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Governor issues additional social-distancing guidelines for seven ‘hot spot’ counties



Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves during his April 15 COVID-19 update. (Photo via screen capture)

Tuesday, Gov. Tate Reeves announced additional social-distancing measures for seven Mississippi counties identified as hot spots to limit transmission around the communities and protect the health of all Mississippians.

Consulting with State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs and other state health officials, seven counties were identified as localized regions at a higher risk for transmission: Attala, Leake, Scott, Jasper, Neshoba, Newton and Lauderdale Counties.

Governor Reeves signed a new executive order today establishing additional restrictions for those seven counties to slow the spread of COVID-19. This follows the state’s “Identify and Isolate” strategy to implement surgical measures while continuing to flatten the curve.

“I hope that these rules will have an impact, but I also hope that they will serve as a signal to people in these counties,” Reeves said. “We cannot always see and feel the consequences, but the disease is more active there. You need to be even more aware—stay even more sharp.”

The governor made the announcement during today’s press briefing, which you can view on our Facebook page.

In Executive Order No. 1483, the Governor lays out targeted guidelines for social distancing and sanitation protocols to slow the spread of COVID-19 within the seven counties, including:

For all businesses:

  • All businesses are expected to take every step necessary to implement the regulations, orders, and guidance from the Mississippi State Department of Health and CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing and encouraging sick employees to stay home.
  • All employees will be screened daily at the beginning of their shifts, including asking whether they have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and have they had a fever in the last 48 hours.
  • Based on their duties and responsibilities, employees who are unable to maintain at least 6-feet distance from others must wear a face covering throughout their shift, such as a face mask. Their face coverings must be cleaned or replaced daily.
  • Hand sanitizer must be provided to all employees, which can include a hand rub or soap.

For retail businesses (in addition to measures above):

  • Face coverings must be provided to all employees who come in direct contact with customers. Employees are required to wear that face covering throughout their shift and clean or replace daily.
  • All customers must wear a face covering while inside the retail business.
  • Hand sanitizer must be placed at all entrances, in or near bathrooms and at cashier stations.
  • Retail businesses are expected to make all efforts to maintain a 6-foot distance between customers at all times.
  • Carts, baskets and other similar surfaces touched by customers must be sanitized after each use. Other high-touch areas must be sanitized at least once every two hours.

For people out in public:

  • Everyone must wear face coverings when attending outdoor public events, such as live auctions or flea markets.
  • People must maintain a 6-foot distance between themselves and others.

You can view the text version of Executive Order No. 1483 here.

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