HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker said he has extended the city’s mask mandate hopefully for the last time before the city can start phasing out the directive.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves lifted Mississippi’s statewide mask mandate at the beginning of March.
After Reeves’ announcement, Barker said the City of Hattiesburg’s mask mandate would remain in place for the “foreseeable future.”
Over the past month, COVID-19 cases and virus-related deaths have continued to decrease in the Magnolia State, but Barker said the Hattiesburg mandate will remain in place to prevent a surge in the coming weeks.
“We understand we’re coming out of Easter, and the impact of those gatherings may not be seen for a couple of weeks. Also, both of our universities - Southern Miss and William Carey - only have a few weeks left in their spring semester and trimester, respectively. Because of this, we are going to extend the mask mandate one more time,” Barker said. “This will get us past the end of both universities’ spring terms and their commencement ceremonies. If numbers - both in active cases and hospitalizations - remain low, we will begin phasing out mask mandates.”
You can watch the full video of Barker remarks below.