Mississippi is the first state to lift its mask mandate during the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Tate Reeves detailed the state’s change and explained a lessening of social distancing requirements as well.
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“For the heavy hand of government to tell you that you must do something, then the underlying conditions should justify it. When we were at our peak and we were making those decisions, the numbers absolutely justified it,” Reeves said. “But because of the work and the effort of the people of Mississippi, we’re in a different spot now.
“We are moving to an executive order wherein I trust the people of Mississippi to do the right thing. If you want to call that the ‘honor system,’ that’s fine with me,” Reeves said.
The new regulations will leave mask-wearing and social distancing to the discretion of the state’s residents.
State health official Dr. Thomas Dobbs has voiced concerns about the decision: “Legitimately, I don’t know. I’m going to wear a mask,” he told WLOX. “I’m going to eat outside. I’m not going to have any small gatherings. I’m not going to go to weddings of my family and it breaks my heart. I think these are decisions that we all kind of have to come to.”