COVID-19 in Mississippi: Gov. Tate Reeves orders mask mandate for eight more counties

As Mississippi reported record new cases of and deaths from coronavirus Thursday, Gov. Tate Reeves extended his mask mandate to eight more counties.

Once the newest executive order goes into effect Monday, 37 of the state’s 82 counties will be under an executive order to wear masks during public gatherings and while shopping.

The following counties were added under the new executive order: Carroll, Coahoma, Jones, Lee, Leflore, Lowndes, Noxubee and Pontotoc. 

COVID-19 in Mississippi:Record number of new cases, deaths reported Thursday

These counties were already under a mask mandate: Bolivar, Calhoun, Claiborne, Covington, DeSoto, Forrest, Grenada, Harrison, Hinds, Holmes, Humphreys, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Madison, Montgomery, Panola, Quitman, Rankin, Sharkey, Simpson, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Walthall, Washington, Wayne, Winston and Yalobusha.

Reeves has so far resisted ordering a statewide mask mandate, despite calls from some doctors and physicians. Earlier this week, Reeves said he believed issuing a statewide mask mandate could actually discourage skeptical Mississippians from wearing them.

“We strongly encourage every Mississippian to wear a mask when you go out in public,” Reeves said Thursday. “…We can make a difference by doing these little things.”

Contact Giacomo “Jack” Bologna at 601-961-7282 or gbologna@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @gbolognaCL.