Governor issues additional social distancing measures for 13 ‘hotspots'

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 3:17 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WTOK) - Gov. Tate Reeves has announced additional social distancing measures for thirteen Mississippi counties identified as ‘hotspots’ to limit community transmission of COVID-19.

The counties were identified as localized regions with spikes in cases and at a higher risk for transmission: Claiborne, DeSoto, Grenada, Harrison, Hinds, Jackson County, Jefferson, Madison, Quitman County, Rankin, Sunflower, Washington, and Wayne.

Reeves signed a new executive order Friday establishing additional restrictions including requiring people to wear masks when at public gatherings or in a shopping environment and limiting social gatherings to no more than 10 indoors and 20 outdoors. 

The governor announced the coming order in his Thursday press briefing. 

“Mississippi is in a fight for our lives. COVID-19 is an ever-present threat, and we are in the middle of a spike. It is putting a strain on our hospital system,” said Reeves. “Today, I am announcing a new order which places tighter restrictions on thirteen counties that are seeing greater risk than others. Make no mistake. The risk is present everywhere. It is most visible in these counties.”

The governor briefing may be viewed here. Executive Order No. 1507 may be read here.

Similar to the guidelines set out for other counties previously in Executive Order No. 1483, the governor lays out targeted guidelines for social distancing and sanitation protocols to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the thirteen counties.

Those stipulations for all businesses are the following:

  • All businesses are expected to take every step necessary to implement the regulations, orders, and guidance from the Mississippi State Department of Health and CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing and encouraging sick employees to stay home.
  • All employees will be screened daily at the beginning of their shifts, including asking whether they have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and have they had a fever in the last 48 hours.
  • Based on their duties and responsibilities, employees who are unable to maintain at least 6 feet distance from others must wear a face covering throughout their shift, such as a face mask. Their face coverings must be cleaned or replaced daily.
  • Hand sanitizer must be provided to all employees, which can include a hand rub or soap.

For retail businesses (in addition to measures above):

  • Face coverings must be provided to all employees who come in direct contact with customers. Employees are required to wear that face covering throughout their shift and clean or replace daily.
  • All customers must wear a face covering while inside the retail business.
  • Hand sanitizer must be placed at all entrances, in or near bathrooms, and at cashier stations.
  • Retail businesses are expected to make all efforts to maintain a 6-foot distance between customers at all times.
  • Carts, baskets, and other similar surfaces touched by customers must be sanitized after each use. Other high-touch areas must be sanitized at least once every two hours.

For people out in public:

  • Everyone must wear face coverings when at public gatherings or in a shopping environment.
  • People must maintain a 6-foot distance between themselves and others.
  • Further limits on social gatherings: down to no more than 10 indoors and 20 outdoors.

Copyright 2020 WTOK. All rights reserved.

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