COVID-19 Update
Governor Revises “Safer at Home” Executive Order

On Monday, May 4, Governor Reeves announced his revision to the current Executive Order in place. The new guidelines will go into effect on Thursday, May 7 at 8:00 AM and will be in effect until Monday, May 11 at 8:00 AM, when the original Safer at Home order expires. The changes will allow restaurants to open under certain conditions and allow outdoor gatherings of up to 20 people.


• Before in-house dining can resume, the entire restaurant and bar must be deep-cleaned,
disinfected, and sanitized top to bottom.

• All restaurants and bars are expected to take every step necessary to implement the
regulations, orders, and guidance from the Mississippi State Department of Health and
CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

• All employees will be screened daily at the beginning of their shifts, including asking
whether they have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14
days and have they had a fever in the last 48 hours.

• Cloth masks must be provided to all employees who come in direct contact with
customers. Employees are required to wear that mask throughout their shift.

• All employees must be provided training on how to limit the spread of COVID-19.

• No more than 50% seating capacity in both indoor and outdoor dining areas, and floor
plans must be updated to ensure at least 6 feet between each group. Party sizes will be
limited to no more than 6 people per table.

• Bars and bar areas that do no offer food services are to remain closed.

• Minimizing person-to-person contact through technology, like mobile or online
reservations and contact-less payment, is encouraged.

• Customers will be screened upon entry. Restaurants and bars must post signage at
each entrance stating no customer with a fever or COVID-19 symptoms are allowed in.

• Cafeteria-style buffets and food stations that are manned by restaurant staff are allowed
with appropriate barriers to limit contact. Self-service buffets, food stations, and drink
stations are prohibited.

• All restaurants and bars must place hand sanitizer at all entrances, hostess stations,
in/near bathrooms, and at cashier stations.

Outdoor Recreation:

• Gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people for indoor activities and a maximum
of 20 people for outside activities.

• Parks can open to the public from 9:00AM - 7:00PM for outdoor recreation under
guidance from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks and local
authorities, with people following social distancing guidelines such as 6 feet separation.
Outdoor recreation activities, such as swimming, are also allowed within those same

Legislature Votes to Strip Governor of CARES Act Spending Authority

On Friday, May 1, the Mississippi State Legislature convened to take up a single bill removing the authority of the Governor to expend the $1.25 Billion in CARES Act relief funds. The House and Senate voted unanimously to give the Legislature the power to dole out these funds, then adjourned with the intention of coming back May 18 to finish out the 2020 session.

The Legislature contends that it is the constitutional right of the legislative branch to appropriate money, while the Governor cites state law that gives the executive branch the power to disburse federal emergency relief dollars (i.e. how it was done during Katrina, the BP oil spill, etc).

Senate Bill 2772, has been sent to the Governor and he has until Thursday, May 7 to sign or veto the bill. If he vetoes the bill, the Legislature can then vote to override his veto with a two-thirds vote. This dispute between the executive and legislative branch will likely take weeks to sort out and may ultimately have to be decided by the judicial branch.
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