Reeves delays school opening in eight counties, issues statewide mask mandate

Reeves delays school opening in eight counties, issues statewide mask mandate

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Gov. Tate Reeves issued a statewide mask mandate Tuesday during his live COVID-19 update in addition to delaying the start of school in eight Mississippi counties.

The mask mandate for all public gatherings will be in place statewide for two weeks.

Reeves also ordered a two-week delayed start date for middle and high schools (seventh through 12th grades) in the hardest hit counties in the state: Bolivar, Coahoma, Forrest, George, Hinds, Panola, Sunflower and Washington.

“This is what I believe is the best plan for the initial reopening of our schools,” Reeves said. “With a two-week push, I believe we can have the maximum effect and allow for an education for our kids.”

Masks will be mandatory in schools for students and teachers, the governor said.

“We must pump the brakes in hardest hit areas,” he added.

Classes are scheduled to start this week in 51 Mississippi school districts, 49 districts start next week, 14 start the week of Aug. 17 and 23 start after that, Reeves said.