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Tattoo parlors and dance studios to reopen under new executive order

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(Photo by LIUC6Alessia06 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=84810794)

Friday, Gov. Tate Reeves announced the next steps for Mississippi to continue safely reopening the state’s economy and getting people back to work while flattening the curve of COVID-19.

Reeves consulted with state health officials to build on the state’s strategic plan to reopen Mississippi’s economy while protecting public health. In a new executive order, the governor lays out strict social distancing guidelines and sanitation protocols for tattoo parlors to begin reopening, effective immediately.

“Our safer-at-home order does not expire until May 25, but I don’t want to wait if there are things that we can safely do to allow people to return to work,” Reeves said. “To that end, I signed a new executive order today. It allows tattoo parlors to reopen with health guidelines that are very similar to those for salons and barbers. It is an effort to affirm that there is no such thing as a nonessential business to those workers who rely on its paycheck for food and shelter.”

Having worked closely with the Mississippi Gaming Commission on mapping out the reopening of casinos throughout the state, Reeves also announced that they have established a date for them to safely reopen following strict guidelines for casino workers.

“It won’t be at full capacity and there are social distancing rules in place,” Reeves said, “but it is a progress for an industry that employs thousands of Mississippians.”

The governor announced his new executive order and casino reopenings at his daily news conference Friday, which you can view on the Vicksburg Daily News Facebook page here.

The new executive order also enables restaurants that do not serve alcohol to offer in-house dining to the public 24 hours a day and allows dance studies to open following the same guidelines as gyms.

For outdoor recreation, the hours of operation restriction on parks previously implemented under Executive Order No. 1478 are removed and will be established by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks or local authorities. The prohibition on fishing tournaments under Executive Order No. 1473 is also removed.

The strict social distancing guidelines implemented under Executive Order No. 1486 to safely reopen tattoo parlors include:

For businesses:

  • Before they can reopen, the tattoo parlor must be deep cleaned, disinfected and sanitized top to bottom. After opening, tattoo parlors must be deep cleaned daily.
  • All tattoo parlors are expected to take every step necessary to implement the regulations, orders, and guidance from the Mississippi State Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Services are allowed only by appointment. No walk-in customers at this time.
  • Minimizing person-to-person contact through technology, like mobile or online reservations and contactless payment, is encouraged.
  • Tattoo parlors must post signage at each entrance stating no customer with a fever or COVID-19 symptoms are allowed in.
  • Only one customer per employee is allowed in the tattoo parlor at any given time.
  • Tattooing and piercing around the mouth and nose are prohibited.
  • Chairs are to be rearranged to ensure at least 6 feet between each customer.
  • Chair and workstations must be sanitized after each use by a customer.
  • All high-touch areas must be sanitized at least once every two hours.
  • Hand sanitizer must be placed at all entrances.

For employees:

  • All employees will be screened daily at the beginning of their shifts, including asking whether they have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and have they had a fever in the last 48 hours.
  • All employees must be provided training on how to limit the spread of COVID-19.
  • Face coverings must be provided to all employees who come in direct contact with customers. Employees are encouraged to wear face shields while tattooing a customer.
  • Employees must also wear disposable gloves and change them between customers, as well as wash their hands between every customer.

For customers:

  • All waiting areas are to remain closed. Customers must wait in their vehicles until their appointment time and they are called for screening before entering.
  • Customers must sanitize their hands when entering and exiting.
  • All customers must be screened upon entry.
  • Customers must wear a face covering, such as a cloth mask, while inside at all times.

You can view the text version of Executive Order No. 1486 here.

Business

Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce graduates first Entrepreneur Bootcamp class

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Participants in the first class of the Vicksburg Entrepreneur Bootcamp graduated from the program the night of Nov. 10 at the Hinds Community College Campus.

For six weeks, 12 participants who are working to start or grow their small businesses learned about entrepreneurship as well as topics such as legal, finance, accounting, marketing and other essential components associated with starting and running a successful business.

The program included speakers from different industries that support small businesses as well as the presence of a business coach from Hinds Community College. Participants used the support system and resources afforded by the bootcamp to develop a business plan, which they can submit to compete for a seed grant of $1,000 to help them with the cost of opening or improving their recently opened small business. Participants competing for the seed grant will submit their plans on or before Dec. 8. They will also present the plan in front of a committee for review and ranking. The entrepreneur who develops the best and most feasible business plan will receive the $1,000 seed grant.

The Vicksburg Entrepreneur Bootcamp seed grant is sponsored by the Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce, the City of Vicksburg, Hinds Community College, BancorpSouth, Mutual Credit Union, Home Bank, River Hills Bank, Regions, Guaranty Bank and Trustmark.

By proclamation of Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, Nov. 16 through 22 is Mississippi’s Global Entrepreneurship Week. See the proclamation below.

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COVID-19

Reeves puts seven more counties under mask mandates

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Gov. Tate Reeves providing a COVID-19 update from home Nov. 12 (image from video screen capture)

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced Monday that seven additional counties have qualified to be under more restrictive conditions due to rising COVID-19 cases.

The conditions, listed under his “Safe Recovery” executive order in effect through Dec. 11, include wearing masks in almost all public places.

Counties added to the list Monday are Hinds, Madison, Pontotoc, Tate, Winston, Itawamba and Montgomery. Added to the 15 counties already under more restrictive conditions, Mississippi now has 22 of its 82 counties included in the executive order.

“Let’s keep fighting COVID. Let’s protect ourselves and protect our neighbors,” Reeves said in a statement. “Let’s also keep praying. I believe if we work together, we can make a difference. We can slow the spread and bridge the gap between now and when this vaccine becomes readily available and protect the integrity of our health care system.”

The seven-day average of new cases in Mississippi is currently over 1,000. The state is part of a nationwide surge that is averaging more than 150,000 new cases daily from coast to coast.

Two vaccines have recently shown great promise in early testing. Neither is expected to be available to the general public until the spring of 2021.

The governor and his family are self-isolating after his youngest daughter tested positive for the virus.

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COVID-19

Three Vicksburg police officers test positive for COVID-19

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(Image by Felipe Esquivel Reed, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=87846813)

Three officers of the Vicksburg Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division have tested positive for COVID-19.

Monday, the department announced the results of tests completed earlier in the day.

The officers, who will not be named, will be quarantined for up to 14 days.

The department reminds the public to wear masks when conducting business at the police station.

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