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Mayor: Masks a sign of “respect and love for your neighbor”

Yesterday’s Board of Aldermen meeting revealed that residents would have to continue to wear face masks.

The Board of Aldermen met yesterday evening at 5 p.m. to discuss plans of reopening the city while still urging people to wear face masks, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the number of positive cases continues to dwindle, Mayor Robyn Tannehill said that, by continuing to wear a face mask, practicing social distancing and personal hygiene, the number of cases will continue to decrease until a vaccine is developed.

“Wearing a mask is not too much to ask of it means our community can start operating in a semi-normal fashion,” Tannehill said. “I’m showing respect and love for my neighbor when they can see that I’m not putting them in danger by not wearing a mask. By not wearing a mask, you’re basically saying that you don’t give a damn about others.”

Jimmy Allgood, Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Oxford, stated that since March, there have been a total of 109 positive cases in Lafayette County. Currently, those numbers have gone down to 12 active cases with three of those cases being reported in the last week. The number of hospitalizations and ICU stays statewide has also gone down.

“That’s a positive for the state,” Allgood said. “We’re not stressing our medical system and using our medical resources.”

Allgood also revealed that the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) will be sending out 1.7 million masks to every county in the state of Mississippi starting May 20. These masks will be distributed to the public as needed.

“That’s how important face masks are,” Allgood said. “The state is providing them now to every county in the state.”

In regard to the residents who are unable to wear a face mask due to health reasons, it was revealed that the Americans with Disabilities Act ruled that, because COVID-19 has been deemed a direct threat to public safety, businesses can require people to wear face masks. 

Additionally, businesses can continue to make other arrangements for customers, either through curbside pickup or delivery options.