Special to The Dispatch
Today, Governor Tate Reeves announced that he is extending the statewide shelter-in-place by 7 days, while providing some ability for “non-essential” businesses to safely make sales. The Governor’s new executive order extends the expiration date of his previous order to Monday, April 27th.
“I wanted to come here today and announce that we can all ease up and re-open, but we can’t. We can’t stay in this position for much longer. But we are still in the eye of the storm. I made a vow to protect the people of Mississippi. I have to do what the best information and wisdom I have tells me. Right now, it tells me I have to ask you to stay vigilant for one more week,” said Governor Tate Reeves.
The Governor also announced two changes to the previous executive order to help Mississippians cope mentally and financially.
First, the Governor shared that he has been advised by state and local officials that they can safely enforce social distancing rules on Mississippi’s lakes and beaches. This executive order allows them to re-open for individual fishing and relaxing.
“It’s a small thing, but I hope it helps even a bit for people who need to safely get out in the sun for their own sanity. We need to do anything we can to help address the growing depression, isolation, and other mental health issues. That matters,” said Governor Reeves.
Second, the Governor announced that “non-essential” businesses could start making curbside, delivery, or drive-thru sales.
“Clothing stores, florists, or athletic goods can do safe sales. If a salon or other business wants to safely sell their excess supplies to stay afloat, they can do that. Call ahead or order online, then safely pick it up. I wish I could open it all back up for everyone. I can’t do it without harming even more people. But we believe that we can safely do this,” said Governor Reeves.
The Governor explained his reasoning for this move was twofold. It prevents people from crowding big-box retailers by encouraging them to safely patronize Mississippi small businesses. It allows more Mississippians to provide for their families, even in the face of this virus.
“No business is non-essential to those who rely on its paycheck for food, supplies, and shelter. I cannot sit by while Mississippians are driven into poverty, without doing everything in my power to give them some greater ability to take care of themselves. It’s not enough. But it’s a good faith step towards recovery, and I hope that you will take it as a lifeline and sign of hope,” said Governor Reeves.
The Governor shared a message of joint resolve and courage with the people of Mississippi.
“Please stay strong. Stay smart. Stay home. Use common sense—that’s the single best thing you can do. If you are part of a vulnerable population, please stay home—please. This is the time to be the most vigilant. I’m asking all Mississippi: Stay in the fight for a little while longer, and we will come through this together,” said Governor Reeves.
The text of the executive order is here. The signed, sealed copy will be available on sos.ms.gov later today.