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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – During a news conference on Thursday, Governor Tate Reeves announced restrictions will be placed on 13 counties that are seeing a greater coronavirus (COVID-19) risk than others.

The restrictions will start in the following counties on Monday, July 13:

  • Hinds
  • Desoto
  • Madison
  • Harrison
  • Rankin
  • Jackson
  • Washington
  • Sunflower
  • Grenada
  • Claiborne
  • Jefferson
  • Wayne
  • Quitman

UPDATE: 10:30 p.m. – In his Thursday address to the state Governor Tate Reeves turned his attention to areas where over 500 people per capita have got the Coronavirus or more than 200 cases were reported in the last two weeks. 

Hinds, Rankin and Madison counties are part of the list that will have serious mandates coming.

We’ve heard from UMMC Administrators several of Mississippi’s big hospitals are down to zero bed space available in their ICU’s due to COVID-19 hospitalization spikes. Still no statewide orders, but Governor Tate Reeves announced serious measures coming to 13 counties. 

“Mississippi is in a fight for our lives,” Gov. reeves began his address saying. 

In more than a dozen counties around the magnolia state, Governor Tate Reeves is ordering all social gatherings exceeding 10 people indoors and 20 outdoors be prohibited. 

“In these counties, we would require that all citizens must wear masks when at public gatherings or in a shopping environment,” Gov. Reeves explained. “We need all 3 million Mississippians in their own mind to go back to early April.”

Expected to go into effect next week, the order applies to house parties, BBQs, funerals, activities at parks and other public places. But doesn’t impact churches, casinos, restaurants, or bars. 

“I want to warn everyone the fact of the matter is if the number of cases continues to grow, then we’re going to have to look at additional measures,” Gov. Reeves added. “Local law enforcement, we’re going to encourage them to help us on the enforcement side.” 

Seeing what summer activities have done to spike up hospital capacity, the next worry is what will happen when the school year starts? The CDC has already issued specific guidelines on how to do it safely and the department of health is passing it on to school districts now

“Whether or not they’re able to separate six feet or more,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said. “Whether or not you can keep them in close contact for less than 15 minutes. Wearing a mask when you can, staggering cafeteria times.” 

“If you really want your kids to be back in school this fall, please do the little things now,” Gov. Reeves pleaded. “Please socially distance in your communities.”

Between Wednesday and Friday, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency says it will have delivered PPE supplies to 120 different medical facilities across the state. And they’re confident the supply chain will hold despite the spike in Coronavirus hospitalizations.

Reeves said citizens must wear masks when at businesses and at public gatherings. No more than 10 people can gather indoors and no more than 20 can gather outdoors.

The announcement comes after doctors from across the state addressed their concerns about the virus.