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Mississippi Governor Extends Mask Mandate for Most of State

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves is extending an order that requires people to wear masks in public places in most parts of the state, to guard against spread of the coronavirus. Photo by Atoms on Unsplash

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves is extending an order that requires people to wear masks in public places in most parts of the state, to guard against spread of the coronavirus. Photo by Atoms on Unsplash

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves is extending an order that requires people to wear masks in public places in most parts of the state, to guard against spread of the coronavirus.

The Republican governor said Wednesday that the new order is in place through March 3. It is for 75 of Mississippi's 82 counties.

“We as Mississippians have to continue to take this virus seriously," Reeves said in a statement. "We are continuing to work to get shots in arms and provide vaccines to those who meet the requirements. Please continue to social distance, wear your mask and keep your gatherings small."

COVID-19 vaccinations in Mississippi are being done at hospitals, community health centers, private clinics and at 21 state-run drive-thru sites. For now, they are available to health care workers, residents of long-term care facilities, anyone 65 or older or anyone who is at least 16 and has a health condition that could make them more vulnerable to the highly contagious virus.

Mississippi has about 3 million residents. The state Health Department reported Wednesday that the state had 791 new confirmed cases of the virus as of Tuesday evening. The department also reported 26 deaths Wednesday, 22 of which happened between Jan. 20 and Tuesday. The others occurred earlier and were identified through death certificates. Mississippi has reported about 277,322 cases of the virus and 6,158 related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

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