Mississippi - COVID-19 Covered

Mississippi

Total Cases: 69,374 (August 12)
Tests Administered: 504,404 (August 10)
Fatalities: 1,989 (August 12)
Testing:
  • A list of Mississippi COVID-19 testing locations and providers can be found here.

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • An executive order signed by Governor Reeves identifies the following sectors as essential: public safety, first responders, law enforcement, health care, infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture and farms, retail including supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations, waste management, mail services, media, educational services, financial services, legal services, construction, defense, IT, child care, and religious entities. (March 24)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Governor Reeves extended all unemployment benefits to individuals out of work due to the coronavirus until the end of July. (June 26 
  • Governor Reeves outlined reopening guidelines for employers and employees of select businesses in his “Safe Return Order, including outdoor sports complexes, movie theaters and auditoriums, and libraries and museums. Details can be found here. (June 1) 
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is available for anyone not covered for regular unemployment benefits, including individuals who are “self-employed, independent contractors, employees of a church or religious entity, employees of non-profit organizations or gig economy workers.” (April 21 
  • Specific reopening guidelines for employers and employees of gyms, salons, and barbershops can be found here 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Reeves and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency launched the MEMA COVID-19 Emergency Relief Program to aid counties and municipalities financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. (July 22) 
  • Governor Reeves lifted a suspension on evictions on June 1. (May 13) 
  • The state Department of Revenue delayed individual, corporate, franchise and fiduciary income tax returns until July 15. (May 6 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Mississippi’s Development Authority is accepting applications for small business grants. (June 11 
  • Governor Reeves opened a grant program for small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which will provide grants of $1,500 to $25,000 to businesses with 50 or fewer employees. (June 10 
  • Governor Reeves signed an executive order waiving any interest on all collection activities suspended during COVID-19 for employers from April 1 to June 27. (May 11) 
  • Governor Reeves said he supports lawsuits providing legal protection for businesses if they get sued if they reopen and customers or employees contract COVID-19. (April 29 
  • Governor Reeves signed an executive order creating additional protections from civil liability for healthcare workers and facilities assisting outside their normal operations in response to COVID-19. (April 10 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • Governor Reeves announced an extension of social distancing measures under the Safe Return order and other county-specific executive orders. (July 30) 
  • Governor Reeves announced new face covering mandate for 13 counties. (July 9) 
  • Governor Reeves announced he would pause efforts to reopen Mississippi due to the spike in COVID-19 cases. (July 2) 
  • Governor Reeves signed an executive order allowing government employees to return to work. (June 10 
  • Governor Reeves signed an executive order to lift the current 10:00PM curfew for places that serve alcohol starting June 15. (June 10 
  • All Mississippi businesses are allowed to reopen with strict social distance and sanitation guidelines. (June 1) 
  • Governor Reeves announced in-person worship can begin so long as worshipers follow social distancing guidelines. (May 19 
  • Governor Reeves signed an executive order issuing additional social distancing measures for seven counties identified as hotspots – Attala, Leake, Scott, Jasper, Neshoba, Newton and Lauderdale. The measures include daily screenings of employees, face coverings for employees who are in close proximity to customers, and making hand sanitizer available at several locations throughout one’s business, among others. (May 12 
  • Governor Reeves announced salons, barbershops and gyms would reopen and abide by specific virus safety guidelines on May 11. (May 8)   

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Mississippi school districts announced plans for fall reopening. (July 14) 
  • The Mississippi Department of Education is offering three options for how schools can offer classes starting in the fall semester: a traditional schedule, a hybrid schedule, and a virtual schedule. (June 13 
  • Schools are permitted to reopen for summer programs provided they follow strict social distance and sanitation guidelines. (June 1) 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Mississippi universities and colleges planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 
  • All 15 of Mississippi’s community colleges are planning to have on-campus classes during the fall semester. (June 14)  
  • The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees voted to have Mississippi colleges and universities resume “traditional operations” in fall 2020. (May 21)  

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com