RALEIGH, MS - The Smith County Board of Supervisors, Smith County School Board, Smith County Sheriff’s Office, and Smith County EMA continues to monitor the developing situation involving the 19-CoViD (Coronavirus) outbreak. We are staying in close contact with all State Officials, and our main concerns are protecting the health and safety of our citizens. The health and safety of Smith County citizens is our top priority and will continue to be our top priority till we get clearance from our State Officials to stand down.
This week, we had several important developments in regards to the virus and we want to summarize those here. Yesterday, county officials and officials from our communities joined a conference call with MEMA to discuss the outbreak. We would like to say thanks to the Smith County School District, Smith County Sheriff Department, Town of Raleigh, Town of Taylorsville, Town of Polkville, Town of Mize, Raleigh PD, Taylorsville PD, MS Care Center, Smith County Chancery Clerk Cindy Austin, Smith County Board Clerk Rita McDonald, Board Attorney Wendall James, Billy Whittington from Homewood VFD, Jimmy Ray Burns from Raleigh VFD/EMA, Annette Thornton from Smith County EMA, Jimmy Smith from Pineville VFD, Stella McNeer from Raleigh VFD/AMR and Rosemary Sullivan from Mize VFD for taking part in the conference call.
On Monday, Raleigh Mayor Bobby Boykin announced that the town hall meeting scheduled for March 24th with Atmos Entergy has been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. All summer baseball programs have been put on delay until May 1st, and will be reconsidered at that time. No team practices or games will be permitted to be held on the town ballparks at this time.
The Smith County School District also announced that all MSHSAA interscholastic sports and fine arts activities had been cancelled through March 29th, tentatively.
On Tuesday, closures continued as Mayor Larry Joe Hancock of Mize announced that in furtherance of the State of Emergency declared by Governor Tate Reeves on March 14, 2020, as an in-part effort to reduce the risk of COVID -19 spread, the Town of Mize is taking the following action until further notice:
EMA Director Heather Easterling announced three new updates on Tuesday, the first being that MEMA is gathering information on the economic loss to small businesses throughout the state as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. In the event your small business suffer economic hardship as a result of the response efforts of the COVID-19 event, please contact the Smith County EMA office at 601-782-9151 and we will get you the paperwork to submit to the state. Please contact Todd DeMuth at email@example.com with any questions you may have about this program. PAPERWORK MUST BE SUBMITTED BY APRIL 1, 2020.
The second was that EMA has been in contact with leaders in the funeral industry and they have put together some guidelines, which are listed below to protect their employees and the families they service. The CDC and National Funeral Directors Association put forth guidelines to help slow the spread of and help limit exposure to COVID-19 and we feel it a prudent course of action to follow their recommendations. At this time these are recommendations only and are not mandatory. These recommendations are subject to change as new information and CDC guidelines become available. In the event local, state or federal mandates are issued we will abide by those mandates.
For large events and mass gatherings, which includes visitations and funeral services, the CDC and NFDA have recommended the following:
The CDC has also recommended that all people practice social distancing, self-quarantine measures and good hand washing hygiene. To help accomplish these measures, we are making the following recommendations to the families we serve.
The third and final update on Tuesday was that in an effort to help protect our EMS crews, firefighters, first responders, and LEO, we want you to know that if you have to call 911 for any medical reason, you will be asked a series of questions, and we ask that you please let our 911 dispatchers and AMR dispatchers know if you are experiencing any flu-like symptoms. At this time to protect our first responders and limit patient contact with flu-like symptoms, we will be limiting our first responders response to calls only.
The only calls that volunteer fire departments need to respond to are listed below:
There will be no response at all unless it is requested by AMR Ambulance for the symptoms listed below:
We appreciate the patience and trust that every citizen in Smith County has placed in us during this outbreak. It takes us all working together to make Smith County a safe place for all our citizens.
As always, to get up to date information on the COVID-19 outbreak, you can visit the Smith County COVID-19 Information Page at: https://www.visitsmithcountyms.org/coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.html