Gov. Reeves responds to DeSoto County sheriff’s refusal to enforce COVID-19 mandates

Gov. Reeves responds to DeSoto County sheriff’s refusal to enforce COVID-19 mandates
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidance about face masks saying they will not only protect those around you, but they’ll also protect you. (Source: WBRC)

DEOSOT CO., Miss. (WMC) - Governor Tate Reeves has released a statement concerning the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department saying they will not enforce a state mandate on social distancing or issue citations for not wearing a mask.

Reeves said he’s counting on local leaders to “step up and take this virus seriously.”

“Emergency management has always been state-managed, locally executed. We are counting on local leaders from across the state to step up and take this virus seriously. Desoto County has been consistently among the hardest hit.”
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves

The order was extended Wednesday, Nov. 11. It calls for social distancing and extends a mandatory mask mandate for 15 counties - including DeSoto, Benton and Marshall Counties in the WMC Action News 5 viewing area.

The Mississippi State Department of Health is held a virtual town hall Thursday on Facebook where they discussed the effectiveness of masks and social distancing.

Officials with the Mississippi State Department of Health are speaking after we told you last night the DeSoto County...

Posted by WMC Action News 5 on Thursday, November 12, 2020

Pictures on the DeSoto County Sheriff’s social media pages show Sheriff Rasco, his deputies and DCSD employees without masks during awards ceremonies, working in a school near children and during a class on how to spot sex trafficking.

Rasco’s even mask-less while accepting mask donations from a local bank.

A DCSD spokesperson says “Sheriff Rasco doesn’t force his deputies to wear masks in settings where the host or property owner doesn’t require it. However, he respects the wishes of our hosts and property owners when they request that masks be worn. We have not issued any citations. We will not issue citations for not wearing masks nor will we enforce Governor Tate Reeves' mandate on social distancing.”

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