Gov. Reeves extends safer-at-home order, will allow parks to reopen

Gov. Reeves extends safer-at-home order, will allow parks to reopen
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves (Source: WLBT)

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves is extending the state’s safer-at-home order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The order will now run until 8 a.m. on June 1.

“There are very, very few businesses that are still closed," explained Governor Tate Reeves. "Honestly, it’s mainly just places of entertainment.”

Governor Tate Reeves is setting out guidelines for the outdoor amusement and entertainment venues to open. The order specifies it includes entertainment like go-carts, min-golf and water parks.

“Do we need race tracks and water parks for most people to survive and live quality lives within our state?" asked Reeves. "No. Of course not. But does that small business owner and their employees need them open to survive… Absolutely yes they do.”

But as Reeves noted, there are indoor venues like movie theaters and bowling alleys that haven’t been given the green light.

“It’s not easy to develop guidelines," he said. "We are working with the Department of Health and others to develop guidelines and ways in which they can reopen. And we’re hopeful that we can get those re-opened by June 1. That is our intent but, again, every single day brings new data and new opportunities for us to make better, more informed decisions.”

Another specific group gets the go-ahead in the amended order. Schools will get to re-open gyms and weight rooms, as long as they follow those similar guidelines to what private gyms are following.

Those in high risk populations are still asked to shelter in place in this extended Safer at Home order.

Holmes County has also been added to the list of counties with extended social distancing guidelines. Attala, Leake, Scott, Jasper, Neshoba, Newton, and Lauderdale Counties are also included in that order.

“We cannot ask the people of Mississippi to do more than they are able to do for a sustained period of time. Over the past two weeks, we have steadily opened up more and more of our economy. That is good and right. It is necessary," said Reeves.

Gov. Reeves extends safer-at-home order, will allow parks to reopen

The restrictions include:

For businesses/facilities:

  • Before they can reopen, the entire outdoor park must be deep-cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized top to bottom, including areas not open to the public.
  • All outdoor parks are expected to take every step necessary to implement the regulations, orders, and guidance from the Mississippi State Department of Health and CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Waiting areas and lines must mark spots at least 6 feet apart to ensure social distancing. Employees must be stationed there to make sure social distancing is followed.
  • No more than 50% of the outdoor park's capacity.
  • Outdoor parks must post signage at each entrance stating no customer with a fever or COVID-19 symptoms are allowed in.
  • Equipment must be rearranged and/or deactivated to ensure at least 6 feet between customers.
  • All high-touch areas must be sanitized at least once every two hours.
  • Hand sanitizer must be placed at all entrances.
  • Food services are allowed, following restaurant guidelines under Executive Order No. 1478.

For employees:

  • All employees will be screened daily at the beginning of their shifts, including asking whether they have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and have they had a fever in the last 48 hours.
  • All employees must be provided training on how to limit the spread of COVID-19.
  • Face coverings must be provided to all employees. Employees are required to wear that face covering throughout their shift and clean or replace daily.

For customers:

  • Customers must be screened upon entry into the outdoor park.
  • Customers must sanitize their hands upon entry and when moving between rides or equipment.

Schools and sports complexes will be allowed to open facilities and practices.

  • Schools may open weight rooms and training facilities for use by students, following gym guidelines under Executive Order No. 1480.
  • Team practices at outdoor sports complexes and multi-field complexes and schools’ outdoor practices are allowed to resume, following outdoor recreational activities guidelines under Executive Order No. 1478.

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