Governor Tate Reeves held a press conference on April 1 where he announced a state wide shelter in place order that will take effect on Friday April 3, at 5pm and conclude at 8am on April 20. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, Reeves announced this new strategy to combat the spread of the virus in MS. This comes on the heels of Reeves announcing a similar order for Lauderdale County a day prior. MS Department of Health reported 136 new cases of COVID-19 on March 31 and two additional deaths. Inspiring Reeves that now is the time to initiate a statewide shelter in place order. He explained the goal is to slow the spread, prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed.
The order will effectively close all places of amusement and recreation such as theaters, museums, parks, beaches, and reservoirs. All non-essential businesses will be limited to minimum operations. Reeves explained that one of the challenges several counties around the state have experienced is the gathering of people who are not working. The order will give local law enforcement officers the ability to enforce the order, and give clear guidelines on how to do so. Reeves said law enforcement activities will be increased during the shelter in place order and state police will be available to assist any departments.
Reeves said, “This will not be easy for anyone, but I feel this is the right course of action.” Reeves said the order will be enforced. He said, “Today is the day. This is the right tool at the right time to save lives.”