City dropping mask requirements going along with governor’s order

Mayor Tim Kent

It is now up to local businesses to determine whether patrons are required to wear face masks, New Albany Mayor Tim Kent said.

As of Wednesday, Gov. Tate Reeves rescinded most restrictions in previous executive orders for the state, citing a reduced number of COVID infections and hospitalizations as well as expanding vaccinations as reasons.

“We’re going to follow the governor’s orders,” Kent said. “We will leave it up to business owners if they want to require masks.”

A significant part of the public essentially never wore masks throughout the pandemic anyway but only a few warnings were given, apparently.

“We really didn’t have any way to enforce the governor’s mandate,” the mayor said.

Residents are still encouraged to follow CDC and MSDH guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID. That includes wearing masks, social distancing, avoiding crowds and good hygiene, as well as screening and quarantining when appropriate. None of this is required, however.

Reeves still has some limits placed on large gatherings.

Seating for sports and other events in indoor arenas can be no more than 50 percent capacity. Suite capacity is limited to 75 percent but it was not clear what a suite consists of.

A covering over nose and mouth is still required on school campuses and in buildings unless social distancing is practical. There are a few exceptions for specific student activities.

Reeves further said that for K-12 school activities, the seating limit will be 50 percent for outdoor events but 25 percent for indoor activities.

The most recent order allows municipalities to enact more stringent requirements than the state, if they do not impact essential businesses.

This most recent order from the governor lasts through Wednesday, March 31.

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