Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. was to announce his plan Friday for reopening the city following the COVID-19 crisis.
Instead, he announced that he will not be re-opening businesses as previously scheduled. City workers, however, are to return to work on Monday, April 20, unless they have a COVID-19 related issue, such a a child being out of school.
“I believe this is the greatest crises we have ever faced,” Flaggs said.
The mayor said he met this week with some business people in the community. This coming Monday at 2 p.m. in the city auditorium, he will meet with salon, barbershop and spa owners. Attendees will be expected to wear masks and use hand sanitizers before entering the room.
“Now is not the time to re-open business in Vicksburg,” he said.
Flaggs has put various orders in place to help prevent the spread of the virus, including city-wide curfews. Curfews remain unchanged.
The mayor said he will wait on the governor’s guidelines for re-opening the city. The first businesses to be reopened will be small businesses and restaurants.
“I think we’ll be impacted for years to come,” Flaggs said about the hit on the city’s economy, particularly tourism. Some of the lost income will be made up with federal relief funds, but it’s unclear how much money will come into the city at this point.
The social distancing is working in the city, Flaggs said, and encouraged residents to continue to wear masks and use gloves in public.
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