With the COVID-19 pandemic is a much more manageable stage, Governor Tate Reeves has announced an end date for the ‘State of Emergency’ that has been in place since March 2020—a time when the state was seeing its first cases of the virus that brought the world to a halt.
The governor stated that the order will be terminated on August 15th. Additionally, he revealed the timeline for the withdrawal of the National Guard troops that have been mobilized to assist with COVID-19-related matters with an end date of July 15th.
“I want to thank all Mississippians for their sacrifices over the past 15 months. Your actions resulted in a significant decline of COVID-19 cases and allowed our state to effectively manage the impacts of the virus. I’m also extremely proud of the way our Mississippi National Guard, MS Department of Health, MEMA, and other state agencies have capably handled this pandemic. With their help, we’ve administered nearly 2 million COVID-19 vaccinations,” Governor Reeves said. “While a State of Emergency should no longer be necessary after August 15, all Mississippians should remain vigilant, get vaccinated, and follow public health guidance.”
Governor Reeves noted that the timeline was finalized following discussions with State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs, Major General Jansen Boyles, MEMA Executive Director Stephen McCraney and other members of the COVID-19 Task Force.
“Mississippi is winning the battle against COVID-19! Mississippi National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have served with honor and dedication supporting the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force since March 2020,” General Boyles said. “The Governor’s timeline to lift Mississippi’s State of Emergency declaration on August 15, 2021, ensures our over 1,500 service members complete all necessary out-processing requirements and receive the benefits and entitlements they have earned during their dedicated service to our state.”
Today’s announcement comes just days after Speaker of the House Philip Gunn called on the governor to lift the State of Emergency. In a response, Reeves’ office clarified that the order allows for the men and women of the National Guard to continue to be paid until their mission is complete.
Despite the order remaining in place until August, the state has been without government-issued mandates since the end of April.