Governor Tate Reeves has announced that Mississippi’s statewide mask mandate will expire at 5 p.m today. A new executive order has been signed in its place, which will keep certain social distancing guidelines in effect until at least mid-November.
While masks will no longer be required in all situations, the new order does retain the mandate in schools and “close contact businesses” like salons and barbershops.
The governor did state that he believes that masks are effective and should be worn in certain situations while noting that the decision should now be left up to personal responsibility as the state’s 7-day average continues to drop.
The new order retains the 75% capacity limit on restaurants, shops and gyms while making a few adjustments in other areas. Attendance at outdoor K-12 sporting events has been increased from 25% to 50%. Limits on social gatherings when social distancing cannot be ensured have been also increased — 20 indoors and 100 outdoors.
The governor also mentioned that while the statewide mask mandate will expire, masks will be required at the upcoming Mississippi State Fair.
College football stadiums are still limited to 25% capacity. Mask requirements remain in place from the SEC and the MHSAA for football stadiums.
The order is in effect until Wednesday, November 11 at 5:00 PM.
This story will be updated at the conclusion of today’s briefing.