Tuesday Gov. Tate Reeves announced additional social distancing measures for seven central Mississippi counties identified as coronavirus hotspots.
Attala, Leake, Scott, Jasper, Neshoba, Newton and Lauderdale counties now face additional restrictions, like mandatory screenings for all employees at the beginning of their shifts and a requirement for everyone to wear face coverings at outdoor public events.
Reeves said in a news release that he made the decision after consulting with Dr. Thomas Dobbs and other state health officials, who identified the counties as localized regions at a higher risk for transmission.
“I hope that these rules will have an impact, but I also hope that they will serve as a signal to people in these counties. We cannot always see and feel the consequences, but the disease is more active there. You need to be even more aware — stay even more sharp,” Reeves said in a statement.
In Executive Order No. 1483, the governor lays out targeted guidelines for social distancing and sanitation protocols to slow the spread of COVID-19 within the seven counties, including:
- All employees will be screened daily at the beginning of their shifts, including asking whether they have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and have they had a fever in the last 48 hours.
- Based on their duties and responsibilities, employees who are unable to maintain at least 6 feet distance from others must wear a face covering throughout their shift, such as a face mask. Their face coverings must be cleaned or replaced daily.
- Hand sanitizer must be provided to all employees, which can include a hand rub or soap.
For retail businesses (in addition to measures above):
- Face coverings must be provided to all employees who come in direct contact with customers. Employees are required to wear that face covering throughout their shift and clean or replace daily.
- All customers must wear a face covering while inside the retail business.
- Hand sanitizer must be placed at all entrances, in or near bathrooms, and at cashier stations.
- Retail businesses are expected to make all efforts to maintain a 6-foot distance between customers at all times.
- Carts, baskets, and other similar surfaces touched by customers must be sanitized after each use. Other high-touch areas must be sanitized at least once every two hours.
For people out in public:
- Everyone must wear face coverings when attending outdoor public events, such as live auctions or flea markets.
- People must maintain a 6-foot distance between themselves and others.