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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves announced a shelter-in-place order for Laud

He said he made the decision at the suggestion of health officials. The order goes into effect at 10 p.m. Tuesday and will last through April 14.

Health officials say they’ve seen a high spike in cases in Lauderdale County over a short period of time, and it was not chosen just because of the number of cases.

No other counties are currently included in the order.

“This is the first of many actions that will come as a result of our ‘Identify and Isolate’ strategy to protect Mississippi’s health care system from being overwhelmed. Keeping Mississippians healthy and safe while working to slow the spread remains our top priority. This order builds on the state’s other social distancing requirements to protect public health. Please stay home so we can all stay healthy,” said Governor Tate Reeves of the executive order.

Reeves also said a nursing home in Lauderdale County had several people test positive for COVID-19. That nursing home was not identified.

Reeves said he expects more counties to need a shelter-in-place in the future.

The shelter-in-place rules consist of:

  • Individuals are to stay at home except for the limited allowances in the executive order.

  • When outside of their homes, people must follow social distancing guidelines by maintaining a 6-foot distance from others and avoid groups of 10 or more.

  • Evictions are suspended, though people are still required to pay any rent or make any mortgage payments.

  • All nonessential businesses are to stop all activities other than those necessary for minimum operations (e.g. payroll, health insurance, security) and enabling employees to work from home.

  • Social and other non-essential gatherings in groups of more than 10 people must be cancelled or rescheduled.

  • Restaurants and bars may only remain open for drive-thru, curbside, and/or delivery service.

  • People may leave their homes only to perform essential activities, such as caring for someone in the vulnerable population, getting food or necessary supplies, and working for an essential business.

  • Individual outdoor recreation is encouraged, but not group recreation or activities such as soccer or basketball games.

Additional testing will also be done in Lauderdale County in addition to the shelter-in-place order.

Reeves said he and health officials are monitoring the situation in New Orleans, which has a high number of coronavirus cases, closely.

Copyright 2020 WLBT. All rights reserved.

By Jacob Gallant | March 31, 2020 at 9:53 AM CDT - Updated March 31 at 11:35 AM

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