JACKSON — Neshoba County has met the criteria once again to have a mask mandate reinstated. Newton County does not qualify at this time for the mask mandate set forth by the Safe Recovery executive order.
Gov. Tate Reeves announced at a press conference today additional counties that have qualified and met certain requirements to be placed under mask mandates with the Safe Recovery executive order that is in effect until Dec. 11.
Those additional counties are: Alcorn, Attala, Bolivar, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lafayette, Lawrence, Lincoln, Lowndes, Neshoba, Panola, Perry, Prentiss, Stone, Tippah, Tishomingo, and Union. Now, 41 of Mississippi’s 82 counties are included within this order.
“As we go into Thanksgiving, please be extra cautious and look out for your loved ones. These are critical times," Reeves said. “There is much more COVID-19 around us, and therefore a greater risk that you pass the virus to someone that you love dearly.”
Counties previously added include: Benton, Carroll, Covington, DeSoto, Forrest, Harrison, Humphreys, Jackson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Leflore, Lee, Marshall, Rankin and Yalobusha counties, which were added on Nov. 10, and Hinds, Itawamba, Madison, Montgomery, Pontotoc, Tate and Winston counties, which were added on Nov. 17.
The added restrictions include face coverings worn by every person covering the nose and mouth, when inside a business, school, building or other indoor space open to the public whenever it is not possible to maintain a minimum of six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household.
Exceptions to the rules include:
- Persons who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or behavioral condition, who have trouble breathing or are incapacitated, or whose healthcare professional has recommended that a face covering not be worn;
- Persons seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired in a way that requires the mouth to be visible;
- Persons while eating or drinking;
- Persons in a building or engaged in an activity that utilize or requires security surveillance or screening (e.g., banking or financial institutions), and only during such times when these persons are under security surveillance or screening;
- Persons engaged in swimming activities or other activities while in a swimming pool;
- Persons engaged in exercising in fitness and exercise gyms or other sports activity;
- Persons engaged in organized school athletic practices, including weight training;
- Persons, including teachers, while giving a speech, presentation or performance for a broadcast or to an audience, including students;
- Persons actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship (NOTE wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged);
- Persons who are voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher, or actively administering an election (NOTE wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged);
- Children under the age of six (6) (NOTE parents and guardians shall be responsible for ensuring proper use of face coverings by children six ( 6) years of age and older and must ensure that face coverings do not pose a choking hazard and can be safely worn without obstructing a child's ability to breathe.); and
- Other settings where it is not practical or feasible to wear a face covering, including, but not limited to, when obtaining or rendering goods or services (such as receipt of dental services) or would otherwise impede visibility to operate equipment.
Other restrictions include limits on public and private social. Gatherings and recreational activities shall be limited to groups of no more than 10 people in a single indoor space or groups of no more than 50 people in an outdoor space where individuals not in the same household are in close proximity (less than 6 feet) to each other. This limitation does not apply to religious entities, voting precincts, students in classrooms or gatherings governed by other capacity limitations contained in Executive Order 1525.
Here is the new executive order: