JACKSON • Gov. Tate Reeves on Friday announced that he is issuing additional executive orders that will limit the number of people that can gather in crowds in the state and will place more restrictions on the operations of bars.
As hospital space in the state continues to fill up, the first-term Republican governor announced that he will limit outdoor gatherings to a maximum of 20 people and limit indoor gatherings to a maximum number of 10 people.
Additionally, he announced that bars can now only serve alcohol to customers that are seated and must stop serving alcohol to patrons at 11 p.m.
Reeves said he would sign the orders by the end of the day on Friday, and the orders would go into effect immediately. The orders are set to expire at 8 a.m. on August 3.
“In Mississippi, bars must look more like restaurants and less like mobs of COVID-19,” Reeves said.
Both Reeves and Dr. Thomas Dobbs, the state health officer, have repeatedly said that the young Mississippians ages 20-29 year olds are largely responsible for spreading the virus when they go to bars or parties then transmit the virus to older adults they come into contact with.
“When you look at the rising number of cases among that 20-29 crowd and you just anecdotally see what’s happening in bars around the state, particularly in areas in which they are completely ignoring the current even 50% capacity limitations, there is a lot of spread that is happening in those facilities,” Reeves said.
Reeves also announced that he is adding six additional counties, including Calhoun County, to a list of counties that must adhere to “stricter measures”, which brings the total number of counties under more stringent measures to 29. Only one county is in Northeast Mississippi has been added to the growing list, but Reeves said that Lee County is “on his list” to watch and review for possible additional restrictions in the future.
“Lee County is one we are watching and monitoring,” Reeves said. “If the trends don’t change, it could very well meet our objective criteria.
According to the latest date from the Mississippi State Department of Health, 1,610 new people have contracted the virus and 28 additional people have died from complications related to the virus.