JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves is allowing the statewide mask mandate to expire.
The current executive order expires at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
“I still believe that masks work,” Reeves said. “I think the facts and data across our country bear that out."
He says he hopes people within the state will continue to wear a mask despite lifting the mandate. He says guidelines work better than mandates and that the people of America should be trusted to make their own decisions.
Reeves says hospitalizations from COVID have dipped below 600, with a peak of more than 1,200 months ago.
Masks will still be required at schools and close contact businesses such as salons and barbershops.
Other localized mask mandates are still allowed to be in place despite no statewide mask mandate. Jackson and other cities remain under a mask mandate.
Mississippi casinos, which are regulated by the Mississippi Gaming Commission, will also continue following their current COVID-19 guidelines, including the mask requirements at all properties.
A new executive order relaxes other restrictions in the state. It will let football games and other K-12 extracurricular events to expand to 50% capacity.
It will also limit group gatherings to 20 people indoors and 100 outdoors.
“I have always tried to stress the important balance of this time: we cannot allow our system to collapse, and we should not use the heavy-hand of government more than it is justified,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “We have to tailor our actions to the current threat, and make sure that they do not go beyond what is reasonable.”
He’s urging schools that are closed to open back up.
“It can be done safely,” he said. “That has been proven.”
The new adjusted executive order will be in effect until November 11 at 5 p.m.