Oxford mayor roles back guidelines for social gatherings, school district releases back to school plan

Updated: Jul. 7, 2020 at 6:10 PM CDT
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OXFORD, Miss. (WMC) - The mayor is rolling back guidelines for social gatherings and the Oxford School District just released their back to school plan.

The city of Oxford is currently in phase two, but they will go back to phase one for social gatherings.

The mayor stating on social media there will be more police presence in the community to help enforce guidelines.

As of Tuesday, the Mississippi Health Department reported 957 new cases, the number of total cases for Lafayette County now jumping to 409.

With cases continuing to rise in Oxford, Mayor Robyn Tannehill announced some changes.

“The board voted today to return to the phase one plan for group gatherings, the limit for inside social gathering is now 10 people if social distancing is not possible, and 20 people if it is possible,” said Tannehill.

We asked Oxford residents how they feel about the changes.

“Not a fan of it, not a fan. I think it’s a step backwards and I think it’s really infringing on our rights,” said Thomas Babich.

“Happy to kinda do whatever we need to do, I have three young children so I just want to be safe,” said Mary Melinda Little.

“We have to take the precautions necessary to put that spike back down then that’s what we have to do I just hope that people abide by that,” said Miranda Myford.

Alderman Jason Bailey says they are really trying to get a handle on large residential gatherings and have asked for help from law enforcement.

“We’ve asked them to step up enforcement to try to stop these gathering that are happening,” said Jason Bailey, Pro Tem, Ward VI, Board of Aldermen.

Bailey says businesses and churches will remain in phase 2.

Update on Monday, July 6th

Update on Monday, July 6th The Board of Aldermen met this morning to review data, discuss Serving Oxford Safely Plan and to meet with department heads. Indoor social gatherings will go back to Phase I - 10 people if social distancing cannot be done and 20 people if you can social distance. Face coverings will continue to be required in all businesses. We know everyone is tired of the battle. We can't throw in the towel now! We are stronger together.

Posted by Robyn Tannehill for Mayor of Oxford on Monday, July 6, 2020

Tannehill stating in a video posted on Facebook, “I don’t believe our business community can stand another shutdown.”

Bailey and Tannehill also say Ole Miss students are partially responsible for the large gatherings, two Ole Miss alums say they constantly hear about large parties.

“I see a lot of people on Snapchat and Instagram,” said Aria Gordon, Oxford resident.

“People around our age, that are students, they have just been going to parties and doing whatever they want because they are not necessarily afraid about getting the virus,” said Myford.

The Oxford School District also released their back to school plan, the first day will be August 10. To view the plan click here.

“We’ve decided to open school five days a week in a traditional fashion, but also offer our parents the opportunity to enroll their students in full-time virtual learning as well,” said Bradley Roberson, assistant superintendent, Oxford School District.

Parents are asked to select an option by July 10th. Roberson says parents can make a change after nine weeks.

“We’re allowing them to transition at a nine week grading period… The reason we’re putting a nine week stipulation on that is to give us adequate time to plan for the students that are transitioning,” said Roberson.

Roberson says the district decided to give parents the option based on results they received from a survey they conducted in early June.

“51% they wanted five days a week and it was about 35% that wanted the hybrid and then the rest wanted the online learning,” said Roberson.

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