Half of the state of Mississippi under a mask mandate

JACKSON, Miss. — You’ll have to keep wearing a mask in three north Mississippi Counties for at least the next month.

Gov. Tate Reeves announced Wednesday that he has extended his “Safe Recovery” executive order through Dec. 11.

Those counties include Desoto, Benton and Marshall.

MORE: Gov. Reeves' family tests negative for COVID-19 after daughter found positive

Many people in those counties are not wearing masks and don’t understand why the governor keeps pushing them.

In talking to people in North Mississippi when we asked them about the mask mandate they said they never wore them to start with.

Hernando’s Hanna Leoppard said she hasn’t worn one since the beginning of the pandemic and isn’t about to start wearing one now.

“I don’t think it is smart," Leoppard said. "I mean people are going to do what they are going to do and at the end of the day, we are all entitled to how we feel to do it, and if people didn’t wear one the first time. Why does he think the second round that it’s going to be any different?”

Marshall County’s Holly Springs is the only North Mississippi county enforcing a fine for not wearing a mask.

Hernando’s James Oliver said he feels continuing the mask mandate until December 11 is a good thing.

“Because it doesn’t get no better, it seems like it is getting worse,” Oliver said.

DeSoto County EMS told FOX13 they have masks to give away, but there aren’t any mask distributions planned for now. In the past, mask giveaways have been unsuccessful because people don’t seem to want them.

“I just walked out of the gas station and didn’t wear one and there are probably a handful of people in there that that are not wearing one,” Leoppard said.

The “Safe Recovery” executive order had been set to expire.

The governor modified his county-specific orders.

The counties that now qualify for additional measures including mask requirements:

  • Alcorn
  • Attala
  • Bolivar
  • Benton
  • Carroll
  • Chickasaw
  • Choctaw
  • Covington
  • DeSoto
  • Forrest
  • Harrison
  • Humphreys
  • Jackson
  • Jefferson Davis
  • Jones
  • Lamar
  • Lauderdale
  • Lafayette
  • Lawrence
  • Lamar
  • Leflore
  • Lee
  • Lincoln
  • Lowndes
  • Marshall
  • Neshoba
  • Rankin
  • Yalobusha
  • Hinds
  • Madison
  • Pontotoc
  • Tate
  • Winston
  • Itawamba
  • Montgomery
  • Panola
  • Perry
  • Prentiss
  • Stone
  • Tippah
  • Tishomingo
  • Union

“I know that we are all tired and ready to move on. But the virus is still here,” Reeves said. “It’s still working to infect and kill. We’ve gotten far better at dealing with it and allowing for life to go on. But we’re not all the way there yet. Keep fighting and protecting the most vulnerable in your life. No matter where you are, please do your best to social distance and wear a mask.”

This story has been updated to reflect updates to the executive order.