The difference between Essential and Non-Essential business during Shelter-In-Place order

Health

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Friday evening the entire state of Mississippi will be under a “Stay-At-Home” order shutting down all business deemed “non-essential”. But do people know specifically what’s essential and what’s non-essential? As these “Stay-At-Home” orders across Mississippi go into effect to help fight the Coronavirus it’s important you know the difference.

Despite hours cut back, every grocery store in the Magnolia State will see no change in operations except the 6-ft. social distancing guidelines.

“We’re at home so we have food and all the grocery stores,” Jackson resident Heaven Jackson told us. “The Walgreens and hospitals open, that’s all really we need.”

While stricter guidelines vary by city, the state definition of other “essential businesses” sent out by MEMA include hospitals/clinics, pharmacies, banks, daycares, gas stations, the post office, and utility shops. Restaurants may also operate, but only by take out, delivery, or drive-thru. For some, that’s still too risky.

“Still put our life in danger because we’re all supposed to be six feet away and if you ask me working the drive-thru it’s not even 24 inches apart,” fast food worker Floyd Sewell said. “So we still can catch the Coronavirus from customers.”

On top of city and state parks and campgrounds being closed, “non-essential businesses” forced to shut their doors are tattoo parlors, barber shops, beauty and nail salons, gyms, museums, movie theaters, indoor mall shops, and retail strip malls.

“I am a hairstylist and it is affecting my business as well but it is safe to stay at home to be cautious,” Jackson said. “So everything can blow over and we can get back to normal.”

Individually you may also go outside to walk or ride your bike if you don’t feel sick, but still keep six feet apart from others and no groups more than 10 in the same area.

From the state down to the city levels, leaders have emphasized these orders are not to intimidate the public or excessively lock people up. But push everyone to do their part flattening the curve to take pressure off hospitals.

Any violation of these social distancing guidelines or stay at home orders can result in up to a $1,000 fine or 6-months in prison. To read the full orders by both Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba click here. For the statewide order by Governor Tate Reeves click here.

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