Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced Monday that seven additional counties have qualified to be under more restrictive conditions due to rising COVID-19 cases.
The conditions, listed under his “Safe Recovery” executive order in effect through Dec. 11, include wearing masks in almost all public places.
Counties added to the list Monday are Hinds, Madison, Pontotoc, Tate, Winston, Itawamba and Montgomery. Added to the 15 counties already under more restrictive conditions, Mississippi now has 22 of its 82 counties included in the executive order.
“Let’s keep fighting COVID. Let’s protect ourselves and protect our neighbors,” Reeves said in a statement. “Let’s also keep praying. I believe if we work together, we can make a difference. We can slow the spread and bridge the gap between now and when this vaccine becomes readily available and protect the integrity of our health care system.”
The seven-day average of new cases in Mississippi is currently over 1,000. The state is part of a nationwide surge that is averaging more than 150,000 new cases daily from coast to coast.
Two vaccines have recently shown great promise in early testing. Neither is expected to be available to the general public until the spring of 2021.
The governor and his family are self-isolating after his youngest daughter tested positive for the virus.