Southaven changes plan to reopen businesses after governor issues new order

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SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — Most of the closed businesses in Mississippi can reopen Monday. It’s part of a new safer-at-home order issued by Gov. Tate Reeves. This order will replace the governor’s shelter-in-place order.

“We are starting to reopen our economy. We cannot slam the door open,” Reeves said.

It’s more of a gradual push. Starting Monday, most non-essential businesses can reopen as long as they follow CDC guidelines and shrink down to 50 percent capacity.

This means all retail stores can reopen, but there are still a number or businesses that have to stay closed. Places like movie theaters, bars, gyms, salons and barbershops are on that list.

“Businesses that cannot avoid sustained person to person contact,” Reeves said.

The City of Southaven had hoped to open many more businesses on Monday. Officials planned to start at 33 percent capacity and move back to 100 percent over time.

“We’re not going to have that latitude yet,” Mayor Darren Musselwhite said, “We will respectfully cooperate with the governor. We will put our plan on hold and go with his plan.”

A plan that allows shops like Maria’s Boutique to return to business, but owner Maria Moreno says she won’t. She’s keeping the doors shut because she’s too afraid to reopen right now.

“It is for my employees safety and my customer’s safety comes first,” Moreno said.

Reeves’ safer-at-home order extends to May 11th. The order encourages Mississippians to stay home as much as possible but it does not require them do so.

“You still have to be smart,” Reeves said, “There is no state order that can replace your common sense.”

Moreno says she won’t even think about reopening until the order ends.

“I’ll come out and open my doors when I feel it’s safe for everybody,” she said.

Under the new order, restaurants will still be limited to carry out and delivery. Casinos will stay closed and churches can still hold in person service but no more than 10 people can attend.

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