Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves announced on Tuesday that he’s lifting all state-imposed mask mandates across the state and removing COVID-19 related restrictions on business operations.
There are 14 states that do not have statewide mask mandates: Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Tennessee. Mississippi and Texas will bring that number to 16 states.
“The governor’s office is getting out of the business of telling people what they can and cannot do,” Reeves said at a press conference.
The executive order, which will go into effect on March 3 [at 5pm], replaces mask mandates and business restrictions with non-binding recommendations that they continue to follow CDC guidelines.
Shortly before Reeves’ announcement, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas announced similar moves and declared his state would be “100%” open by March 10. Both governors attributed their decisions to declining COVID hospitalizations and the rollout of vaccines.
Under Reeves’ new order, restrictions will remain on venues hosting collegiate sporting events. The maximum capacity for indoor arenas has been doubled to 50%. Restrictions will also remain in place for both public and private K-12 schools, though they have been weakened. Masks will still be required where social distancing is not possible. Seating for K-12 extracurricular activities is now set at 50% maximum capacity outdoors and 25% indoors.
“The risk of overwhelming our hospitals with severe COVID cases is coming to a close. It gets less and less every single day we see more and more of our people, particularly those most vulnerable, vaccinated,” Reeves said… “There will still be COVID in our communities, perhaps for a significant amount of time in our state as well as across the country. “We will all need to assess for ourselves and our families to handle the risks and rewards of every and every activity we choose to pursue.”
MacDailyNews Take: Congrats, Mississippians!
According to Apple, there are 111 Apple employees, 3,800 App Store ecosystem jobs, 14 Apple suppliers and one Apple Retail Store in Mississippi.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves’ executive order is here.