[Update] Alderman issue was mandate for all city buildings

Published 5:11 pm Thursday, August 12, 2021

Editor’s note: This article was corrected at 11:15 a.m. Friday to reflect that the mask mandate applies to anyone entering a city building, not just employees.

The Oxford Board of Alderman approved and issued an order requiring all individuals to wear a mask in city-run buildings as of Wednesday, August 12. 

Citizens are required to wear masks in all city buildings including City Hall, the Oxford Conference Center, Coach Howell Activities Center, Oxford Police Department, Oxford Fire Department, Oxford Utilities and all other city-run facilities.

The decision is due to the rise in positive COVID-19 cases and deaths across the state of Mississippi. Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill said she spoke with Thomas Dobbs, M.D., of the Mississippi State Department of Health.

Dobbs reported that Mississippi ranks third in the nation in positive cases and that 97-98% of COVID-19 deaths were unvaccinated individuals.

“It frustrates me to have to ask people to [wear masks] again,” said Tannehill. “What I can tell you for me, and hopefully a lot of other people in our community, is if the minor inconvenience of wearing a mask protects me and protects somebody else then to me it’s worth it.”

Tannehill said non-city-employee individuals, businesses and school districts can decide for themselves, but she encourages the community to work together and to wear masks and get vaccinated.

“I think it’s individual businesses’ choices on whether to require masks or not to require masks. I know my business will require them,” said Alderman Jason Bailey. “I would encourage if you’re not vaccinated, to go get vaccinated.”

Oxford City Emergency Manager Jimmy Allgood reported that one of the local clinics in Oxford agreed to do a one-day pop-up site next week. The time and date is to be announced.

The board approved for Tannehill to sign a memorandum of understanding allowing the local clinic to place a pop-up vaccination site on city property.

In addition, the clinic will set up on Fridays before every home football game in the City Hall plaza. If the clinic is unable to set up on a Friday, the state department has agreed to take its place.

The Mississippi State Department of Health is planning to set up a station in Oxford in the coming weeks to get free testing since there is a lack of testing sites.