Executive orders allow for additional reopenings, extend ‘safer-at-home’ order

Governor Tate Reeves has announced the signing of two executive orders, extending Mississippi’s ‘safer-at-home’ order while also allowing additional reopenings and making other slight changes to the original order. 

The ‘safer-at-home’ order will now be in effect until Monday, June 1. Under the order, indoor gatherings are still limited to 10 people or less while outdoor gatherings are allowed to have up to 20 people. You’re still being asked to stay at home when possible and those in the ‘high-risk’ population, the elderly and anyone with a compromised immune system, are being asked to shelter-in-place.

The new order allows outdoor recreational facilities, one of the few industries that remain closed, to open under strict health guidelines beginning on June 1st. During his press briefing, the Governor mentioned playgrounds, waterparks and racetracks as examples of businesses that will be able to reopen. 

“We cannot ask the people of Mississippi to do more than they are able to do for a sustained period of time. Over the past two weeks, we have steadily opened up more and more of our economy. That is good and right. It is necessary. There are very, very few businesses still closed. There will still be some guidelines in place for businesses—but we will be out of the business of closing down anybody,” said Governor Tate Reeves.

The guidelines implemented to safely reopen outdoor recreational facilities include:

OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL FACILITIES

For businesses/facilities:

  • Before they can reopen, the entire outdoor park must be deep-cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized top to bottom, including areas not open to the public.
  • All outdoor parks 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.
  • Waiting areas and lines must mark spots at least 6 feet apart to ensure social distancing. Employees must be stationed there to make sure social distancing is followed.
  • No more than 50% of the outdoor park’s capacity.
  • Outdoor parks must post signage at each entrance stating no customer with a fever or COVID-19 symptoms are allowed in.
  • Equipment must be rearranged and/or deactivated to ensure at least 6 feet between customers.
  • All high-touch areas must be sanitized at least once every two hours.
  • Hand sanitizer must be placed at all entrances.
  • Food services are allowed, following restaurant guidelines under Executive Order No. 1478.

For employees:

  • 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.
  • All employees must be provided training on how to limit the spread of COVID-19.
  • Face coverings must be provided to all employees. Employees are required to wear that face covering throughout their shift and clean or replace daily.

For customers:

  • Customers must be screened upon entry into the outdoor park.
  • Customers must sanitize their hands upon entry and when moving between rides or equipment.

The Governor went on to mention that he hopes to be able to announce the reopening of indoor recreation facilities, such as movie theaters, by June 1st. 

On May 12th, additional social distancing guidelines were implemented in seven ‘hotspot counties’. Today’s order adds Holmes County to that list. 

Also included in today’s order is the ability for schools to open gyms and the resumption of outdoor practices. 

SCHOOLS & SPORTS COMPLEXES

  • Schools may open weight rooms and training facilities for use by students, following gym guidelines under Executive Order No. 1480.
  • Team practices at outdoor sports complexes and multi-field complexes and schools’ outdoor practices are allowed to resume, following outdoor recreational activities guidelines under Executive Order No. 1478.

Thursday, the Mississippi High School Activities Association released their ‘back to activity’ guidelines with summer workouts allowed to begin on June 1st. At the college level, the SEC announced that voluntary workouts can begin on June 8th. 

You can view the text versions of the executive orders here: Executive Order No. 1487, Executive Order No. 1488.