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COVID-19 News

For more detailed information, please visit msdh.ms.gov.

Mississippi Counties Under Executive Ordered Mask Mandate

Adams
Alcorn
Amite
Attala
Benton
Bolivar
Calhoun
Carroll
Chickasaw
Choctaw
Clarke
Clay
Coahoma
Copiah
Covington
De Soto
Forrest
Franklin
George
Greene
Grenada
Hancock
Harrison
Hinds
Holmes
Humphreys
Itawamba
Jackson
Jasper
Jefferson
Jefferson Davis
Jones
Kemper
Lafayette
Lamar
Lauderdale
Lawrence
Leake
Lee

Leflore
Lincoln
Lowndes
Madison
Marion
Marshall
Monroe
Montgomery
Neshoba
Newton
Noxubee
Oktibbeha
Panola
Pearl River
Perry
Pike
Pontotoc
Prentiss
Quitman
Rankin
Scott
Simpson
Smith
Stone
Sunflower
Tallahatchie
Tate
Tippah
Tishomingo
Union
Walthall
Warren
Washington
Wayne
Webster
Wilkinson
Winston
Yalobusha
Yazoo County

Governor Tate Reeves Extends Executive Order

Governor Tate Reeves has announced the decision to extend Executive Order 1535 until Wednesday, February 3,2021 at 5:00 PM.

The counties in the list above are currently under a county-wide mask mandate after meeting certain requirements in relation to COVID-19.

“It is important that we continue to take this virus seriously. We are working on getting Mississippians vaccinated, but continue to social distance, keep gatherings small and wear your mask,” Governor Tate Reeves.

Governor Tate Reeves Announces New COVID-19 Measures – January 12, 2021

Governor Tate Reeves has announced those who are 65 years and older or if you have a pre-existing medical condition, are now eligible to make an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Individuals can schedule an appointment by dialing the call center: 1-877-978-6453. You can also go to the website: covidvaccine.umc.edu.

“My main priority is not to try and fight this pandemic with stricter and stricter orders,” Governor Reeves said. “It’s to get better and better at distributing the vaccine, and that’s what our focus is now.”

SBA and U.S. Treasury Announce PPP Re-Opening; Issue New Guidance

The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Treasury Department, has announced that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers.

To promote access to capital, initially, only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP Loans on Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans on Wednesday, January 13.

The PPP will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter. Updated PPP guidance outlining Program changes to enhance its effectiveness and accessibility was released on January 6 in accordance with the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act.

On December 27, 2020, the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020 (Continued Assistance Act) was signed into law. Many unemployment provisions are now extended beyond their original expiration date of December 31, 2020, and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which expired July 31, 2020, is resumed for the week ending January 2, 2021, as a $300 supplement.

The Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) has announced that it began paying the FPUC $300 weekly supplemental benefit to qualified claimants for the week ending January 2, 2021. MDES has paid more than 62,000 claimants as of Friday, January 8, 2021, totaling over $18 million in the newly continued $300 supplement of FPUC.

Governor Tate Reeves has announced the decision to allow vulnerable Mississippians to have access sooner than expected to the COVID-19 vaccine. Beginning January 11, individuals 75 and older will have availability to the vaccine. On January 18, Mississippians 65 and older will have the next available access.

Executive order 1535 is still in effect until 5 p.m. January 15th, 2021.

As of now, 78 of Mississippi's 82 counties are under mask mandates.

"The most important task that we have is getting the vaccine out to the public. That is our only way out of all this," Governor Tate Reeves said. "I still believe everyone should continue to take social distancing seriously."

Governor Tate Reeves has announced additional counties that have qualified to be under mask mandates under his “Safe Recovery” executive order that is in effect through December 11th.

The following counties are included: Hinds, Madison, Pontotoc, Tate, Winston, Itawamba, and Montgomery counties. As of now, 22 of Mississippi’s 82 counties are included in this executive order.

“Let’s keep fighting COVID, let’s protect ourselves and protect our neighbors,” Governor Reeves said. “Let’s also keep praying. I believe if we work together, we can make a difference. We can slow the spread and bridge the gap between now and when this vaccine becomes readily available and protect the integrity of our healthcare system.”

Click Here to Listen to the Discussion

Click Here to Read the Covid Relief Package Guide

Governor Tate Reeves has announced additional COVID-19 measures in an effort to keep Mississippians safe during this holiday season. The Executive Orders that are in place are set to expire on Friday, January 15th, 2021.

The following counties have been under county-wide mask mandates after meeting the certain requirements in relation to COVID-19:

Adams, Alcorn, Amite, Attala, Bolivar, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clarke, Clay, Coahoma, Copiah, Covington, De Soto, Forrest, Franklin, Grenada, Harrison, Hinds, Holmes, Itawamba, Jackson, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Kemper, Lafayette, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lee, Leflore, Lincoln, Lowndes, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Montgomery, Neshoba, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Panola, Pearl River, Perry, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Rankin, Scott, Simpson, Stone, Tate, Tippah, Tishomingo, Union, Washington, Webster, Winston, Yalobusha and Yazoo Counties.

These counties that are being added today have also met the specific criteria to be placed under a mask mandate:

Benton, George, Greene, Hancock, Humphreys, Jasper, Leake, Newton, Pike, Quitman, Smith, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Walthall, Warren, Wayne and Wilkinson Counties

As of now, 78 of Mississippi’s 82 counties are under mask mandates. While this holiday season is coming up, please remember to social distance, keep gatherings small, and wear your mask.

“We all need to be extra aware. You know what to do! Protect yourself and your family. Stay safe, and Merry Christmas,” Governor Tate Reeves said.

General Resources

For more detailed information about COVID-19 vaccinations, please visit msdh.ms.gov.

MDES Contact Center Information:

Unemployment claimants should call 601-493-9427 or 601-326-1119 for the following services:

  • To file unemployment claims,
  • Ask questions about existing claims,
  • Password reset assistance, and
  • How to file weekly certifications

Claimants should call 601-493-9427 for the following services.

Call: 601-493-9427 for the following services.

COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus that causes flu-like illness ranging from mild to severe, with symptoms of fever, coughing, fatigue and difficulty breathing. The CDC and MSDH are working to detect, contain and limit the spread of cases in the U.S. and Mississippi should they occur. MSDH is actively preparing doctors and hospitals on how to respond safely and effectively to COVID-19 in Mississippi.

Like the flu, COVID-19 is thought to be spread person-to-person by close contact (within 6 feet) and by coughing or sneezing. Other possible routes of transmission, such as touching surfaces contaminated by the virus, are also being investigated.

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

The Mississippi State Department of Health and CDC Community Recommendations Through March 31, 2020:

  • Avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Restrict visitation to long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes.
  • Discretionary travel and social visits should be avoided.
  • Avoid eating or drinking in restaurants, bars, and food courts. Use drive-through, pickup and delivery options.
  • If anyone in a household tests positive for the virus, everyone who lives there should stay home.

Even with these new guidelines in place, it is still essential that everyone continues to practice basic preventative measures:

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Clean surfaces and objects that are touched regularly
  • Stay home if you do become sick

Employer Resources

It is important for employers to maintain open lines of communication with their employees. To that end, employers should update contact information for employees if necessary and stay informed of the latest news. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also issued “Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease.” The CDC recommends that employers begin implementing the following steps now:

  • Encourage employees with acute respiratory illnesses to stay home;
  • Separate sick employees;
  • Emphasize cough and sneeze etiquette and hand hygiene;
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning;
  • Advise employees about the risks prior to travel to countries that have had a significant outbreak; and
  • Consider informing employees in the case of possible exposure in the workplace.

The Mississippi State Department of Health and CDC Community Recommendations Through March 31, 2020:

  • Avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Restrict visitation to long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes.
  • Discretionary travel and social visits should be avoided.
  • Avoid eating or drinking in restaurants, bars, and food courts. Use drive-through, pickup and delivery options.
  • If anyone in a household tests positive for the virus, everyone who lives there should stay home.

Even with these new guidelines in place, it is still essential that everyone continues to practice basic preventative measures:

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Clean surfaces and objects that are touched regularly
  • Stay home if you do become sick

The CDC also recommends that employers create response plans now that the outbreak has reached the United States.

Employers should create response plans that would:

  • Provide flexibility and input from employees
  • Reduce transmission among staff
  • Protect people at higher risk for adverse health complications
  • Maintain business operations
  • Minimize adverse effects on other entities in their supply chains
  • Share best practices

Can your business allow short-term telecommuting? Flexible hours? The cancellation of some or all business travel? Fewer in-person meetings? There is no single answer to these questions for every business.

Can employers require employees to undergo medical examinations?

As noted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in its guidance, “Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act,” employers may not require medical examinations under the ADA unless the medical exam is job-related and consistent with business necessity. Whether a medical exam is job-related and consistent with business necessity depends upon the facts presented (e.g., what are the employee’s symptoms, where has the employee been, etc.) and the latest CDC guidance on coronavirus.

What actions can employers take in the case of a pandemic?

In the case of a pandemic, employers can send employees home if they show coronavirus-like symptoms at work. Furthermore, employers may ask employees if they are experiencing coronavirus-like symptoms as long as they are mindful of confidentiality obligations. Finally, if an employee returns from traveling during a pandemic, an employer may ask the employee whether they are returning from a location where that individual may have been exposed to the virus.

Obviously, this is an evolving issue. The businesses that plan for it will be in a better position to deal with it if it becomes a crisis in the United States.

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