Governor Tate Reeves signed a new executive order establishing a statewide Safer at Home order for Mississippi to continue protecting public health while beginning the process to safely reopen the state's economy.
In his new executive order, Governor Reeves lays out a measured and strategic plan to reopen Mississippi while continuing to flatten the curve and conserve healthcare resources. Consulting with our state health experts, the Executive Order sets out guidelines for certain business operations and healthcare activities to safely resume.
Governor Reeves announced his new executive order at his daily press briefing on April 24.
"This disease has not hit every American fairly. And the economic damage has not hit every American fairly. Wall Street and Hollywood will be fine. Mississippi small businesses and workers are not. That’s who has been asked to shoulder the country’s burden. It’s not fair, and it’s not right. We are starting to re-open our economy. It’s not a light switch that only goes on and off. It’s a dimmer. We can take measured steps to make life better," said Governor Tate Reeves.
In this latest executive order, the Governor lays out the guidelines of the Safer at Home order to continue flattening the curve, including:
- Mississippians are encouraged to stay at home unless they need to leave for essential activities or essential travel, such as caring for someone in the vulnerable population, getting food or necessary supplies, and going to work.
- All those in the vulnerable population are instructed to continue sheltering in place to protect their health.
- This includes all elderly individuals (age 65 or older per CDC guidelines) and individuals with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune systems are compromised as such by chemotherapy for cancer or any other condition requiring such therapy.
- When outside of their homes, people must follow social distancing guidelines by maintaining a 6-foot distance from others and avoid groups of 10 or more.
- Social and other non-essential gatherings in groups of more than 10 people must be cancelled or rescheduled.
- Evictions are suspended, though people are still required to pay any rent or make any mortgage payments.
- Certain businesses previously closed under the shelter-in-place are allowed to reopen, while following health and safety mandates recommended by the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH).
- Places of amusement or entertainment, like movie theaters and museums, and businesses that cannot avoid sustained person-to-person contact, like salons or gyms, will remain closed, other than curbside pick-up, drive-thru, or delivery for retails sale of their products but not services.
- All businesses and non-profit organizations are encouraged to continue allowing their employees to work from home or telework to all extent possible.
- Restaurants and bars may only remain open for drive-thru, curbside pick-up, and/or delivery service.
- Retail businesses are to implement reasonable measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including limiting the number of customers in their stores at one time to no greater than 50% of their store capacity and making hand sanitizer available to customers upon entry.
- Healthcare professionals and facilities may resume performing elective medical and dental procedures and surgeries as allowed and approved by MSDH. Such non-emergent procedures and surgeries should limit their use of disposable PPE and not request PPE from any public source.