JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Governor Tate Reeves issued a statewide “shelter-in-place” order for the state of Mississippi.
The order goes into effect Friday at 5 p.m. until Monday, April 20 at 8 a.m.
Reeves said it was not an easy decision to make, but was urged to do so by health officials.
“This will not be easy for anyone, but we believe it is right,” he said. “We know that there are many people who are scared: wondering what this means for their wages and their ability to put food on the table. We are here for you and working hard to help. Mississippi will not allow you to fall without a hand to help you back up.”
Reeves said the goal in the short term is to prevent the healthcare system from being overwhelmed, and said this is the best course of action at this time for the state’s health.
State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said what’s most concerning is the volume the virus in impacting nursing homes and the vulnerable population in Mississippi.
Dobbs said social distancing measures have been useful, but this order will be even more helpful and allow them to be more aggressive in containing the virus.
The shelter-in-place guidelines are as follows:
- Individuals are to stay at home except for the limited allowances in the executive order.
- 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.
- Evictions are suspended, though people are still required to pay any rent or make any mortgage payments.
- All nonessential businesses are to stop all activities other than those necessary for minimum operations (e.g. payroll, health insurance, security) and enabling employees to work from home.
- Social and other non-essential gatherings in groups of more than 10 people must be cancelled or rescheduled.
- Restaurants and bars may only remain open for drive-thru, curbside, and/or delivery service.
- People may leave their homes only to perform essential activities, such as caring for someone in the vulnerable population, getting food or necessary supplies, and working for an essential business.
- Individual outdoor recreation is encouraged, but not group recreation or activities such as soccer or basketball games.