On his Facebook post, Gov. Tate Reeves explained that Mississippians are now "encouraged" but not "ordered" to "stay at home as much as possible."
Here is the full text of his Facebook post:
We are reopening our economy. We can’t slam the door open, that would be reckless and put lives at risk. It’s not a light switch that only goes on and off. It’s a dimmer.
We must recognize that there is no such thing as a “nonessential Mississippian.” Every job is essential to the worker and his or her family who depend on its paycheck for food, supplies, and shelter.
This morning, I signed a new executive order—a “Safer at Home” order. It goes into effect on Monday at 8:00 AM and expires 14 days later. Here’s what it does:
It encourages—rather than orders—all Mississippians to stay at home as much as possible. That’s still the safest behavior. You still have to be smart. You are still responsible for your safety and the safety of your loved ones. Make the best decisions for yourself and your family.
It tells all who the federal task force guidelines have defined as “most vulnerable” to shelter-in-place. That means the elderly. People with pre-existing conditions. People whose immune systems are compromised. The list is in our executive order.
The order bans all social or non-essential gatherings of ten or more. That is still illegal in Mississippi.
It also changes the part of our strategy that has given me the most heartache. For almost every Mississippian, it will no longer be impossible to work. We are allowing most closed businesses to re-open, under certain health and safety mandates developed with our health department.
I wish we could open up for every business, but we’re still not at that point yet. I won’t take any action that our health experts tell me creates unreasonable risk.
Places of amusement or entertainment: things like movie theaters, bars, and museums. Businesses that cannot avoid sustained person-to-person contact: salons, gyms, clubs, spas, tattoo parlors, and barbershops will remain closed to the public for now.
You can still sell excess supplies by phone or the internet. I know that’s not enough, but maybe it can help keep the lights on. I want you to open. We’re just not there yet, and this is one step of a gradual re-opening. Your day will come as soon as it is safe, I promise. We’re working on it right now.
Restaurants will continue to be limited to drive-through, carry-out, or delivery. Bars are still closed. Casinos are still closed.
Newly opened retail stores have to reduce capacity by at least 50% to avoid crowds. Businesses have to follow CDC and Health Department guidelines: like sending sick employees home, wearing masks, screening for symptoms, and social distancing as much as possible. Common areas where people gather will have to stay closed.
Evictions are still prohibited because we are still asking Mississippians to stay at home. Healthcare professionals can begin to do more procedures under rules set by the health department. We are confident that our healthcare system will not be overloaded.
This “safer-at-home” order is not a return to normal. I wish it was. I know one day we will. Today is not the day.
We believe that it is safe and appropriate to take these steps. Dr. Dobbs and our health department have been critical in developing these rules. They are based on data, investigation, and science.
Dr. Dobbs and I also had the privilege of speaking personally with Dr. Birx from the President’s Task Force this morning. We gave her a preview of what we were considering. She shared that she has studied our numbers, and that we are approaching this the right way.
It relies heavily on our trust in you. Not everything that is legal is wise. There is no government replacement for wisdom. Freedom always carries risk.
We still believe in personal responsibility. You should do what you think is best for your family. There is no state order that can replace your common sense. That is the best tool we have.
To read the order click here: