Gov. Reeves responds to DeSoto County sheriff’s refusal to enforce COVID-19 mandates

Updated: Nov. 12, 2020 at 12:10 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DEOSOT CO., Miss. (WMC) - Governor Tate Reeves has released a statement concerning the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department saying they will not enforce a state mandate on social distancing or issue citations for not wearing a mask.

Reeves said he’s counting on local leaders to “step up and take this virus seriously.”

The order was extended Wednesday, Nov. 11. It calls for social distancing and extends a mandatory mask mandate for 15 counties - including DeSoto, Benton and Marshall Counties in the WMC Action News 5 viewing area.

The Mississippi State Department of Health is held a virtual town hall Thursday on Facebook where they discussed the effectiveness of masks and social distancing.

Right now, DeSoto County has the second-highest total number of cases in the state of Mississippi.

Pictures on the DeSoto County Sheriff’s social media pages show Sheriff Rasco, his deputies and DCSD employees without masks during awards ceremonies, working in a school near children and during a class on how to spot sex trafficking.

Rasco’s even mask-less while accepting mask donations from a local bank.

A DCSD spokesperson says “Sheriff Rasco doesn’t force his deputies to wear masks in settings where the host or property owner doesn’t require it. However, he respects the wishes of our hosts and property owners when they request that masks be worn. We have not issued any citations. We will not issue citations for not wearing masks nor will we enforce Governor Tate Reeves' mandate on social distancing.”

Copyright 2020 WMC. All rights reserved.