No statewide mask mandate, but some cities keep their own

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RIDGELAND, Miss. (WJTV) – In many parts of the state, it’s now up to business owners and individuals to decide if they’ll wear a mask in public or not.

So how are people taking this responsibility and running with it in their daily routines?

We spoke to Ridgeland mayor Gene McGee who said he’s following the governor’s lead and won’t order a citywide mask mandate. People and business owners are on their own.

Greg Adams helped open up the Gulf Seafood Outlet off Highway 51 right before the pandemic hit. Since the statewide mandates, he’s altered operations to protect certain customers.

“Call me when you arrive around back, it’s close to our door and we’ll be happy to bring out what you want,” Adams told us. “You don’t have to come inside. They may very well have a compromised immune system and I certainly understand that so we want to do what we can for them and retain their business.”

With the statewide mask, mandate lifted he’s no longer requiring customers to come in masked but will keep his staff masked up.

“To protect all of our customers, that’s kind of what we have on mind now,” Adams continued. “I would rather them be at ease than me be a little at ease with the mask and hopefully they’ll feel a little better about that.”

Back in Jackson, there’s still a citywide mask mandate in effect and people aren’t ready to let their guard down in public.

“Regardless of what the government says I would never leave my health to the government’s hand,” Samantha Manning of Jackson said. “Because ultimately it’s my responsibility to take care of me and my kids so in my house we’re going to wear our masks.”

“If they know they’re sick they’re going to cough without covering their mouths and sneeze without covering their mouths,” Lakeesha Johnson explained. “So with that still being in a place that’s a good idea. You never know who has what.”

Governor Tate Reeves still pledged to wear his mask in public and tells everyone they will save lives. The feedback on his call to leave it up to personal responsibility seems split with pros and cons.

“Unfortunately, I have seen people less and less wearing their masks,” Manning said. “I have stuck to wearing mine.”

“We’ll let them make their own decisions, some may be more comfortable with a mask and some may not,” Adams stated. “So, the customers can do whatever they feel adequate for them is fine with us.”

Under the new executive order, masks must still be worn by teachers and students in school and all fans at sporting events. Restrictions on bars and restaurants also have not changed.

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