Gov: Mask mandates not coming back

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Gov. Tate Reeves said this week the state will not enact regulations for mask requirements or COVID-related issues as Mississippi officials did in the early days of the pandemic.

“Mississippians will not and should not submit to fear again,” Reeves said on Monday in a social media post. “In the early days of COVID, there was understandable uncertainty. We did not yet know what we were facing. As the months unfolded, it became clear that there were two pandemics. A disease that was easy to spread and that was deadly for many vulnerable people. And a pandemic of fear stoked by ‘the expert class’ that demanded total subjugation of the American people.”

Currently, three new COVID variants are being tracked as cases rise around the country. The increase in cases has national media scurrying to report on businesses, schools and local governments reinstating mask recommendations or mandates.

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“We are never going back to 2020,” Reeves said. “People have a right to make their own decisions; to decide how much risk they tolerate. And no matter what pronouncements come down from the Biden-Fauci administration, we will go to school, we will go to church, we will go to work and we will play sports. We will live in self-determination, not top-down fear.”

According to the Mississippi Department of Health, COVID-19-like visits to Mississippi hospitals have risen since early July. The CDC says COVID-related deaths have been between one and nine in Mississippi for every week except one since late June.