Desoto County Sheriff’s Office: We will not enforce Gov. Reeves’ mask mandate

Published 7:01 am Thursday, November 12, 2020

The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday they will not enforce Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves’ mandate on social distancing nor issue citations for not wearing a mask.

Wednesday Governor Tate Reeves announced he was extending his “Safe Recovery” executive order through Dec. 11. According to Reeves’ executive order, local law enforcement and the Mississippi Department of Health is supposed to enforce the mask mandate.

Late Wednesday afternoon the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department issued a statement:

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“Sheriff Rasco doesn’t force his deputies to wear masks in settings where the host or property owner doesn’t require it. However, he respects the wishes of our hosts and property owners when they request that masks be worn. We have not issued any citations. We will not issue citations for not wearing masks nor will we enforce Governor Tate Reeves mandate on social distancing.”

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.”

According to the mask mandate, a face covering is required inside a business or school building when it’s not possible to maintain 6-feet social distancing from another person not in the same household.

There are few exceptions for the mask mandate including eating at a restaurant, participating in sports or worshipping inside churches.