Update from Mayor Scott Phillips (March 31, 2020)
On March 21st I urged all Olive Branch citizens and visitors to act responsibly, unselfishly, and proactively in following CDC guidelines and social distancing recommendations.
On the advice of local health officials, on March 22nd the Board of Aldermen and I declared a Civil Emergency and adopted an Ordinance for the control of contagious diseases. The Ordinance is linked here
On March 23rd Mayor Musselwhite and I issued a Joint Proclamation offering clarification of the Ordinances adopted by Olive Branch and Southaven, and urging all citizens to step-up efforts to limit the spread and effects of the virus. The Joint Proclamation is linked here
Over the course of this week we have monitored activity levels in Olive Branch, and I thank those of you who have complied for your cooperation and your efforts to promote public safety. However, it is apparent that continued vigilance is needed now more than ever.
I am in regular contact with local health officials and I received an update this morning. Chief administrative and medical officials at Methodist Olive Branch informed me that our social distancing efforts are working, but that more is needed. I am advised that Olive Branch is seeing more positive tests each day, and that a surge of cases of COVID-19 should be expected later in April and possibly into the month of May. Of particular concern to local medical experts is the continued public activity of large numbers of people who may not display any symptoms, but who very well may be positive for COVID-19. Continued non-essential public activity, and public disregard for social distancing guidelines, is jeopardizing our overall community health and is expected to strain local medical resources and facilities in the coming weeks.
Accordingly, today March 31, 2020, I am issuing the following Executive Order which is consistent with the March 22nd Ordinance of the Board of Aldermen and the March 23rd Joint Proclamation:
- Non-essential businesses and places of worship remain subject to the CDC guidelines and are prohibited from allowing groups of more than 10 to gather. I am encouraging all our citizens to worship through online means, as I am doing with my church.
- City of Olive Branch Park walking trails and other walking facilities remain open, but gatherings of people in the parks are prohibited. Various park facilities, such as our playgrounds, have been closed for over a week. Outdoor physical activity is encouraged, but if the Park remains a place where social distancing is disregarded, the City will consider a total closure.
- Essential businesses are urged to implement various logistical, practical, and common-sense measures to achieve social distancing in order to protect your employees, your customers, and the general public. If your place of business is considered essential, please voluntarily limit public access and the total number of customers congregating in lines and in other areas. Your cooperation makes a difference.
- Stay Home! Unless you have essential business to attend to, please stay home. Local medical experts warn us that non-essential public activity is compromising our efforts to protect public health.
Compliance with these measures is a matter of public health and safety. Failure to comply is both reckless and selfish. Violations of the Civil Emergency Ordinance are punishable as a misdemeanor. Please do your part to keep Olive Branch safe.