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Proceed with caution as business reopens

The Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen did the right thing Tuesday when they agreed to adopt Gov. Tate Reeves’ most recent executive order and allow restaurants and some other businesses to reopen following the state’s guidelines.

When Reeves introduced his order last week allowing restaurants, gyms, salons and barbershops, among others, to begin reopening it put Natchez in a precarious position.

Natchez’s order was stricter and still required restaurants only to offer take out, curbside or delivery service to customers and did not allow salons, barbershops or gyms to open at all.

Meanwhile, Adams County adopted the governor’s order and allowed restaurants, salons, barbershops and gyms to reopen following the guidelines outlined by the governor’s order.

Like it or not, due to the county’s position, Natchez was in effect living under the governor’s orders anyway without the benefit of the perks.

As Natchez COVID-19 Task Force Chairman William Thames pointed out in recommending the city adopt the governor’s orders, Natchez residents could drive to the city line and eat in a restaurant, drive home and go about their business in Natchez.

The city’s order now will allow businesses the opportunity to give it a go if they are able to operate at a profit with such restrictions as operating at 50% capacity and heavily sanitizing all surfaces regularly.

As businesses are reopening, however, it is more important than ever for people to follow social distancing guidelines, wear masks, wash their hands, etc.

Those practices are not so much to protect ourselves, as they are to protect others from the move vulnerable populations around us, including the elderly and people with underlying conditions.

Those more vulnerable people should take extra precautions as businesses begin reopening since people will have more chances to potentially spread the disease.

Proceed with caution!

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