Governor amends, extends statewide ‘Safe Return’ order

The statewide mask mandate has been extended through the remainder of September with a few alterations.

Originally set to expire this morning, Governor Reeves signed the extension of the order requiring masks to be worn in schools and in public on Sunday night. As for the changes included in the latest iteration of the order, capacity limits have been increased for restaurants, shops and bars.

  • Restaurants can increase capacity limitations from 50 to 75%. Increased individual party size from six to ten when tables can be spaced out by six feet.
  • Other private sector entities, such as retail shops and gyms, can increase capacity from 50-75%.
  • Gyms can be open 24 hours.
  • Group gathering limitations are now at no more than 10 indoors or 50 outdoors when social distancing is not possible. If people are able to social distance, group gatherings are set at no more than 20 indoors or 100 outdoors.

Earlier today, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 145 new cases, continuing the downward trend in the state. Governor Reeves explained that Mississippi’s 7-day average has dropped to approximately 412 new cases— a 65% decline since the state’s peak in late June.

“We were able to do that at a time when we reopened K-12 schools, at a time when we reopened community colleges, at a time when we reopened our institutions of higher learning, at a time when the vast majority of private sector entities, while they may have had limited restrictions on them, they were operational. They were operational. They were functional. Our economy is functioning, but because of the efforts of the people of this state, we are making progress. Not only from an economic standpoint but also from the standpoint of reducing the amount of virus that is in our local communities,” Governor Reeves said.

The order is offically set to expire on September 30th at 5:00 p.m.