Reeves eliminates mask mandate in new orders

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves Wednesday announced the expiration of the executive order that included the so-called “mask mandate” for residents out in public.Reeves made the announcement during his daily press briefing from Jackson.

The new requirements come under what the official press release described as a “Safe Recovery” order.  

“I have always tried to stress the important balance of this time: we cannot allow our system to collapse, and we should not use the heavy-hand of government more than it is justified,” said Reeves in a news release announcing the new orders. “We have to tailor our actions to the current threat, and make sure that they do not go beyond what is reasonable.”

Under the new order, some social distancing restrictions are being eased. Attendance at outdoor events, such as football games, has been increased to 50 percent of a facility’s capacity. Limits on the number of people involved in group gathering where social distancing is not possible is now at 20 indoors and 100 outdoors. Masks are required for schools and close contact businesses, such as salons and barbershops. Indoor events are still limited to 25 percent of capacity.

The new order starts at 5 p.m. today (Wednesday) and is set to expire at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 11.  

Bars and restaurants will still be required to stop selling alcohol at 11 p.m. when they are open for business. Floor plans must consider six feet of social distancing between each party/group inside the business and limit party sizes to 10 people per table.  

Appropriate face coverings shall be worn by all employees based on their duties and responsibilities and in adherence to federal, state and local regulations and guidelines. Every employee who comes into contact with customers shall be provided a cloth mask and shall be required to wear that mask while on duty. Self-service buffets and food stations are prohibited; and cafeteria style (worker served) buffets and food stations, and self-service drink stations are permitted.

In counties or municipalities where stricter restrictions are in effect, those mandates can continue. Oxford, for instance, still has a mask mandate and that will stay in place until the Board of Aldermen rescinds it.

The complete details under the Safe Recovery Order are found on the official website of Gov. Tate Reeves.  

(Contact desotocountynews@gmail.com)

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