Governor Tate Reeves has added Lamar County – along with five additional counties – to the more than 20 throughout Mississippi that already have mandatory mask orders.
Under a new executive order, which was issued July 24, the public is required to wear appropriate face coverings – one that cover the nose and mouth – while shopping and at public gatherings.
The order mandates that businesses must screen employees for symptoms of COVID-19, and employees must wear face coverings when interacting with the public. Businesses must provide hand sanitizer to all employees and customers, and sanitizing stations must be available at points of entry and exit, in or near bathrooms and at cashier stations.
Customers are required to wear face coverings, but they may be exempt from the requirement if they have certain medical or behavioral conditions. Customers do not have to wear coverings while eating or drinking.
“The spread of COVID-19 in Lamar County has increased threefold over the past couple of weeks,” Lamar County Administrator Jody Waits said. “Much of the spread could have been avoided if everyone would follow the recommendations of the State Health Officer and the governor’s orders.
“The Lamar County Board of Supervisors is asking all citizens to follow the precautions that have been determined by the State Health Officer or ordered by the governor.”
The other 23 counties in the order are: Bolivar, Claiborne, Covington, DeSoto, Forrest, Grenada, Harrison, Hinds, Humphreys, Jackson, Jefferson, Madison, Panola, Quitman, Rankin, Sunflower, Sharkey, Simpson, Tallahatchie, Tate, Washington, Walthall and Wayne counties.
In addition, Reeves also amended the order regarding bars and social gatherings across the state, including limiting gatherings to 10 people or less indoors and 20 or less outdoors. Previous social distancing measures, such as limiting to 50 percent capacity, updating floor plans to ensure 6 feet distance between groups, and limiting to six people per table, remain in effect.
“Today, we are announcing additional measures in six more counties and putting some restrictions on bars and social gatherings to prevent reckless spread among young, drunk people – our most challenging group,” Reeves said.