RALEIGH, MS - As Executive Order 1466, signed by Governor Tate Reeves on April 1st and placed the state under a mandatory shelter-in-place begins to expire, many are wondering what that means on a local level.
It should be known that the Executive Order that has replaced EO #1466, gives counties and cities the power to keep their local restrictions in place even though statewide restrictions may have lifted.
That being said, Smith County, and its municipalities, are still subject to the restrictions outlined in the March 31st Emergency Proclamation signed by the Board of Supervisors. These restrictions, while inconvenient, are completely necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Smith County's current case count stands at 65 cases, and these are county-wide, not isolated in one particular city. We have seen numerous Facebook posts falsely trying to pin one community for all of the cases in Smith County. This is just not true. Our 65 cases are spread across the county. That number continues to grow daily as testing capacity grows.
It is important to know that while the Governor's restrictions may have been loosened, the threat of coronavirus is still present. We want every Smith Countian to stay safe, practice social distancing, and stay healthy.
Finally, we want to end this update with a special thank you to all of our county EMA workers, our law enforcement officers, our care center nurses, EMTs, and anyone who is on the front-lines fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. We owe you our deepest thank you for the sacrifice you make every single day.
Stay safe, Smith County. As with all troubles that face our communities, we will make it through this one together.
RALEIGH, MS - Today county officials announced that soon, residents close to Smith County will have the opportunity to schedule a free appointment for a COVID-19 test. On Thursday, April 9, UMMC and the Mississippi State Department of Health will hold one day of drive-through COVID-19 testing at the Smith County Ag Complex in Raleigh. To get an appointment for testing, you must first be screened through the C-Spire Health app. The app, screening, and testing are free of charge. If you do not have a smartphone, you can call 601-496-7200 to be screened for testing eligibility.
On the day of your appointment, we ask that you enter the testing site from the north entrance off of State Route 35. You will turn onto Smith County Road 77, and then enter through the gate next to Center Ridge Water Association. Once you enter through the gate, we ask that you keep windows up and remain in your vehicle. Once you get to the testing area you will be approached by the staff that will be completing your test. After your test is complete, you will exit the testing area through the south gate, which will take you back to State Route 35.
If you need assistance, or have any questions about the drive-thru testing process, please feel free to contact the Smith County Emergency Management Agency at 601-782-9151. Keep in mind that testing will only be offered for one day, on Thursday, April 9th.
RALEIGH, MS - Today at 5:00PM, Mississippi will begin sheltering-in-place pursuant to Executive Order 1466, issued by Governor Tate Reeves on Wednesday, April 1st. With this unprecedented action, many Smith Countians are wondering "what does this mean for me?"
Well, simply put in a broad definition, shelter-in-place means that you are not allowed to leave your home or primary residence for any reason. However, in the case of the coronavirus, there are some exceptions on what you can do, and what you cannot do. It is the intent of the Smith County Emergency Management Agency to make sure you are informed and prepared for the next two weeks.
JACKSON, MS — Today, Governor Tate Reeves signed a new executive order establishing a statewide shelter-in-place for Mississippi to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of all who call our state home.
The Mississippi Department of Health determined that our state has now reached a critical point in the cycle of the outbreak, and Governor Reeves announced his decision to issue the shelter-in-place order for Mississippi at a press conference this afternoon.
Mississippi is rapidly increasing testing and strictly enforcing quarantines for anyone that investigators believe has been exposed to the virus. The shelter-in-place will begin this Friday, April 3, 2020 at 5:00 PM and be in effect until Monday, April 20, 2020 at 8:00 AM.
Here are Governor Reeves' remarks from today's press conference:
GOVERNOR REEVES: This is a somber time—for our country and our state. We are all in grave danger, from coast to coast. As leaders, our top priority is and always will be the safety of our citizens.
Every day, for the last several weeks, I have asked our health experts whether it is time for the ultimate action of a “shelter in place” order statewide. Yesterday, for the first time, we got the answer we had been anticipating. They told me we are now at the point in Mississippi’s cycle where such drastic restrictions are required. Today is the day. We are announcing a shelter-in-place order. It will go into effect on Friday at 5:00 PM.
I will let our top health official, Dr. Dobbs, explain his thought process behind the timing. I just want to offer a simple message to Mississippi:
This will not be easy for anyone, but we believe it is right. We know that there are many people who are scared: wondering what this means for their wages and their ability to put food on the table. We are here for you and working hard to help. Mississippi will not allow you to fall without a hand to help you back up.
We know that there are some who still do not have a healthy fear of this virus. They are wrong, and they are risking lives if they do not take this seriously.
This order will be enforced. It will be taken very, very seriously. It will not be forever. We will get through this and open our state back up as soon as our health experts tell me it is wise.
Our goal is to prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed. I pray that all of our orders and preparations will be enough. We believe that this is the right tool at the right time to save lives.
Today, this is the best course of action for Mississippi. I’ll turn it over to Dr. Dobbs for some more information.
In this latest executive order, the Governor lays out the guidelines of the statewide shelter-in-place to slow the spread of COVID-19, including:
Full text of the executive order is below: