City of Oxford Emergency Declaration

City of Oxford Emergency Declaration – Shelter in Place Mandate

Effective March 26, 2020

During an emergency meeting held by teleconference, the mayor and city council voted unanimously to declare a public health emergency and to adopt a “Shelter in Place” mandate. All Oxford residents are required to shelter in place from midnight on March 26, 2020 to 11:59 PM on April 20, 2020. 

All persons must maintain a minimum six-foot separation outside their home. Public and private gatherings (of any number of people) on public property and outside the home are prohibited, except for gatherings of people living in the same home.

Essential travel and essential activities (defined in Section 12 of the Order) are exempt from the Shelter in Place mandate. Essential travel includes travel to an essential business, to care for another person, for a health care need, or to obtain or deliver necessary services or supplies. Essential activities include outdoor activity, work at an essential business, or basic operations at a business closed to the public.

All non-essential businesses must close. There are 22 categories of essential businesses identified in Section 12(f) of the order. They include, for example, health care, grocery stores, pharmacies, stores that sell household consumer products, gas stations, auto repair, banks, hardware stores, household repair services, laundry service providers, restaurants (delivery or carry out only) and businesses that supply an essential business. All industrial manufacturers, delivery services, transportation services, home health, hotels/motels, childcare facilities and liquor stores are also considered essential. Closed businesses are still allowed to perform minimum basic operations but cannot be open to the public.

Public parks are closed for the duration of this order. This does not include walking trails or sidewalks.

Use this link to read the resolution in its entirety.

This Emergency Declaration and Shelter in Place Order is issued based on evidence of increasing occurrence of COVID-19 within our community, scientific evidence and best practices to slow the spread of COVID-19, and evidence that a significant portion of the people living in our community are at risk for serious health complications, including death, from COVID-19.

Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus in the general public, which is now a pandemic according to the World Health Organization, there is a public health emergency throughout the City of Oxford and across Newton County. Making the problem worse, some individuals who contract the COVID- 19 virus have no symptoms or have mild symptoms, which means they may not be aware they carry the virus. People without symptoms can transmit the disease, and evidence shows the disease is easily spread; therefore, public and private gatherings can result in preventable transmission of the virus

Scientific evidence shows it is essential to slow virus transmission as much as possible to protect the most vulnerable and to prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed. One proven way to slow the transmission is to limit interactions among people to the greatest extent possible. By reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, this Order helps preserve critical and limited healthcare capacity in our community.