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Local manufacturers exempted from city emergency declaration

The city’s COVID-19 emergency declaration has been amended to exempt manufacturing businesses from requiring employees to wear masks on the job.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the exemption at its meeting Monday. Mayor George Flaggs said he amended the order after receiving calls from representatives of local manufacturing companies.

“I got multiple calls about manufacturers and employees,” Flaggs said after the meeting. “They never should have been in there in the first place. It was an oversight. I never intended to do anything to affect them because I knew about the guidelines.”

He said manufacturing is considered an essential business and under a different set of guidelines than retail businesses and restaurants.

When officials with manufacturers in the area called about guidelines, Flaggs said, he referred them to the Vicksburg-Warren Chamber of Commerce, the Centers for Disease Control and the Mississippi Department of Health.

Issued July 15, the emergency order was extended in late July from Aug. 3 to Sept. 8. It required employees of local retail businesses to wear facemasks covering the mouth and nose while working and exercise social distancing. Customers were required to wear masks while inside the stores.

Businesses were also required to make sanitizer available to employees and customers at entrances and exits, in or near the bathrooms and at the cashier or payment stations.

Carts and baskets were to be sanitized after each use by customers and other areas, including all door handles, shall be sanitized every two hours at a minimum.

Retail businesses were also required to post signs notifying customers that facemasks were required before entering were required to monitor and enforce the face covering requirement.

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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