Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced on Tuesday that the state will lift county mask mandates, and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity.
“Starting tomorrow, we are lifting all of our county mask mandates and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules,” Reeves announced on Twitter. “Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is the time! ”
The Republican governor expressed his opposition to certain restrictive executive orders amid the pandemic.
“Executive orders that interfered with peoples’ lives were the worst, but the only possible, intervention for much of the last year,” he wrote on Twitter. “Now, we are putting our focus towards rapid vaccine distribution. We are getting out of the business of telling people what they can and cannot do.
“We’ve been among the 4 or 5 most open states throughout this crisis, and we’ve been rewarded for it with more jobs and economic recovery. That’s not because what we put in place was a light burden. It’s only because the rest of the country was so harsh.” Reeves said. “That’s good, but we need to recognize that none of these orders, in any state, are anything short of unprecedented. They have to end at the earliest possible moment. This is that moment for Mississippi.”
Restrictions that are still in effect in Mississippi are a 50 percent capacity limit on indoor areas, he said in a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, reported the Daily Journal.
Schools K-12 will still require 50 percent capacity for outdoor venues and 25 percent seating capacity for indoors, he told reporters. The requirements are staying in place “because I believe that the most consequential debate playing out in America today is whether children should be in the classroom learning,” the governor said, adding that he doesn’t want any schools in Mississippi to have an excuse to act like other states that have not returned to in-person instruction.
Reeves’s policy came out a few hours after a similar announcement in Texas.
“It is now time to open Texas 100%. Everybody who wants to work should have that opportunity. Every business that wants to be open should be open.” Abbott said during a press conference in Lubbock.
“With the medical advancements of vaccines and antibody therapeutic drugs, Texas now has the tools to protect Texans from the virus”, “We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans by opening Texas 100 percent. Make no mistake, COVID-19 has not disappeared, but it is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations, and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed.” said Abbott.
According to Abbott’s office, nearly 5.7 million vaccine shots have been administered to Texans, and the state is now administering almost one million shots each week. By next Wednesday, about 7 million shots would have been administered in Texas.