December 1, 2020

Gov. Reeves extends order, mask mandate set for 15 counties

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has extended his “Safe Recovery” order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including mask mandates in 15 counties with the highest increasing numbers of new coronavirus cases.

The news comes a day after Reeves tweeted that his youngest daughter, 8-year-old Maddie, tested positive for coronavirus. Reeves wrote in a follow-up tweet Tuesday night that he, his wife and two other daughters tested negative, but that his family would keep taking extra precautions nevertheless.

“Maddie also had a negative test as recently as yesterday we’re going to monitor closely and be cautious,” Reeves tweeted Tuesday evening. “I’ve heard and felt the outpouring of prayers, and they mean the world to Maddie and all of us!”

He went on to say that the virus is “very contagious” and encouraged people to wear masks.

Sixteen of Mississippi’s 82 counties were under a mask mandate that was set to expire Wednesday. The new regulations are now extended through Dec. 11.
The 15 counties now under a mask mandate are: Benton, Carroll, Covington, DeSoto, Forrest, Harrison, Humphreys, Jackson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Leflore, Lee, Marshall, Rankin and Yalobusha.

“I know that we are all tired and ready to move on. But the virus is still here,” Reeves said in a statement “It’s still working to infect and kill. We’ve gotten far better at dealing with it, and allowing for life to go on. But we’re not all the way there yet.”

The department said Wednesday that Mississippi, with a population of about 3 million, has reported more than 129,000 virus cases and at least 3,497 deaths from COVID-19 as of Tuesday evening. That’s an increase of 17 deaths from the day before. The department said 15 people died between Oct. 31 and Nov. 10, with information from death certificates arriving later.

The true number of virus infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested and studies suggest people can infect others even when they don’t feel sick. The virus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most but can be more severe or fatal for some, especially older adults and those with underlying health conditions.