INFORMATION ON COVID-19 & TRAVEL
MARCH 15, 2020 UPDATE (6PM)
Visit Ridgeland is actively and carefully monitoring travel conditions in coordination with the Center for Disease Control, U.S. Travel Association, Mississippi State Department of Health, and local officials regarding COVID-19.
This is a very challenging, uncertain time, and we send the most compassionate and heartfelt greetings to our locals, visitors, and your families. We hope everyone in our community is listening to the guidance of public health authorities and taking all the necessary precautions to keep themselves and their families safe.
While we heed the advice of federal, state, and local health officials on social distancing measures and large group gatherings, we wanted to update you on the hospitality options that are available to you in Ridgeland at this time.
Ridgeland’s great selection of restaurants, hotels, and shops are open for business. At the same time, the safety and health of our community and guests will always be the top priority. For that reason, increased measures and more frequent disinfection procedures are in place throughout our hospitality community.
We are in direct communication and working with our local businesses, accommodations, and restaurants to make sure they are fulfilling these increased and strict hygiene and health practices. We are grateful to the numerous local restaurants and businesses that have stepped up to ensuring heightened best practices are in place. They greatly value their customers and are working to proudly serve you. In fact, many are looking at new avenues to more conveniently provide you with the goods and services you have grown to love from them!
Spring is here! It’s gorgeous outside, the grass is getting greener, and it’s getting warmer by the day. We know that many of you didn’t get to go on a planned trip or had to skip a big festival or event that was on your entertainment list for the week. We feel for you, trust us!
The good news is there is still much to do in our beautiful Ridgeland community while safely implementing social distancing practices. Our picturesque outdoor environment, including many of our parks, multi-use trails, and the Natchez Trace Parkway offer many miles of open skies and green spaces for riding, biking, relaxing, and picnicking with a great meal from one of our many restaurants are all excellent options as social distancing activities. There’s also plenty of fishing, boating, and kayaking on the beautiful Barnett Reservoir. Also, check out our Welcome to Ridgeland mural on Jackson Street in the Old Town Railroad District to snap your new profile or Instagram pic.
Being in the south, we all know the therapeutic value of “comfort food”! Delicious options are available both call-in and online ordering for take-out and curbside service, and many restaurants are offering delivery services, too. If your meal plans are covered and figured out today, consider purchasing gift cards or a meal for friends, family, or those in need. These are all great options to help support our local Ridgeland business community while also bringing a little happiness to yourself and others!
Friends, families and guests, please use common sense, be kind to one another, and stay alert to the latest travel advisories. This is an evolving and heightened situation, and we understand there is cause for concern. As any travel advisories or changes occur, we will share them with you.
As you enjoy your families and loved ones during this temporary social distancing time, please consider ways in your daily or weekly habits to continue supporting local businesses, restaurants, and others.
Thank you all for being a vital and treasured part of our Ridgeland community! We will get through this together.
WE ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS
While there are limitations in place for large scale events, Ridgleland is still open for business. There are no individual travel restrictions in place at this time. We encourage guests to enjoy all that our beautiful community has to offer, use common sense, and stay home if they are sick.
Looking for inspiration? Visit our Facebook or Instagram pages or one of our many blogs that show all the great leisure options in Ridgeland! At this time, all attractions, restaurants, and dining options are open.
The health and safety of our visitors and guests will always be of utmost priority, and we will keep you informed if any level of state or domestic travel restrictions are put into effect. As information becomes available to us, we will share it with you. Below is a list of the latest information we have gathered.
MARCH 12, 2020 UPDATE (4:30PM)
The Mississippi State Department of Health held a press conference today and shared information and recommendations regarding COVID-19:
- The virus primarily affects individuals 65 and older or individuals with complicated health conditions.
- According to the news conference, less than 1% of COVID-19 patients are likely to have severe outcomes or death.
- The MS Department of Health recommends anyone over 65 or with complicated medical conditions should avoid gatherings of more than 250 people. This is an individual choice people will need to make on their own.
- The MS Department of Health recommended organizations should strongly consider cancelling gatherings of more than 250 people.
- If you are sick, the MS Department of Health says to stay home and away from school or work. Everyone should continue to take precautions and use hand hygiene and coughing protocol.
MISSISSIPPI STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
The Mississippi State Department of Health released the following statement yesterday regarding a case of COVID-19 being reported in Mississippi: “Forrest County residents and all Mississippians are not considered at additional risk from this case, and should continue to practice basic protective hygiene to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.”
MISSISSIPPI PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES
Additionally, all eight of Mississippi’s public universities are adjusting their class schedules after Spring Break. Students are being encouraged to stay home one additional week with the further potential to participate in classes remotely. More details can be found here.
HEALTHY TRAVEL HABITS
We encourage everyone to follow the CDC’s travel and hygiene recommendations on COVID-19 at www.cdc.gov/travel.
- Wash hands often with soap and water. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid contact with people who are sick
- Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others
- Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
ACCOMMODATION RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CLEANING
Many of our large accommodations receive guidance from corporate as to the proper sanitization and disinfecting protocol during times like this. For others, follow CDC guidance located here. Clean items including (but not limited to): door handles, telephones, toilets, light switches, remote controls, blowdryers, HVAC controls, faucet handles, and other surfaces frequently.
Restaurants may consider moving items touched by consumers to behind the counter. This keeps customers from touching multiple cups, coffee lids, straws, utensils, and other items and the potential spread of germs where multiple items are handled. By handing items to a customer, the spread of germs may decrease. Offering a new cup for a refill may be feasible.
- ServSafe’s Coronavirus Information
- National Restaurant’s Association
- ECOLab’s industry-specific information
- Download PDF for Restaurants, Hospitality, or Food & Beverage Industry
- For City of Ridgeland government, visit the City’s website at https://www.ridgelandms.org/
- For questions directly related to travel in Ridgeland, please contact Visit Ridgeland| Ridgeland Tourism Commission at 601.605.5252 or Chris Chapman, President/CEO at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The latest information from health experts regarding COVID-19 can be found on these websites:
- World Health Organization
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Mississippi State Department of Health
- U.S. Travel Association
The Mississippi State Department of Health is now operating a hotline for convenient answers to questions about COVID-19 by phone. Mississippi Coronavirus Hotline (8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday): 877-978-6453
Note: This site is meant to serve as a general guide and is directly attributed to public health and CDC travel official sources. Individuals should use common sense when making decisions about travel and follow the available guidelines of these direct sources.