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JDC added to mask mandate list by governor

Gov. Tate Reeves added 19 counties to the mask mandate under his executive order last Tuesday, bringing the total to 41, or half of the state’s counties.

Asked repeatedly during a press briefing about a statewide mask mandate, Reeves responded that there is no “one silver bullet,” and that it’s important to pinpoint counties with rising case numbers rather than enacting a blanket order.

“There is no one single bullet, there is no one thing that we can do as a state, there is no one thing that I as a leader or we as a state can do to make this go away,” Reeves said.

He went on to compare Mississippi’s rate of new cases compared to other states, including those with statewide mandates. As of Sunday, Mississippi ranked 35th in daily new cases per capita.

In addition to the 22 counties already under a mandate, the 19 new ones are: Alcorn, Attala, Bolivar, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lafayette, Lawrence, Lincoln, Lowndes, Neshoba, Panola, Perry, Prentiss, Stone, Tippah, Tishomingo and Union.

Reeves’ continued refusal to implement a statewide mandate comes a day after a top health official in the state called on him to do so.

Of the 41 counties under a mandate, Reeves said four no longer met the threshold used for the rule, but he kept them under the mandate because cases were still relatively high.

The criteria are that a county must have, over a two-week period, over 200 new cases — as well as 200 cases per 100,00 people — or over 500 cases per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, Mississippi as a whole has met both those marks for five straight days now.

As of Nov. 30, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reported 1,485 new COVID-19 cases and one new COVID-19 related death, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in our state to 153,270 and the total number of deaths to 3,807.

Jefferson Davis County has a total of 590 cases and 17 deaths.

According to State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs, there are currently more than 1,000 Mississippians hospitalized due to COVID-19, which is a new record for our state.

Record-breaking numbers prove we need to do more to protect the health and safety of those all across the state.

As we enter the holiday season, let us all continue to be wise and make the best decisions for our families, neighbors and friends.

As always, continue to pray for those on the front lines of this pandemic and help support them by reviewing and implementing local COVID-19 safety measures.

Governor Reeves recently added 19 counties to his “Safe Recovery” executive order, which remains in effect until Dec. 11.

Executive Order 1532 adds Jefferson Davis County to the list of counties with additional COVID-19 safety measures, as well as the mask mandate.

As of now, at least half of Mississippi’s 82 counties are included in the “Safe Recovery” executive order.