The Oxford Board of Aldermen unanimously voted to remove parking spots dedicated to curbside pick-up in its regular meeting on Tuesday, April 6. Instead, employees and patrons of Square businesses will once again be allowed to park in those spots.
Mayor Robyn Tannehill said that several businesses and Oxford residents brought this issue to her recently, noting that the curbside parking spots aren’t being put to use often enough.
“Now that all sporting events are back to full capacity and restaurants are back to full capacity, we’ve had several (businesses) mention that they would prefer –– with these large crowds in town –– to have parking spots that people could park in to get to their businesses quickly on those blocks, rather than curbside, which is not from my understanding being offered as much,” Tannehill said. “Those are being used for people to park in, to run in and get things. There’s not actual curbside dining going on.”
Tannehill said that it’s especially important to remove the reserved spots for curbside pick-up because the Square is now back to 100% capacity.
“I think it is important for all of our shops to have those parking spots back in the inventory,” Tannehill said.
The decision to remove curbside parking spots comes a little over a month after both Gov. Tate Reeves and the Board of Aldermen decided to lift the mask mandates. While some businesses still require the wearing of masks in their establishments, others now leave it to the discretion of the customers.
At least a few new confirmed cases in Oxford can likely be attributed to the Square being open at full capacity.
Jimmy Allgood, the Oxford director of emergency management, said that COVID-19 numbers in Lafayette County have been generally trending downward, and that as of Tuesday, April 6, Mississippi as a whole had 183 confirmed cases with 18 new deaths. However, Lafayette County had no new cases for Tuesday.
Moreover, Allgood also said that no COVID-19 vaccines were administered from the Oxford Conference Center today because of municipal elections, but Lafayette County is otherwise keeping a full schedule. He emphasized that there are appointments available for people to get their vaccines.
“There are plenty of appointments available, open at any time,” Allgood said. “They’re averaging anywhere from 700 to 1,200 vaccinations a day at (the National Guard Armory). There is no shortage of vaccines that we have seen.”
Tannehill agreed with Allgood, saying that it’s imperative that people in Oxford get their COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they can.
“We encourage everybody to make the choice to be part of the solution,” Tannehill said.
So far, the Mississippi State Department of Health has administered the COVID-19 vaccine to 1,344,622 people. Over 822,000 have received their first dose, and 553,560 people have received both doses. In Lafayette County, 32,864 vaccines have been administered.