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Masks still required in some settings, including schools



(Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash)

Even as Gov. Tate Reeves allowed the statewide mask mandate to expire Wednesday, masks are still required in Mississippi for many settings.

Masks must be worn in schools, for example. Section II.d. states: “Every person in Mississippi shall wear a face covering, covering the nose and mouth, while inside a school building or classroom, or when outdoors on a school campus whenever it is not possible to maintain a minimum of six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household…”

Here are the other settings where masks are still required under Reeves’ latest executive order:

  • Employees and customers of “close contact personal care services, including salons, barber shops, spas, massage parlors, personal care and personal grooming facilities, body art and tattoo services, and tanning salons.”
  • Attendees of K-12 extracurricular activities and college and university stadiums “6 years of age or older to enter and exit the venue, at all times when attendees are ‘in transit’ within the venue, in restrooms and concession sales areas, and when it is not possible to maintain a minimum of six feet of separation from persons not in the same household.”
  • Employees of restaurants and bars while on duty.
  • Employees of concession stands in outdoor and indoor arenas, at outdoor sports complexes and multi-field complexes, and at organized K-12 extracurricular activities.

These are the exceptions listed for not wearing a mask in schools:

  • Persons who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or behavioral condition, who have trouble breathing or are incapacitated, or whose healthcare professional has recommended that a face covering not be worn;
  • Persons seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired in a way that requires the mouth to be visible;
  • Persons while eating or drinking;
  • Persons in a building or engaged in an activity that utilizes or requires security surveillance or screening, and only during such times when these persons are under security surveillance or screening;
  • Persons engaged in swimming activities or other activities while in a swimming pool;
  • Persons engaged in exercising in fitness and exercise gyms or other sports activity;
  • Persons engaged in organized school athletic practices, including weight training;
  • Persons, including teachers, while giving a speech, presentation or performance for a broadcast or to an audience, including students;
  • Persons actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship (NOTE wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged);
  • Children under the age of six (6) (NOTE parents and guardians shall be responsible for ensuring proper use of face coverings by children and must ensure that face coverings do not pose a choking hazard and can be safely worn without obstructing a child’s ability to breathe.); and
  • Other settings when it is not practical or feasible to wear a face covering.

In general, the order still strongly encourages every Mississippian to wear a mask and follow the other recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to limit the spread of COVID-19. The order recommends the following:

  • Wearing a face covering, covering the nose and mouth, while in public spaces whenever it is not possible to maintain a minimum of six feet of social distancing from persons not in the same household;
  • Avoid large gatherings, particularly indoor gatherings;
  • Maintain social distancing (at least six feet) between persons not in your household;
  • Practice good hand hygiene, including washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public space; and
  • Stay at home if you feel sick or have any symptoms of COVID-19.

Read Executive Order 1525.

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