WATER VALLEY – Six new counties including Yalobusha were added to Governor Tate Reeves’ executive order mandating masks and other precautions as new hotspots continue to surface across the state. The announcement in a press conference last Friday brings the total number of counties with additional safety measures mandated by the governor to 29 including neighboring Calhoun, Grenada and Panola counties.
Unless extended, the county-wide mandate will expire on Monday, August 3, at 8 a.m. The mandate limits social gatherings to 10 or less indoors and 20 or less outdoors. Businesses also have increased responsibilities including strictly following regulations, orders and guidance from the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) and the Center for Disease Control including social distance and encouraging sick employees to stay home. Employees are to be screened daily at the beginning of their shifts, asking whether they have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and if they had a fever in the last 48 hours.
The mandate also requires face coverings to be provided to all employees who come in direct contact with customers. Employees are required to wear that face covering throughout their shift and clean or replace daily. Customers are also required to wear a face covering while inside the retail business.
Both Coffeeville and Water Valley city officials had already passed similar ordinances requiring masks or face coverings in businesses that will likely extend past the Aug. 3 mandate from the governor.
The news comes as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the county continue to rise with 286 cases reported by the MSDH on Tuesday. Ten deaths in the county have also been attributed to the virus, seven in a long-term living facility and three in the general population.