Governor Tate Reeves Issues Executive Orders to Protect Healthcare Professionals

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JACKSON — Today, Governor Tate Reeves signed two new executive orders to protect healthcare professionals from transmission and liability as they aid in Mississippi’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We are so blessed to have our nation’s best and brightest in our state’s healthcare system, and I thank these healthcare heroes for caring for Mississippians as we work to slow the spread of COVID-19. While they’re fighting to protect us, we’re going to do everything in our power to protect them. These orders help protect our healthcare professionals who are working diligently on the front lines to save lives. We must all do our part to take care of our healthcare workers and one another during this difficult time,” said Governor Tate Reeves.

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Following the recommendations issued by the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH), Executive Order No. 1470 defines elective surgeries and restricts all non-essential elective surgeries and medical and surgical procedures.

Governor Reeves issued this order to ensure that PPE and medical supplies would not be depleted by medically unnecessary surgeries, as well as protect the health and safety of healthcare professionals needed to help in the COVID-19 response. The Executive Order will be in effect from today, April 10, 2020, at 5:00 PM until April 27, 2020 at 8:00 AM. State, county, and local law enforcement are authorized to enforce it.

In preparation for the projected surge in Mississippi, Executive Order No. 1471 creates additional protections from civil liability for healthcare workers and facilities assisting outside their normal operations in the response to COVID-19. This order is in effect until May 15, 2020 at 11:59 PM.

Because of the urgent need to maintain a robust response supported by all available healthcare professionals, Governor Reeves has also authorized MSDH, the Mississippi State Board of Nursing, and the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure to make, amend, and rescind any orders, rules, or regulations deemed necessary for our state’s healthcare professionals to help with the response efforts.