DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - Governor Tate Reeves’ lifting of the mask mandate across the state is getting a lot of push back from around the country including from the president of the United States. Business owners we talked to in DeSoto County are leaving it up to customers but are still taking precautions.
“As of right now, we’re going to practice safe distancing, social distancing and if you come to patronize if you want to wear your mask, wear it, if you don’t the Governor says you don’t have to. So it’s your choice,” said restaurant owner Alex Grisanti.
Grisanti, who owns Grisanti’s Restaurant in Southaven, says he is still taking precautions like keeping tables farther apart and using social distancing.
Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite said in part:
“Eliminating government mandates does not mean that people should not continue with safety precautions. We can do both by returning to 100 percent to our lives, but still in a safe manner.”
Southaven restaurant customer, Corey Merrill, says he usually wears a mask unless people are not near him and will continue to do so.
“I try to keep social distance anyway butcher’s nobody in like here,” said Merrill. “There’s a shield up.”
Jackson and Tunica County have decided to continue with the mask mandate for citizens.
But Reeves lifted more than just a mask mandate.
“The new order removes all of our county mask mandates and allows businesses to operate at full capacity without state-imposed rules or restrictions,” he said.
Grisanti says he will wait on operating at full capacity.
The governors actions have brought stiff criticism from health experts like the CDC and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Biden administration’s chief medical advisor.
“It’s inexplicable why he would want to pull back now,” said Fauci. “I understand the need to want to get back to normality, but you’re only going to set yourself back if you just completely push aside the public health guidelines.”
Biden called Reeves’ lifting of the mask mandate “neanderthal thinking.” Reeves said Mississippians do not need handlers.