Gov. Reeves amends Safe Return order to stricter measures

Published 2:57 pm Friday, July 24, 2020

Friday afternoon, Gov. Tate Reeves announced his amended Safe Return order, establishing additional measures on social gatherings and events to protect public health as COVID-19 cases rise across the state.
Closely monitoring data from the Mississippi State Department of Health and consulting with our state health experts, Reeves signed a new executive order that amends previous restrictions on group gatherings and bars. The amended Safe Return order is in effect until 8 a.m. on Aug. 3.
“We are still in the middle of our most painful period of COVID-19 spread to date. We have to slow the spread to prevent our health care system from becoming overwhelmed,” said Reeves at Friday’s press briefing. “We’ve seen a tremendous amount of spread in young people. By far, the group driving these high numbers is people in their 20s. I’ve been talking for about a week about wanting to do something to curb the spread among young, drunk, careless folks.”
To limit transmission across the state, the new social distancing measures include:

  • Social gatherings are limited to 10 or less indoors and 20 or less outdoors.
  • Bars can only sell alcohol to seated customers, and no alcohol can be sold at restaurants or bars after 11 p.m. until 7 a.m. Previous social distancing measures, such as limiting to 50% capacity, updating floor plans to ensure 6 feet distance between groups, and limiting to 6 people per table, remain in effect.

The governor also announced that six additional counties were identified as hotspots within our state, adding the following counties to the county-specific executive order with tighter social distancing measures to help limit transmission: Calhoun, Holmes, Lamar, Montgomery, Winston and Yalobusha Counties.

Reeves issued another executive order Friday to continue easing the burdens weighing on the thousands of Mississippians unemployed due to the pandemic. With some unemployment benefits set to end on July 25, the Governor has extended the suspension of work search requirements until Aug. 8 and other unemployment benefits listed in the executive order until Sept. 26.

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The video of the governor’s address can be viewed here.

The text version of the new executive orders can be found here: Executive Order No. 1510Executive Order No. 1511Executive Order No. 1512. Signed versions of all executive orders related to COVID-19 can be found at