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Mask mandates extended

Friday, Gov. Tate Reeves extended the mask mandates that cover most of the state.

Reeves’ Executive Order 1542 extends the Safe Recovery Order of Executive Order 1535 until 5 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 3, “unless it is modified, amended, rescinded or superseded.”

The governor’s order to wear masks in public is intended to help curb the spread of COVID-19, and now applies to a total of 73 of Mississippi’s 82 counties.

Lawrence County was one five counties removed from the mask mandate. Other counties not under the mandate are Adams, Claiborne, Issaquena, Jefferson, Quitman, Sharkey, Tunica and Wilkinson.

All of the state’s major population areas are covered by the mandate, though Reeves has resisted issuing a statewide order.

“It is important that we continue to take this virus seriously,” said Reeves in a statement. “We are working on getting Mississippi vaccinated, but continue to social distance, keep gatherings small and wear your mask.”

On Monday, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 2,976 total cases and 85 total deaths in Lincoln County.

Statewide, MSDH reported 1,457 new positive test results and three new deaths. Mississippi has had 253,932 total cases and 5,524 deaths from the pandemic.

Reeves has also extended the requirement that masks must be worn on school grounds statewide.