Tupelo mayor to issue 'shelter in place' order, lashes out at governor

By Aaron Rice
March 22, 2020

Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton is looking to enact an order that would close all non-essential businesses and require all non-essential residents to ‘shelter in place’ in response to the spread of coronavirus. He did this while criticizing Gov. Tate Reeves for not taking similar action.  

Similar orders cover the states of California, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Oregon, as well as a number of large cities nationwide.

According to the Daily Journal, Shelton “will issue an executive order requiring all residents comply with the coronavirus guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, closing all non-essential businesses, requiring all non-essential business employees to “shelter in place” and suspending all utility disconnections, evictions and foreclosures.” Residents would still be able to travel to the grocery store, medical facilities, restaurants, hardware stores, daycares, and gas stations. 

At least one Tupelo city councilman, Buddy Palmer, said he thought a shelter in place order was 'ridiculous' at this time.

Multiple cities throughout the state have issued orders closing bars and restaurants, though they haven't been as far reaching as what Shelton is proposing. Tupelo took similar action last week.

Meanwhile, Shelton continues to blast Gov. Tate Reeves and other state leaders for not issuing statewide orders to keep residents at home. 

“I mistakenly waited for the state to act,” Shelton said. “I understand that the state is not going to issue any orders to assist the city. So local governments, cities and counties, are going to be on their own….It’s just an abdication of leadership at the highest level of the state of Mississippi, and we’re just not going to wait any longer in the city of Tupelo.”

Yesterday Shelton ordered the Tupelo Police Department and Tupelo Fire Department to break up a large gathering of people at an auction at the Tupelo Furniture Market. 


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