DeSoto County supervisors are set to enforce Gov. Tate Reeves’ executive order establishing a statewide shelter-in-place for Mississippi to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of state residents.
Supervisors and county department heads heard Gov. Reeves announcement in the board room at the County Administrative Building in Hernando Wednesday afternoon.
“This is a somber time for our country and our state,” Reeves said in his remarks. “We are all in grave danger, from coast to coast. As leaders, our top priority is and always will be the safety of our citizens.”
The governor went on to say the shelter-in-place order will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 3. Right now, the order is expected to stay in place until Monday, April 20, at 8 a.m.
Reeves said the execution of the order has come after continual discussions with state health experts, who Tuesday reported the state needed to issue the shelter-in-place order.
“Every day, for the last several weeks, I have asked our health experts whether it is time for the ultimate action of a shelter in place order statewide,” Reeves said. “Yesterday, for the first time, we got the answer we had been anticipating. They told me we are now at the point in Mississippi’s cycle where such drastic restrictions are required.”
Reeves said the decision to move with the order will be enforced and taken very seriously.
“We will get through this and open our state back up as soon as our health experts tell me it is wise,” Reeves said.
Under the executive order, individuals are to stay at home except for the limited allowances in the order. People must follow social distancing guidelines.
Evictions are suspended although rent and mortgage payments are still to be paid.
All non-essential businesses are to stop all activities other than those needed for minimum operations.
Restaurants and bars may stay open for drive-thru, curbside and/or delivery service. People will do essential activities only. Outdoor recreation is encouraged but not group recreation or activities, like team sports, such as soccer and basketball games.
In responding to the order, DeSoto County Supervisors President Jesse Medlin said the board would meet together for more decisions on the order on Friday, April 3, at 9 a.m.
“I think the governor has done the right thing,” Medlin said, “We’re going to support him. We’re going to do our part.”
Sheriff Bill Rasco said his department is ready to enforce the state order, specifically to break up groups of 10 or more that gather.
“The crowd of people that are gathering, we will address that, ask them to disperse, and go from there,” Rasco said. “This is a major deal now. We are going to take this seriously. You have to stay at home and do what you can to be sure you are not infected with this virus.”
Cities in DeSoto County also started to react to the governor’s executive order Wednesday. Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite released a statement commending Gov. Reeves for his action.
“The City still pleads with all people to adhere to all CDC guidelines at all times as well as using facial coverings of the mouth and nose when moving inside essential buildings,” Musselwhite said.