As of Dec. 4, authorities in Mississippi have issued facemask mandates in 13 additional counties due to increases in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity. This brings the number of Mississippi counties where the use of facemasks is mandatory to 54. Counties currently affected by the order are:
Adams, Alcorn, Amite, Attala, Benton, Bolivar, Carroll, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Coahoma, Covington, DeSoto, Forrest, Franklin, Harrison, Hinds, Humphreys, Itawamba, Jackson, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Kemper, Lafayette, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Leflore, Lee, Lincoln, Lowndes, Madison, Marshall, Monroe, Montgomery, Neshoba, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Panola, Perry, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Quitman, Rankin, Scott, Stone, Sunflower, Tate, Tippah, Tishomingo, Union, Washington, Winston, and Yalobusha
The guidelines will be in place until at least Dec. 11 and require that facemasks be worn in all public areas where social distancing of 1.8 meters (6 feet) is not possible.
Other statewide restrictions remain unchanged and in effect until at least Dec. 11. Gatherings, where social distancing is not possible, are limited to 20 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. Most businesses can operate at 75-percent capacity, except for movie theaters, which can open at 50-percent capacity, and arenas, which can operate at 25-percent capacity. School sporting events occur at up to 50 percent of the venue's maximum capacity. Restaurants and bars may operate provided they comply with social distancing guidelines and suspend the sale of alcohol 2300-0700 daily. Authorities also urge businesses to keep employees working from home whenever possible. Residents 65 years of age or older, and those with underlying health conditions, are advised to remain home as much as possible.
The use of protective facemasks continues to be required statewide in schools, as well as in close-contact businesses, such as barbershops. Authorities continue to urge residents to wear facemasks in other settings.
County and municipal authorities are allowed to impose stricter restrictions within their jurisdictions if they consider it necessary. Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.
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