Severity: Warning Alert
Transportation: Officials in Mississippi, US, extend coronavirus restrictions through Aug. 17. Additional restrictions in place in several counties.
- Alert Begins: 01 Aug 2020 12:11 AM UTC
- Alert Expires: 17 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Mississippi (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Likely business disruptions; increased security
Mississippi officials have extended current restrictions previously put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) through at least Aug. 17. Authorities also added eight counties to the jurisdictions where the use of protective face coverings are required due to increased COVID-19 activity.
Previously, 29 of the state's 82 counties mandated the use of protective face coverings while in public places. Beginning Aug. 3, the directive will be extended to eight additional counties - Carroll, Coahoma, Jones, Lee, Leflore, Lowndes, Noxubee, and Pontotoc. Counties where face coverings are already required are: Bolivar, Calhoun, Claiborne, Covington, Desoto, Forrest, Grenada, Harrison, Hinds, Holmes, Humphreys, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Madison, Montgomery, Panola, Quitman, Rankin, Sharkey, Simpson, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Walthall, Washington, Wayne, Winston, and Yalobusha.
Other restrictions have been extended through Aug. 17. Social gatherings of more than 10 people indoors and 20 people outdoors remain prohibited. Bars can only offer service to seated customers and the sale of alcohol in restaurants or bars must end nightly at 2300. Residents 65 years of age of older, and those with underlying health conditions, are advised to remain home as much as possible. All businesses are allowed to operate statewide, albeit with some limitations, including:
- Restaurants and bars, at 50 percent capacity
- Gyms and fitness centers, at 50 percent capacity
- Reception halls and conference centers, at 25 percent capacity
- Outdoor and indoor arenas, at 25 percent capacity
- Retail stores, indoor entertainment venues, amusement parks, and personal care businesses, at 50 percent capacity
All businesses must follow enhanced sanitation procedures, ensure compliance with social distancing guidelines, and require the use of protective equipment. Authorities also urge businesses to keep employees working from home whenever possible. Public schools may reopen for in-person activities, such as summer programs, and individualized tutoring.
County and municipal authorities are allowed to impose stricter restrictions within their jurisdictions if they consider it necessary. Business disruptions remain likely. 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.