Monday, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves added seven counties to the list of those in the state that will fall under more restrictive COVID-19 measures effective Wednesday, Oct. 21.
With cases and hospitalizations rising in the state, last week Reeves put nine counties under the stricter measures, which include a mask mandate in nearly all indoor situations other than at voting precincts.
The 16 counties are:
The governor’s criteria for stricter measures includes more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents or more than 200 cases over a two-week period. The most recent period under scrutiny was Monday, Oct. 5, through Sunday, Oct. 18.
The measures also mandate hospitals to reserve 10% of their capacity for COVID-19 patients, and limit gathering to groups of 10 indoors and 50 outdoors.
Asked why Reeves excluded polling places from the mandates, the governor indicated he would not interfere with a citizen’s right to vote by forcing voters to wear masks. He does expect most voters to wear masks at the polls and to practice social distancing, however.