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Reeves limits spectators at school sporting events



Warren Central High School football

During a live news conference Friday, Gov. Tate Reeves announced a new executive order limiting the number of attendees at K-12 extracurricular activities, including sports.

To reduce crowd sizes at these occasions and attempt to control the spread of COVID-19, Reeves placed a limit of two spectators per participant on the events. Each event must also employ a safety officer to enforce the crowd limitations in addition to other safety measures such as masks and social distancing.

“Sports and these other activities are instrumental in the lives of our young Mississippians. They teach discipline and responsibility in a way that can’t be replicated,” Reeves said.

“Having said all of that, we are living through a pandemic the likes of which this country has not seen since 1918,” he added.

“One of my greatest concerns heading into this school season has been sports and those other events which cause the community to come out in large crowds,” he said, adding, “Twenty-two players on a field is not going to overly stress our health care system; however, 2,000 people in a small school’s bleachers absolutely could have that effect.”

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs added that if one team player tests positive for COVID-19, the entire team could be quarantined for 14 days.

To date, schools in 38 of Mississippi’s 82 counties have reported positive COVID-19 tests, totaling 109 teachers and 69 students. Nearly 750 students and school staff are in quarantine as a result, Dobbs said.

Reeves also extended his current executive orders pertaining to COVID-19 through Aug. 31, including the statewide mask mandate issued Aug. 4.

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