DeSoto County residents react to new mask requirement ordered by Gov. Reeves

DeSoto County residents react to new mask requirement ordered by Gov. Reeves

DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - Masks will be mandatory in certain parts of Mississippi as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to climb in 13 counties.

Governor Tate Reeves is getting tough on DeSoto County by tightening restrictions on residents.

“I had COVID-19 and it was really rough, so they need to wear masks to keep other people from giving it to somebody else,” said Katrina Thomas, DeSoto County resident.

It’s not hard to convince Katrina Thomas that masks are important.

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves issued a mask mandate in an executive order Thursday for 13 counties, including DeSoto County.

“Mississippi is in a fight for our lives. COVID-19 is an ever-present threat and we are in the middle of a spike,” said Reeves.

And that spike is why the governor ordered the mask mandate.

Reeves said the 13 counties have had 200 new cases in the past 14 days or an average of 500 cases per 100,000 residents over the same time period. Masks are supposed to be worn at public gatherings and shopping environments.

“I think it will help the spread of the virus and I don’t think you shouldn’t wear one. I don’t see a problem with it,” said Hayley Belew, clerk at Hernando Boutique.

Hayley Belew works at a boutique on the square in Hernando. She says she doesn’t see a lot of customers wearing masks.

“As of right now, only seen very few wearing masks … that came in here,” said Belew.

But many people at the Southaven Kroger were wearing masks and they don’t have to because the governor’s order does not go into effect until next week.

“I don’t agree with it as a person with sinus problems. I can’t breathe in the mask but I do have to wear it when I go to work, so I do follow the rules,” said Ashley Wachenschwanz, DeSoto County resident.

The governor’s order does not include restaurants, which are already under an order to operate at 50-percent capacity.

Tom Scott says he prefers to listen to what doctors recommend but he doesn’t have to be told to wear a mask.

“I got one right here and I just had it on in Kroger and so, wearing a mask is a good idea,” said Tom Scott, DeSoto County resident.

As far as repercussions, if you don’t wear a mask, the Governor said it is up to local law enforcement what to do about it. The governor discouraged handing out tickets.

Governor Reeves said his executive order is meant to be a “wake up call.”

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