Jonestown Mayor Kenny Lester announced Sunday the town will be closing from 5 p.m. until 6 a.m. daily until further notice.
Lester said in his announcement he was personally impacted because he has a daughter who tested positive for the coronavirus. However, he also noted, as far as he knows, no one who resides in Jonestown regularly had the virus.
“A lot of people aren’t taking this seriously,” said Lester on his decision to have a curfew. “I honestly the ones that have to go out to clubs and stuff like that, they don’t feel like it could touch them. A lot of times, people don’t take it seriously until it hits home to their close family or friends. Being the mayor, we have to make tough decisions that are not popular. It’s better for the safety of the whole community.”
Lester said he taking things day-by-day following the guidelines of the CDC and Mississippi Department of Health.
“We have contacted the County Sheriff’s office to give us a beef up on patrol,” Lester said.
If the curfew is violated, Lester said it would be handled by authorities.
The Jonestown City Council meets at 6 p.m. the first Monday of every month.
Lester said, going forward, the meetings will be streamed live and the public will have an opportunity to call in. No more than 10 individuals will be permitted to be in the room at the same time.
Since Jonestown is one of the smaller communities in Coahoma County, Lester felt there was even more reason to have a curfew.
“With the community being the size it is, it’s really important we have social distancing,” he said. “We don’t have to have cut off from the world. You can communicate within a certain number of feet or the telephone.
“We’re not trying to hurt anyone or make small businesses suffer from this. Our health is your health. If we’re not healthy, you’re not going to make any money anyway.”
Lester said he will have signs on the door of city hall with updates on how the community is handling the situation.
“We can’t take this virus lightly,” Lester said. “It’s not just a Jonestown, Clarksdale or even a Coahoma County thing. It’s a worldwide pandemic.”
Lester said young people have a strong immune system, but they could come in contact with a sick grandmother and spread the virus.
“We all have to do our part to combat the spread of this virus,” Lester said.