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Mayor orders quarantine, curfew in Selma

On Saturday afternoon, Selma Mayor Darrio Melton signed a proclamation instituting a quarantine curfew on Selma residents between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. daily due to the spreading COVID-19 pandemic, which as of Sunday morning had infected more than 700 people across the state.

While the quarantine will be in effect until further notice, there are a handful of exceptions, including public safety or emergency service activities; first responders, crisis intervention workers, public health workers, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers and law enforcement personnel; persons employed by or contracted to utilities, cable and telecommunications companies engaged in activities necessary to restore such services; persons delivering fire, police, sanitation, emergency and hospital services, food delivery services and other delivery services; persons seeking essential services or commodities, though the proclamation notes that vulnerable populations “must remain at home” unless seeking medical attention; persons supplying or restocking businesses; persons employed by federal, state, county or city government or their agencies working in the course of their public service duties; and persons experiencing homelessness.

The proclamation notes that all gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited, or any gatherings where the recommended six-feet of distance between attendees can be observed, as well as all travel on foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, automobile or public transit for reasons other than the following:

• Providing care for minors, the elderly, dependents, persons with disabilities or other vulnerable persons;

• Returning to one’s residence from outside of the city;

• Traveling to one’s residence outside of the city;

• Traveling through the city from one location outside of the city to another;

• Complying with an order from law enforcement or the courts;

• Traveling to or from a place of business providing essential services;

• And legally-mandates government purposes.

Further, work in support of businesses will not be interrupted and people will still be allowed to care for or support a friend, family member or pet in another household and those providing services, goods, or work necessary to build, operate, maintain or manufacture essential infrastructure – which is described in the proclamation as the construction of commercial, office and institutional buildings, residential buildings and housing and more – will still be able to move freely.

The proclamation notes that failure to comply with the order will be a violation of city code, though it does not state what consequences might result from such a violation.