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Governor expands mask mandate to 78 Mississippi counties

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While he hasn’t issued a statewide mandate, a new order from Governor Tate Reeves will place 78 of Mississippi’s 82 counties under a mask mandate. 

The updated order now includes the following 17 counties: 

Benton, George, Greene, Hancock, Humphreys, Jasper, Leake, Newton, Pike, Quitman, Smith, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Walthall, Warren, Wayne, Wilkinson 

Along with the new additions, the following counties will remain under the mandate until at least January 15th. 

Adams, Alcorn, Amite, Attala, Bolivar, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clarke, Clay, Coahoma, Copiah, Covington, De Soto, Forrest, Franklin, Grenada, Harrison, Hinds, Holmes, Itawamba, Jackson, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Kemper, Lafayette, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lee, Leflore, Lincoln, Lowndes, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Montgomery, Neshoba, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Panola, Pearl River, Perry, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Rankin, Scott, Simpson, Stone, Tate, Tippah, Tishomingo, Union, Washington, Webster, Winston, Yalobusha, Yazoo 

Despite the absence of a statewide mask mandate, the current order maintains a limit of 10 people for indoor gatherings in Mississippi and 50 people for outdoor gatherings when social distancing is not possible. 

“We all need to be extra aware. You know what to do! Protect yourself and your family.  Stay safe, and Merry Christmas,” Governor Reeves said.

The new order comes ahead of the Christmas holiday which is typically associated with large family get-togethers and travel plans, but this year could look quite different. State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs and other top health experts have urged everyone to stay home and keep celebrations within the nuclear family this year. 

AAA Travel expects that 34 million fewer people may travel this holiday season—a 29% decline from a year ago. 

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