Governor signs executive orders related to COVID-19 pandemic

By JOSHUA WILSON,

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signed a pair of executive orders responding to the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday afternoon.

In one order, the governor activated the Mississippi National Guard “to support mobile testing units,” according to a statement from his office. The statement said the governor is “working to stand these (units) up quickly.”

Additionally, the governor ordered state agencies to send non-essential personnel home – and he urged private companies to do the same.

The executive orders also provide paid leave for any state or local government worker who “misses work due to” COVID-19. The governor added in his statement that he hopes “private companies will also follow our example here if they can.”

Reeves also asked school districts to begin working with the Mississippi Department of Education to “develop distance learning protocols as we determine how long schools should stay closed” and also asking them "to continue providing free and reduced lunches.”

The governor asked Mississippians to “respect federal guidelines,” which were revised in a televised speech from President Donald J. Trump earlier Monday.

In the speech, the president asked people to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, to stop discretionary travel and to avoid bars, restaurants and food courts.