Schools close, access to city halls reduced to slow spread of COVID-19

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, March 17, 2020

A number of public services will be closed or offer restricted services this week.
According to posts on the city of Picayune and city of Poplarville’s Facebook pages, both municipalities are closing the lobby of their respective city halls.
Both facilities will be manned, but will only accept bill payments through the drive-thru.
Poplarville reports the closure will last until, “further notice,” while Picayune’s post simply states the closure will start on March 16.
Picayune’s City Council has canceled the planned meeting for 5 p.m. on March 17, while Poplarville’s Board of Aldermen plan to still hold its meeting on the same day and time.
“We will abide by the Open Meetings Act, however, we recommend that the public stay home. If you plan to attend, be prepared to answer a screening questionnaire at the door before entering the boardroom,” the post states.
Requests for party or event permits from the Board of Aldermen for Poplarville’s City Park or Town Green will not be accepted at this time.
Within the city of Picayune, city personnel will still be providing services as usual, including the Municipal Court.
Both entities suggest following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and the Mississippi State Department of Health in regard to COVID-19.
The administration of the Senior Center of South Pearl River County has indicated that the facility will be closed for the next two weeks.
All three school districts within Pearl River County, including the Picayune School District, Poplarville School District and Pearl River County School District are closed this week.
Coast Electric is also closing access to the lobby of its bill payment sites.
“Out of an abundance of caution, Coast Electric lobbies will be closed beginning Tuesday, March 17, until further notice. Coast Electric will continue to follow guidelines from OSHA and will use information provided from the Center for Disease Control and the Mississippi State Department of Health to make decisions about reopening offices. Our drive-throughs and kiosks will be available and our call center (877-769-2372) is staffed for regular business hours. Our employees are prepared and will continue to provide members with reliable electric service. The safety of our employees and members is a priority above all else now and always,” according to a statement from Communications Specialist April Lollar,
As of Monday morning, the MSDH reports a total of 12 presumptive and confirmed cases of COVID-19 within Mississippi, including two in Pearl River County, two in Copiah County, two in Hinds County, three in Forrest County, one in Monroe County and one in Leflore County. One case previously reported in Pearl River County has been corrected to identify it as a Hancock County case.

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