TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) — The Tupelo City Council approved an emergency declaration Monday as the city, the state and the country try to deal with the impact of the coronavirus.
Mayor Jason Shelton said the declaration helps in two ways.
“It makes sure that our department heads have the leeway that they need to do whatever it takes for the city to adequately respond in an emergency," said Shelton. "And the second thing that it does is it puts the city of Tupelo on the legal footing to be reimbursed by MEMA and FEMA in the future."
His hope, however, is that the declaration is not needed, that the move will turn out to be an overreaction.
Prior to City Council approval, the mayor and members of the council discussed what could come with the virus.
One thing that is not happening yet is a mandatory order for restaurants in the city to shut down with the federal government now recommending crowds of no more than 10 people to prevent the virus from spreading.
"It needs to be a uniform thing across the state," according to the mayor. "If we close businesses and they don't close in an adjoining city, well then it defeats the purpose of doing it."
Shelton also told the council he was not aware of any coronavirus cases in the All America City, but he speculated that it would not be a surprise for North Mississippi Medical Center to treat someone with the virus since it treats patients from across the region.