Gov. Tate Reeves announced today that he will be signing an executive order later today to close restaurant dining facilities in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus and to instruct Mississippians not to gather in groups of 10 or more.
Saying he was relying on the advice of health experts in the state, Reeves made the announcement during a news conference at the Governor’s mansion this morning.
The state Department of Health has recommended restaurants close their dining facilities and move to take-out and delivery only. Many local governments have enacted similar bans. This includes: Lafayette county, Oxford, Jackson, Tupelo, Moss Point, Biloxi, Gulfport, Ocean Springs, Forrest county, Hattiesburg, Columbus, Starkville, Hancock county, Bay St. Louis, Diamondhead, Waveland, Vicksburg, Southaven, Olive Branch, Holly Springs, Pontotoc, and New Albany.
Reeves, who yesterday said he wasn’t issuing a stay at home order as a number of other states have done, said he will continue to rely on the advice of experts for the appropriate direction and that he believed most in the state are heeding the call to only leave their house if it is necessary.
Reeves was asked about that today.
“I’m not going to rule anything out at this time,” Reeves said. “We’re going to take every step experts ask us to take. I have not been advised by anyone to enter into a statewide lockdown. There are currently 18 states that have varying degrees of lockdown and what I believe is the majority of Mississippians are heeding the call to take care of themselves. We have some pockets where that has not been the case. But we are telling all Mississippians avoid groups of 10 or more.
“My commitment is to listen to the experts but at this time we don’t see this as the best course of action… The best information I have does not call for a statewide lockdown.”
Mississippi has 320 confirmed cases of coronavirus.