Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves extended the state’s Safe Return to 5 p.m. Sept. 30, which keeps in place social distancing measures, but a few rules were amended to relax some restrictions.
Face coverings are still required in public spaces when social distancing is still not possible.
The changes were announced in a Facebook announcement Monday morning.
Group gathering limitations are now at no more than 10 indoors or 50 outdoors when social distancing is not possible. If people are able to social distance, group gatherings are set at no more than 20 indoors or 100 outdoors, according to the new rules.
Maximum capacity has been increased to 75% for retail businesses, restaurants, gyms and seated dinners at reception halls and conference centers. Party sizes in restaurants are now limited to 10 people per table, and gyms can be open 24 hours a day, according to the new rules.
The governor cited the state’s flattening the curve on new COVID-19 cases in easing the restrictions.
The Mississippi State Department of Health reported 145 new COVID-19 cases and nine related deaths on Monday.
The state reported 254 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday and 445 new cases on Saturday.
Monday’s new cases pushed the state’s total past the 90,000 mark to 90,018. There have been 2,706 COVID-19 related deaths in the state.
All nine deaths reported Monday by the Department of Health occurred between Aug. 26 and Sept. 4 and were identified from death death certificate reports.
One of those deaths occurred in Newton County, bringing its total to 22. Newton had two new COVID-19 cases reported on Monday for a total of 732.
There were 10 new COVID-19 cases reported in Lauderdale County, which had no new deaths reported on Monday. The county has had 1,952 COVID-19 cases and 119 related deaths since the state began tracking the virus in March.
There are 136 active outbreaks of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities, with 41 new cases among residents and eight deaths reported on Monday.
Clarke County, Kemper County and Neshoba County had no new cases on Monday. Their totals remain 508, 281 and 1,497 respectively.
Dr. Thomas Dobbs, the state’s health officer, is holding an hour-long Facebook live meeting for state residents at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Questions may be submitted in advance.