Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Proclamation for COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
The City of Ocean Springs
FAQs REGARDING PROCLAMATION TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY AND TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE NOVEL COVID-19The Mayor and Board of Alderman at a special meeting on Saturday, March 21, 2020 voted unanimously to approve Proclamation to Protect Life and Property and to Prevent the Spread of the Novel COVID-19. Effective immediately, The City of Ocean Springs encourages all citizens stay at home except for essential needs. The intent of this Proclamation is to ensure the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible. Vulnerable populations including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions should stay at home. All community members should stay at home except to perform essential duties for business continuity or government functions, to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, or perform activities related to maintaining a healthy lifestyle during this time. It is OK to go outside for walks if you are not in a group and practice proper social distancing. Please adhere to the requirements and recommendations as outlined in the Proclamation. The future of our community depends on it. We are stronger together. #OSCommunityStrong
Why are we doing this?
This is a critical intervention to reduce harm from the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Now is the time to do everything we can to prevent the situation from getting much worse in a matter of days or weeks. Every hour counts. We need and appreciate the cooperation of everyone who lives and works in Ocean Springs to act immediately. While this news may feel alarming, it is a necessary step to prevent a worsening situation. The patterns of the virus around the world, and in our own state, tell us that moving right now to maximize social distancing and restrict people gathering is the best way to fight the virus and save lives.
These essential services may remain open:
- oCity/County government services: police stations, fire stations, garbage/sanitation, utilities(water and power)
- oGas stations
- oPharmacies and drug stores
- oFood: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, and convenience stores
- Restaurants offering carry-out, curb-side pick-up and delivery only
- oHospitals/clinics and other healthcare operations (Nursing homes and assisted living facilities)
- oHardware stores and businesses providing necessary services to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences (plumbers, electricians, landscapers, HVAC services)
- oCommunity benefit organizations on a case-by-case basis (United Way, Salvation Army,Red Cross)oLaundromats/laundry services
- oVeterinarian offices
- oSecurity companies
What are Essential Businesses & Operations?
- oHealthcare and Public Health Operations: Working at or obtaining services from hospitals;clinics; pharmacies; public health entities; healthcare manufacturers and suppliers; bloodbanks; reproductive health care providers; eye care centers; home healthcare servicesproviders; mental health and substance abuse providers; ancillary healthcare services —including veterinary care and excluding fitness and exercise gyms, spas, salons,barbershops, tattoo parlors, and similar facilities
- oHuman Services Operations: any provider funded by DHS, DCFS or Medicaid; long-termcare facilities; home-based and residential settings for adults, seniors, children, and/orpeople with disabilities or mental illness; transitional facilities; field offices for food, cashassistance, medical coverage, child care, vocational services or rehabilitation services;developmental centers; adoption agencies; businesses that provide food, shelter, andsocial services and other necessities of life for needy individuals — excluding group daycare homes.
- oEssential Infrastructure: Working in food production, distribution and sale; buildingmanagement and maintenance; insurance companies, operation and maintenance ofutilities, including water, sewer, and gas; electrical; distribution centers; roads,cybersecurity operations; flood control; solid waste and recycling collection and removal;and internet, video, and telecommunications systems
- oConstruction: If working outside and can keep social distancing and 10 people or lessrule. If inside, keep staffing to a minimum and respect social distancingoStores that sell groceries and medicineoFood and beverage (curb side pick-up or delivery ONLY), liquor stores (curb side pick-upONLY)oOrganizations that provide charitable and social services
- oGas stations and businesses needed for transportationoFinancial institutionsoHardware and building supply stores
- oCritical trades, including plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial stafffor commercial and governmental properties, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC,painting, moving and relocation services, auto repair shops, and other service providersthat maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences, EssentialActivities, and Essential Businesses and Operations
- oMail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services
- oEducational institutions, for purposes of facilitating distance learning, performing criticalresearch, or performing essential functions. Schools can still provide “to-go” food for theirstudents
- oLaundry servicesoLawn care companiesoRestaurants for consumption off-premises
- oSupplies to work from home
- oSupplies for essential businesses and operationsoTransportation for purposes of essential travel
- oHome-based care and services
- oResidential facilities and shelters
- oProfessional services
- oDay care centers for employees exempted by this Executive OrderoManufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries
- oHotels and motels, to the extent used for lodging and delivery or carry-out food services
How long should we stay home?
This goes into effect immediately. We want to be sure the Proclamation is in place for only as long as necessary, and willbe closely monitoring the situation every day in order to determine if adjustments need to be made.
What shouldn’t I do?
- oYou should not engage in group activities in person with others.
- oYou should not have dinner parties. You should not invite friends over to your home to hang out.
- oYou should not go shopping for non-essential goods.
- oYou should not take unnecessary trips on public transportation.
- oYou cannot go to bars or nightclubs.
- oYou cannot go to a nail salon or get your hair cut by a stylist or barber.
Where does this apply?
This is in effect for all of the City of Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
What if I need to get healthcare from my medical provider?
You can still get your health needs addressed. Contact your health care provider to see if they are providing regular services. Some services, especially elective procedures, may be postponed or canceled.
o Dine-in restaurants (including outside dining)
o Bars and nightclubs
o Entertainment venues
o Recreational facilities
o Tattoo parlors
o Hair/Nail/Beauty/Tanning salons
o Community centers
o Parks except for walking trails
o Gyms and fitness studios
What is closed?
If you are feeling sick, please first call your doctor, a nurse hotline, or an urgent care center. Do not go to the emergency room of a hospital unless you are having an actual emergency. Mississippi Coronavirus Hotline is available 24/7: 877-978-6453
Can I still get deliveries from online stores? Can I order from online stores?
Yes. The mail and other delivery services to your home can continue to function, as can food delivery services.
Yes, you can place more orders from online stores. Businesses that deliver goods or services directly to residences are essential businesses that may continue to operate.
Can I take public transportion?
Yes, but only for essential travel.
Public transit will continue to operate on a limited basis. When using public transport, you should maintain at least 6 feet, two to three steps away, including if you are on the bus.
You want to help everyone be able to practice social distancing. Therefore, it’s important to only take public transportation for essential activities.
Should I stock up on food and necessities like toilet paper and on medicines?
No. You will continue to be able to purchase these items whenever you need them, as stores selling necessary items like grocery stores, pharmacies, and hardware stores will remain open. Continue to buy normal quantities of these items on the same schedule you normally do. This will ensure that there is enough for everyone.
Can I go inside a business or store?
Yes, but the total amount of people, including employees, should be less than 10 at all times with 6 feet of social distancing. This excludes essential business such as grocery stores and medical care.
Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility or other residential care facility?
It is strongly recommended that you do not go to a hospital unless you are seeking emergency medical attention or accompanying a minor who is under 18 years old or someone who is developmentally disabled and needs assistance.
Please use alternative ways to communicate with loved ones at nursing homes and residential care facilities. Like facetime and texting. The residents at those locations are the most vulnerable to COVID-19.
If you need to know more, please contact the facility you want to visit by phone before you leave.
Maintaining stringent social distancing is difficult, but it is necessary in order to protect hospital staff and other patients.
What if I can’t get out of the home? How can I get supplies and food?
Please contact friends, family, or others you know who can provide support. They are permitted to pick up any of your needs.
What about childcare and preschool?
o Please follow guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Information can be found here:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/ community/schools-childcare/guidance-for-schools.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A %2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fspecific-groups% 2Fguidance-for-schools.html
o Additional information can be found at the Mississippi State Department of Health. Link: https://msdh.ms.gov/
I receive mental health treatment, can I still go to their office?
We recommend calling your mental health office to inquire about their policies and their hours of operation throughout this Order.
Can I go for a walk in my neighborhood or designated walking trail?
Yes, but perform social distancing.
What about if I need medical care?
Hospitals and medical facilities are exempted from the Proclamation. You are free to go there and get medical attention.
Is there relief for small business?
There is effort on the federal level to grant relief to small businesses. https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6201/text
There is also effort on the state level: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/
I am an Uber/Lyft driver, can I still work?
Yes, when providing rides for essential activities or providing rides to people performing essential government functions, essential infrastructure or essential business.
Will cemeteries remain open?
Yes, please implement social distancing.
I don’t have a washer/dryer in my home. Can I leave to do laundry?
Yes, you can go to a laundromat and other laundry service providers.
I am homeless. How can I comply with the order?
People who are experiencing homelessness are encouraged to try to stay with family or friends, identify housing options, or access emergency resources such as shelter.
Information from Singing River Health System regarding Facts Not Fears of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) can be found here: https://singingriverhealthsystem.com/coronavirus/ facts-not-fear/