Three cases of COVID-19 reported in Scott County.

As the COVID-19 virus continues to infect more and more Mississippians — including at least three presumed positive coronavirus cases in Scott County at press time Tuesday — area businesses, government facilities, and restaurants are adjusting hours and security measures in response.

At the Scott County Courthouse in Forest notices were posted last week that the building would be closed early Friday for cleaning and upon reopening Monday additional safety features were in place. Access to the courthouse is now limited to the main, south, entrance where personnel are on hand to do brief health screenings and take the temperature of anyone with business there.

Patrons are asked if they have traveled recently, been sick or in contact with anyone sick and anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher is not allowed to enter the building.

In addition, several area restaurants have closed “until further notice” and the majority of those that remain open have closed their dining rooms and now only allow take-out or drive through service. In Sebastopol at the popular breakfast gathering spot, Duetts, signs were posted Monday informing customers that the dining room was closed to the disappointment of the regular coffee crowd.

Area banks have also limited lobby access to “by appointment only” and are encouraging customers to use the drive through windows or mobile and online banking.

Forest Mayor Nancy Chambers said the city board met in special session Monday to discuss safety measures and decided not to enforce a curfew at this time. “We are closing the lobby at city hall but we are still open,” Chambers said. “Basically people just need to stay at home, be calm, stop hoarding and certainly avoid gatherings where more than 10 people are involved.”

The mayor and board also issued a list of basic guidelines for residents to follow. The memorandum signed by the mayor reads as follows:

To the people of Forest, MS and surrounding area:

The City of Forest will continue to follow the guidelines set fouth by Governor Tate Reeves and the Mississippi Department of Health. We strongly encourage the following:

1. Social Distancing of at least six feet.

2. Good Hygiene — wash hands frequently.

3. No group meetings of more than 10 people.

4 Drive thru or carry out food services where possible.

5. Utilize the mail and “drop boxes” for paying bills.

6. STAY AT HOME if not classified as an essential worker.

7. Provide educational experiences for your children at home.

It is very important that we all do our part to “flatten the curve” by remaining calm, trusting our health officials, not hoarding supplies and staying home. Use the telephone to check on your neighbors and elderly people. City Hall remains open during regular hours. See to one another and rest assured that “This too shall pass.”

As of Wednesday afternoon the number of presumed positive coronavirus cases in Mississippi was at 377 with the Mississippi State Department of Health reporting three deaths, one in Hancock County, one in Holmes County and one in Webster County.