Leflore County supervisors have adopted a county curfew of 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. starting Tuesday.

The Board of Supervisors took the action Monday when it simultaneously adopted Gov. Tate Reeves’ shelter-in-place mandate, which began Friday and will continue through April 20.

The board’s intention is to parallel the city of Greenwood’s curfew, which also began Friday, and therefore prevent crowds — including those drifting into the county because of the city’s 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew — from gathering in the county. The curfew will not affect the county’s incorporated areas, such as Itta Bena.

District 3 Supervisor Anjuan Brown said that people are “leaving the city and going to the county, where there is nothing in place.”

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Fred Randle, the county’s emergency management director, recommended the 10 p.m. hour, rather than 9 p.m.

Board President Robert Collins, supervisor for District 5, agreed. He wanted to give leeway to people who are buying from convenience stores later in the evening. Supervisors did not discuss penalties, such as a fine, or requirements, such as carrying identification of employment.

The governor’s shelter-in-place order allows groups of no more than 10 to assemble. It restricts all but “essential” services and businesses from staying open, closes parks and allows travel for groceries, medicine and medical treatment.

Randle also observed that the number of COVID-19 infections are expected to rise soon. “I am being told we haven’t reached the peak yet,” he said. “We can enforce shelter-in-place and try to slow this virus down.”

In a related decision, the board voted to require visitors to make appointments before visiting courthouse offices, including those of the chancery clerk, circuit clerk, tax assessor and tax collector. The public also may access the offices online or on the telephone. “It’s what the department heads wanted,” said Joyce Chiles, board attorney.

On March 23, the board closed the courthouse for a week because an employee, who was quarantined at home, had tested positive for COVID-19.

Supervisors, at the request of District 2’s Reginald Moore, also discussed how they can meet online while continuing to keep them open to the public. District 4 Supervisor Eric Mitchell, a computer technician, reported that using the ZOOM app or website will require those participating in the meeting to sign in with an email address. Collins insisted that online meetings must offer better access to the public.

Mitchell said he believes members of the public can watch without submitting email addresses, although their participation in the meeting would not be allowed. Those who are participating would need to use a meeting ID number.

At Monday’s meeting in the Board of Supervisors’ room in the courthouse, the group was restricted to 10 or fewer. Moore wore a mask through most of the meeting.

He and Brown sat apart from others. District 1 Supervisor Sam Abraham was not present.

Contact Susan Montgomery at 581-7241 or smontgomery@gwcommonwealth.com.

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