/Reeves reinstates mask mandates for some counties as COVID-19 cases rise

Reeves reinstates mask mandates for some counties as COVID-19 cases rise

The new order covers the counties of Chickasaw and Claiborne as well as DeSoto, Forrest. Itawamba, Jackson. Lamar, Lee, and Neshoba. Additional counties may be added to the list if there are more than 200 cases or 500 cases per 100,000 people in a two-week period depending on the size of the county. Reeves stated that these counties will limit social gatherings to 10 people indoors, and 50 outside, but this will not prohibit high school football games. Reeves’ executive order again requires that all hospitals in the state have a minimum of 10% capacity for COVID-19 patient. A hospital that does not have 10% capacity will be forced to postpone elective procedures. Reeves stated that this was done during summer peak to alleviate hospital pressure. Reeves lifted the statewide mask mandate on September 30th, making Mississippi the first state in the country to do so. He had issued it on August 4th. Reeves also relaxed restrictions on social gatherings. Since then, cases have increased. Reeves stated that Mississippi’s average case count, which was at its highest point of 1,250 cases this summer, had fallen to 500. However, it has “ticked back up” and now stands at more than 600. The Mississippi seven-day average had 766 cases on Monday. Last week, however, saw massive spikes in one-day cases, with more than 1,300 reported Thursday. Reeves stated, “Here in Mississippi, we have seen the movie before.” We know what happens when it gets out of control. Today, I will sign an executive order consistent with the strategy that allowed me to turn around the transmission problem the last time.” Mississippi’s cases dropped by 54% during the period of the statewide mandate. Reeves was reluctant to issue a statewide order for masks in the summer. Instead, he took a county-by–county approach until overloaded state hospitals. Reeves stated that he prefers COVID-19 orders limited to “the heavy handed of government” and that a mask mandate is not a panacea. He also said that he believes people pay less attention to regional mask orders based upon case spikes. Reeves stated, “Many people may wonder, why not you throw on a statewide mandate for masks, and we’ll all be fine.” Look at the data from Arkansas, then look at Alabama’s data. Their curves are worse than ours. “… Simply writing down something on a piece of paper won’t slow down the spread of the virus. Let’s get together, forget politics, wear masks and remain in small groups. We must all work together. Monday’s livestreamed COVID-19 public briefing was Reeves first since he removed the Sept. 30 mask mandate. He stated, “I tried giving everyone a break from Tate Reeves’ show.” He also reiterated that he had tested negative for coronavirus after possibly being exposed to an outbreak in the White House during a September visit. Reeves stated that he believes Mississippi’s elections will be safe, even though Mississippi is the only state that does not allow early voting. Reeves stated that Mississippi has seen multiple elections in safe and responsible manners over the past seven to eight months. “I am confident going into the general elections that this will be the case. “The vast majority of voters will be wearing masks and I recommend that they do so. We had four (legislative Special Elections) in Mississippi and I have not heard of any transmissions from them.