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Flaggs against mandating masks for Vicksburg

The city of Vicksburg shouldn’t require people to wear facemasks, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said Friday.

Flaggs outlined his position at Friday’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen before the board extended the city’s emergency declaration containing regulations for restaurants and businesses for two more weeks and hired a compliance officer to enforce the rules.

Flaggs said he plans to meet Monday with Warren County Board of Supervisors President Dr. Jeff Holland, Dr. Dan Edney, Merit Health River Region CEO Ben Richaud and the city’s health advisor about mandating masks.

“I don’t think we should (mandate masks). I don’t think it’s enforceable,” he said.

Flaggs said part of compliance officer Tabitha Martin-Crawford’s job includes educating businesses and residents on the regulations.

“I believe this works more so than mandating masks and giving our police officers other work to do when they need to be in the community doing community policing and solving crime,” he said.

Flaggs said the efforts of the board through the emergency declarations have made the city a safer community.

“I think we’ve demonstrated that,” he said. “I really feel good about this city and how we’ve handled this virus,” he said. “I think we’re a model for the state. When we came within close proximity of being a hot spot, we reacted.

“We just need to improve and we can do that by going out and educating the public,” he said. “I think we’re on top of it.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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