the only reliable source is the Centers for Disease Control and the Mississippi State Department of Health. Information found on any social media site is not official.

“If you are hearing news from social media, you have access to the Internet. Check the official sources, not people’s theories,” Pinero said.

He also cautioned people against hoarding everyday supplies because local grocery stores have indicated to him that regular restocking of items is ongoing and will continue.

“Help your neighbor and be considerate. Only buy what you need. Everything will be ok,” Pinero said.

As for the city’s water supply, it is provided by a closed system that gets the water from a local aquifer.

“This is not a Katrina level event where it knocks out power grids. Everything will continue to function. But we do need to take precautions for the health aspect. We want everyone to remain healthy and take precautions for that,” Pinero said.