Gov. Tate Reeves issued a statewide ‘shelter-in-place’ order today to help slow the spread of coronavirus in Mississippi. The order begins on Friday at 5 p.m.

The statewide order came a day after a local order in Lauderdale county.

Individuals will only be allowed to leave their house for health-related reasons, to obtain food and common household supplies, to engage in individual outdoor activity, and to work in an essential business. Those essential businesses include, but are not limited to, hospitals, healthcare facilities, grocery stores, pharmacies, child-care centers, as well as a variety of functions from sectors such as utilities, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, and finance and banking.

The guidelines for the order include:

  • Individuals are to stay at home except for the limited allowances in the executive order.
  • When outside of their homes, people must follow social distancing guidelines by maintaining a 6-foot distance from others and avoid groups of 10 or more.
  • Evictions are suspended, though people are still required to pay any rent or make any mortgage payments.
  • All nonessential businesses are to stop all activities other than those necessary for minimum operations (e.g. payroll, health insurance, security) and enabling employees to work from home.
  • Social and other non-essential gatherings in groups of more than 10 people must be cancelled or rescheduled.
  • Restaurants and bars may only remain open for drive-thru, curbside, and/or delivery service.
  • People may leave their homes only to perform essential activities, such as caring for someone in the vulnerable population, getting food or necessary supplies, and working for an essential business.
  • Individual outdoor recreation is encouraged, but not group recreation or activities such as soccer or basketball games.

Mississippi’s first positive case of coronavirus was confirmed on March 11. As of April 1, that number had escalated to 1,073 as the number of people being tested continues to climb. These numbers now count tests from the state, as well as private providers. Twenty-two deaths have been reported. Using the available data, the current mortality rate is 2 percent.

All local, county, and state law enforcement officers will be able to enforce the order. The order is in effect until April 20.