JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) - Gov. Tate Reeves announced an executive order Tuesday delaying the start of the school year for older students in eight counties as well as a statewide mask order.
Seventh through 12th grade students in Forrest, Bolivar, Coahoma, George, Hinds, Panola, Sunflower and Washington counties will have their in-person return to school delayed until at least Aug. 17.
“Here’s the bottom line: we have to balance the very real risk of the virus and the lifelong damage of school closures,” Reeves said during Tuesday’s news briefing. “To do that, we have to safely provide education for the greatest possible number of children. The best way to accomplish that is to provide guidelines, allow local school leaders to tailor them, and step in with the authority of state government where it is absolutely necessary. That is what we’re doing today. This is the beginning of that effort, not the end.”
All children and adults at schools must wear masks, unless exempted by a medical condition.
Reeves also announced an executive order requiring masks at public gatherings and retail settings statewide.