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Supervisors take steps toward reopening Lafayette County

The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors took the first steps to reopen the county on Monday.

During a recessed meeting, the supervisors voted to follow Governor Tate Reeves’ latest executive order, which runs through May 11.

The board’s decision was made under the advisement of Lafayette County emergency management director Steve Quarles. Quarles noted the number of COVID-19 cases in the County have leveled off since April 19, excluding the long-term care facility case numbers. The peak of cases in Lafayette County was established to be April 18, according to Oxford’s emergency management director Jimmy Allgood during a special meeting called for the Board of Aldermen on Monday.

Non-essential businesses including retail, office and general business, childcare services, medical and health services and pharmacies are allowed to reopen effective immediately.

The order is similar to the fifth emergency resolution the Oxford Board of Aldermen voted for during their own special meeting on Monday. One difference is the requirement to wear masks when visiting those businesses.

“At this time, we are not requiring (masks) be mandatory, but we do strongly encourage you to wear them if you have them,” Board president Mike Roberts said. “Be cautious of yourself, the health of others and protect the ones that don’t have that opportunity to protect themselves.”

Churches throughout the county are also allowed to hold drive-in services under Reeves’ latest order.

County employees will begin to return to work on May 4, but before foot traffic in buildings resumes, Roberts said proper Centers for Disease Control Guidelines and safety protocols will be in place in lobbies.