JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves added more counties to his localized COVID-19 restrictions.
Last week, Reeves enacted restrictions, which includes a mask mandate, for nine counties. This comes weeks after he allowed the statewide mask mandate to expire.
This week, Reeves added seven more counties to the mandate. These counties are Harrison, Madison, Marshall, Jones, Carroll, Leake and Benton. The mask restrictions for these new counties will go into effect Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 8 a.m.
The full list of counties includes:
They fit under the governor’s criteria for additional measures, which includes more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents over two weeks or more than 200 total cases over two weeks. The date they used is from October 5-18.
The mandate means face masks are required while indoors and interacting with the public without social distancing. Indoor social gatherings should be limited to groups of 10, and outdoor gatherings to groups of 50.
Hospitals in the restricted counties will also need to reserve 10% of their capacity for COVID-19 patients. If they cannot do that, the hospitals must delay elective procedures.
Reeves said he will not force people to wear a mask when voting in-person next week, but said the “vast majority” of people will be safe and wear masks.
Case totals continue to rise across the state, with more than 115,000 cases statewide since March.