Gov. Reeves announces mask mandate for 9 counties

Gov. Reeves
Gov. Reeves
Updated: Oct. 19, 2020 at 2:35 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves announced new measure in the fight against COVID-19.

Numbers continue to rise across the state, with more than 110,000 cases statewide since March.

Nine counties are included in the new safety measures:

  • Chickasaw
  • Claiborne
  • DeSoto
  • Forrest
  • Itawamba
  • Jackson
  • Lamar
  • Lee
  • Neshoba

These counties will be under a mask mandate when indoors, and social gatherings will be limited to 10 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.

They fit under the governor’s criteria for additional measures, which includes more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents over two weeks or more than 200 total cases over two weeks.

Reeves stopped short of calling the rise in cases a “spike,” but says he is worried about an increase in hospitalizations.

Hospitals must also now set aside 10 percent of its capacity for COVID-19 patients, or else delay elective procedures.

“We’ve seen this before. We know what can happen if we allow this to get out of control, and so we want to be proactive to prevent that from happening,” Reeves said. “None of these elements are silver bullets. None of them will totally eliminate the virus. We have to allow for life to go on in the meantime. As we wait for a vaccine, our mission is the same as it ever was: to prevent our healthcare system from being overwhelmed. That has to be the focus.”

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