Mississippi’s mask mandate ends today, Reeves loosening restrictions

Updated: Mar. 3, 2021 at 8:11 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Mississippi’s governor Tate Reeves signed an executive order loosening restrictions in the state, ending the mask mandate on Wednesday.

The lifting of the mask mandate goes into effect at 5:00 pm Monday. Governor Reeves said he’s still encouraging people to wear a mask, though it’s not required.

Related | EXPLAINER: Why did Gov. Reeves terminate his COVID executive orders?

The Governor said the reason for lifting the mandate is because the state’s seen a decrease in daily coronavirus infections and hospitalizations.

Reeves said case numbers have fallen low enough that no county now meets the criteria for a mask mandate. Reeves added his executive order does not prevent businesses or other groups from requiring masks if they choose to.

“If businesses or individuals decide to take additional precautions, they are absolutely within their rights. In fact, it may be smart. But we are not going to continue to use the heavy hand of government when it is no longer justified by the reality we see around us,” Reeves said.

Related | State health officials still urging use of masks as mandate lifts in Mississippi

Reeves’ announcement comes as the state reported 301 new COVID-19 cases and 44 coronavirus-related deaths.

The Mississippi State Health Director, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, wrote in a tweet, “To prevent the spread of COVID transmission and protect patients MSDH guidance still necessitates the use of masks and other measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission in healthcare settings.”

Again, the lifting of the mask mandate goes into effect at 5:00 pm Wednesday and is expected to last until at least March 31

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