New ‘safer at home orders’ issued for Mississippi

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The shelter in place orders are replaced with the new ‘safer at home’ orders issued by Governor Tate Reeves this afternoon.

“The ‘safer at home’ order is not a return to normal. I wish it was. I know one day we will, but today is not the day.”

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Friday afternoon, Governor Tate Reeves announced a new plan to help safely begin the process of reopening some small businesses and portions of the state’s economy.  “It will no longer be impossible to work. We are allowing most closed business to reopen under certain health and safety mandates developed with our health department.”

But Governor Reeves says most of the policies in the former shelter in place order still apply, including requiring the most vulnerable to remain sheltered in place and restricting travel that’s not considered essential. “Restaurants will continue to be limited to drive-through, carryout, or delivery. Bars are still closed. Schools are still closed. Casinos are still closed. Newly opened retail stores have to reduce capacity by at least 50 percent to avoid crowds. Businesses have to follow C.D.C. and Health Department guidelines like sending sick employees home, wearing masks, screening for symptoms, and social distancing as much as possible. Common areas where people gather will need to stay closed. Evictions are still prohibited because we’re still telling Mississippians to stay at home. Healthcare professionals can begin to do more procedures under rules set by the health department.”

State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs says this is scientifically the best move for Mississippi. “Certainly we’ve been looking at the data closely obviously on a perpetual basis. Based on our understanding of new cases coming in, hospital utilization, which has been steadily declining in many measures, also looking at our influenza type data on people who come to the emergency room with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, we’ve seen a pretty steady and significant decline over the past several weeks. That doesn’t mean that we have absolute confidence that we’ve passed our peak but these are very strong indicators that we’re on the right path.”

With Mississippi experiencing more than 5,000 COVID-19 cases, the new ‘safer at home’ orders will be in effect until May 11th at 8 a.m.

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