JACKSON — Gov. Tate Reeves on Tuesday announced a new executive order requiring every Mississippian to wear a mask at public gatherings and when shopping for the next two weeks.
Under the order, which took effect Wednesday, Aug. 5, all Mississippians must wear a mask when in public, with exceptions included for children under 6 years old, those who cannot cover their face for medical or behavioral conditions, and those at religious worship.
Mississippians must wear a mask when they’re inside a business, school or any place open to the public, or when at an outdoor public space where social distancing is not possible.
Coronavirus cases and deaths in the state are spiraling, and more than one in five Mississippians who are tested for the virus tests positive — a high ratio, according to health experts.
Reeves acknowledged that wearing a mask can be irritating, but he said it is important to helping stop the spread of COVID-19.
"I hate it more than anybody...," Reeves said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
On Tuesday, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 1,074 new cases of the coronavirus and 42 new deaths statewide, bringing the total number of state cases since March 11 to 62,199 and the number of deaths to 1,753.
The latest Tallahatchie County figure shows 496 COVID-19 infections and 10 deaths from the virus.