MADISON COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - “We believe that localized efforts to bring intense focus to those hardest hit areas will have the greatest impact."
Those are the words of Governor Tate Reeves, who added seven more counties to a renewed mask mandate today. These counties are Harrison, Madison, Marshall, Jones, Carroll, Leake and Benton.
The new mask mandates began last week -- which is weeks after the statewide mask mandate expired -- because of spiking COVID-19 numbers around the state.
Mark Holly lives in Byram but works in Madison, and he said he’s happy to hear the news.
“I think that it should have never changed, I think that we should have always kept our masks on during COVID,” Holly said.
Nine year old John Gordon does not feel the same.
“Not so happy,” he said, describing the feeling of being told he has to wear his mask. “Because it’s just not fun wearing them, and they’re hard to breathe through.”
Madison County resident Earlean Landing said in spite of the mandate being lifted, she has continued to wear her mask, and for a specific reason.
“To make everyone else comfortable, as well as myself,” she said simply.
But maybe comfortable isn’t the word, said 8-year-old Lillie Miller.
“You can’t really breathe through it. It’s not really comfy,” she said.
Madison resident Ethan Meredith said it could be an unnecessary precaution, but that it’s not a bad one.
“I know those masks don’t always protect you from germs and viruses, but it’s always good to be safe,” Meredith said.
The governor’s criteria for adding a mandate to a county is if that county has 500 cases per 100,000 residents over two weeks or more than 200 total cases over two weeks.