JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - From the start, Mississippi officials have said we’re facing a two-fold crisis: one of both public health and economics. Governor Tate Reeves signing a new executive order Monday regarding unemployment.
“Please do not let the window pass you by," said Reeves. "If you are lucky enough to get an offer to earn a living, please do not reject it. I do not want you to wake up in August with no job to return to.”
Reopening parts of the state comes with a new set of challenges. One being getting the workforce to return.
“If businesses try to reopen and cannot find the workforce to reopen, it is very possible, if not likely, that business is not going to make it,” noted Reeves.
There’s an added $600 those out of work due to COVID-19 are getting... for now. Gov. Reeves with this warning for those thinking they’ll wait:
“Remember, when those pandemic unemployment assistance benefits go away, maximum state benefit on unemployment is $230 a week," explained Reeves. "Many on unemployment assistance make much less.”
The reopenings have, of course, come with restrictions. Monday, the Governor and State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs say some of the hotspot counties could soon see even more.
“We have been speaking with community leaders across the region trying to get a sense of what they think is most important and what can be implemented successfully without totally hobbling their steps forward,” said Dobbs.
“I don’t think you’ll see there be in attempt to roll back the reopenings," described Reeves. "I think you’ll see a more stringent requirements in terms of masks and some things such as that.”
Reeves says he has concerns that a second wave of economic crises could still be on the horizon as demand may drop for products linked to manufacturing in the state, for example.
As for the possible additional restrictions for some hotspot areas, we’re told that could be coming in the next few days. We’ll pass along as soon as we know more.