Residents in Mississippi’s largest counties will soon be required to wear a mask in public and gatherings will again be limited.

At a news conference today, Gov. Tate Reeves said the new regulations will impact the following counties: Hinds, Desoto, Madison, Harrison, Rankin, Jackson, Washington, Sunflower, Grenada, Claiborne, Jefferson, Wayne, Quitman. These counties account for more than a third of state’s population. 

Under the new order, which will go into effect next week, no more than 10 people can gather indoors, and no more than 20 people can gather outdoors. All citizens must now wear masks when shopping or in public places. 

Prior to today, Reeves had issued expanded restrictions in Attala, Jasper, Lauderdale, Leake, Neshoba, Newton, and Scott counties. 

Meanwhile, mask ordinances have been enacted at the local level in Jackson, Tupelo, Starkville, Oxford, Hattiesburg, Greenwood, Columbus, West Point, Natchez, Grenada, and Greenville.