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Shelter-in-place order not likely to be extended in its entirety, says Gov. Reeves

Updated: Apr. 22, 2020 at 7:36 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Governor Tate Reeves said Wednesday it is not likely that he’ll extend the shelter-in-place order in its entirety.

Instead, expect more restrictions to be loosened in a similar way that we saw this week with the extension.

Reeves doesn’t have a one size fits all answer for what re-opening the state’s economy will look like.

“We have talked about the potential of a regional approach, for instance or a county by county approach," Reeves explained. "We are also looking at industries and making decisions on industries that can quickly get back to work and do so in a safe way.”

There’s growing confidence in the capacity of the health care system and supply of personal protective equipment, both of which are part of the considerations.

“We’re not going to be complacent," said State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. "But I think a lot of indicators strongly support looking at modest, measured, thoughtful mechanisms to move towards normalcy.”

Here’s what we do know. Life won’t bounce back to normal anytime soon.

“We were slower than most intentionally and I would argue correctly so in putting the shelter-in-place order in effect," described Reeves. "And we put measures throughout that process which eased us into it. And I think you will see over the next 2 to 3 to 4 weeks are measures that will incrementally get us out of it.”

Take restaurants for example. Reeves noted Tuesday that they’ll likely be looking at options such as fewer people inside the restaurant or removing every other table.

The Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association says their members are still weighing what makes the most sense financially.

“Many operators have already stated that they will not entertain dine-in until all restrictions are lifted," said Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association Executive Director Pat Fonatine. "It’s simply not cost effective.”

No decision has been made about those next steps yet, but the governor says there will be a look at each industry’s risks and ability to get back to work.

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