JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A new executive order has gone into effect for Mississippi to combat COVID-19 but one thing not on it is a statewide mask mandate.
Governor Tate Reeves expired the order pointing to downward trends in case averages and hospitalizations but is he looking at the data right?
Governor Reeves is shooting for all Mississippians to take up personal responsibility on knowing when masks are necessary and to him, the data we have doesn’t require state government authority to set requirements for them.
Hospitalizations, patients in the ICU, and on ventilators have been in a steady decline for Mississippi, indicating for Governor Reeves we’re ready to move forward.
“At the peak, we were at 1,250 patients in hospitals, today that number has fallen below 600,” Gov. Reeves explained. “We have 138 patients in ICU beds, that peaked at 337. We were at 198 COVID patients on ventilators, today we’re at 67.”
But with this move comes heavy caution for all Mississippians to keep wearing a mask when out in public and places they can’t be socially distant.
“I’m looking in this camera and I’m telling the people of Mississippi that it makes sense to wear a mask,” Gov. Reeves added. “I believe it works if you will stay socially distant. Staying in smaller groups is much better than larger groups.”
“If we go into this and the people are responsible and wear the mask that’s going to be the right thing to do,” Dr. Thomas Dobbs said. “Really legitimately I don’t know, I’m going to wear a mask, I’m going to eat outside and not go to weddings of my family and it breaks my heart. I think these are decisions we all have to come to.”
The new executive order will be in effect until Nov. 11 and still requires teachers and students to wear masks at school plus fans at sporting events. Restrictions on bars and restaurants are still the same.
The mayors of Jackson, Vicksburg, and Hattiesburg released statements following the governor’s announcement, they’re still keeping their citywide mask mandates in effect until further notice. Reeves added counties seeing increases can expect mandates to come back if needed.