Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves is firm on the stance that mask mandates for COVID-19 will not return to the state.
There have been recent reports of an uptick in COVID-19 cases with a national report showing a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations on Aug. 19 to 8,998 from about 5,700 one month before. Three new variants have appeared and that has spurred concerns and speculation about the possible return of mask mandates.
However, Gov. Reeves, in a statement on Friday, said mask mandates are not returning to the Magnolia State.
“Mississippians will not and should not submit to fear again,” Reeves said. “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.”
Reeves said people have the right to make their own decisions about wearing masks or not. But he added that Mississippians will not live in fear.
“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,” Reeves said. “We will live in self-determination, not top-down fear. But we are never going back to 2020.”
The hospital admission level in DeSoto County for COVID-19 on Monday, Aug. 28 was listed as low, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health.