The City of Corinth is taking steps to avoid the spread of COVID-19 among its workers and the public and is encouraging citizens and businesses to do their part, as well.

“We’re going to get through this,” Mayor Tommy Irwin said Monday morning as representatives of the city and several other key players gathered at City Hall to discuss local efforts in response to the coronavirus crisis.

“We’ve all got to play a role,” he said. “If you don’t have to get out, please stay at home.”

He commended the businesses that have taken steps on their own, such as restaurants shifting to carryout only. The city will consider taking additional steps if necessary to deter large gatherings of people.

Magnolia Regional Health Center CEO Jim Hobson told the group that the hospital is still relying on commercial and state laboratory testing for the virus with a three- to four-day turnaround time. Other options are being explored to expedite results.

“This is something we’re going to get through,” he said. “We’ve got great people. We’ve got great organizations that are built to respond to these kinds of challenges. It’s going to be a community-wide effort and process for us to do it.”

Meetings of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, as well as groups such as the planning commission and historic preservation commission, will continue, but with restrictions.

County offices are also taking precautions to limit contact among persons, said Board of Supervisors President Lowell Hinton.

For some in the community, business goes on. Building Inspector Greg Tyson is seeing no slowdown in construction work.

“I’ve already been to three jobs this morning,” he said. “These construction guys will be the last ones that go to the house.”

The city is distributing the following list of precautions it is taking and recommending to the public, in accordance with CDC and Mississippi State Department of Health guidelines:

Common sense steps can prevent contracting or spreading respiratory diseases including COVID-19. This includes covering your mouth when sneezing and coughing and disinfecting often, as City Hall is presently doing. This includes bathrooms, surfaces, computers, cell phones, offices and homes. See a doctor if sick and do not go to work.

The washing of hands often and using hand sanitizer, as well as keeping hands away from the face, mouth and eyes, is vital.

Board meetings will be held with the press and only those who are speaking at the meeting. Those attending should stay at least six feet apart.

City employees should use gloves and masks while performing their job (public works) and police and firefighters should follow established procedures.

All city administrative employees should take proper precautions when making contact with the public.

The city will encourage the pick up of “food to go” and call-in orders to food establishments.

Corinth Gas and Water will not disconnect services for the next 60 days in accordance with the Mississippi Public Service Commission order.

City travel will be postponed until further notice.

People who have recently traveled should self-quarantine for 14 days.

These preventive measures are subject to change in accordance with the state and federal directions, guidelines and applicable law.

CDC recommends that, for the next eight weeks, organizations cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 10 or more participants.

The hospital CEO said the community is seeing heroes in action “as we watch frontline medical professionals march headfirst into an unknown and uncomfortable situation, never letting the fear of catching the virus themselves get in the way of providing amazing care to our patients. It is very important that we show a bit of gratitude and reverence toward each of them at this time, as many are fighting this virus, leaving family members to fend for themselves while they are working and continuing to do what they do, day in and day out, to provide outstanding, and sometimes lifesaving, care.

“We have worked, and continue to work, with our city and county emergency personnel, including law enforcement, firemen, and first responders. Our team has been in constant communication with each of the mentioned parties and continuously requested their feedback on what needs they may have should this impact our region. They too should be commended on their swift action and willingness to help community members through these uncertain times.”

The hospital is also experimenting with tele-health for potential use across multiple clinics to help eliminate face-to-face care unless medically necessary.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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