September 18, 2020

Mask up, Mississippi, governor issues state mask mandate

Gov. Tate Reeves issued a statewide face mask mandate Tuesday afternoon.

Reeves said he personally hates having to wear masks, but that they are essential to slowing the spread of the virus.

“We are seeing improvements in our numbers throughout our state,” Reeves said. “I am convinced it’s because we are seeing more participation (in wearing face masks).”

Reeves said residents must do their part and keep up their efforts to slow the virus.

“Things are improving here, but that does not mean we can declare victory and take a step back. In fact it means just the opposite,” he said.

“These are hard times and hard times call for hard truths,” he said. “We can’t prevent everybody from getting this virus.”

Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs begged Mississippians to “chill out” and stay home for a couple of weeks to help slow the spread of the virus as the state’s ICU utilization hit a new record Tuesday.

“If we can all just chill out for the next two to three weeks (the virus spread will slow),” Dobbs said. “We are undermining our ability to start school and keep businesses open because we want to have dinner with friends from out of town.”

Dobbs said the majority of new coronavirus cases the state is identifying is coming from social gatherings and community spread.

“If we will come together as a state, we can slow the spread of this virus,” Reeves said. “We must come together to beat this virus back.”