To mask or not to mask: Are mask mandates returning in Mississippi?

Published 1:31 pm Monday, August 28, 2023

With three new COVID-19 variants spreading across the United States, many people are wondering: Are masks coming back?

CBS News reports that the Centers for Disease Control has not announced any new mask mandates, even though some schools and businesses are reinstating pandemic-era rules.

Experts are now saying depending on health situations, people may want to consider masking up again, especially in indoor public spaces.

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Citizens age 65 and up and people who are immunocompromised should strongly consider masking not only for COVID-19 but for the flu and RSV, according to the CDC.

The CDC has adopted a “weather report analogy” for the general public concerning masks. If it is raining, one should bring an umbrella.

People in an area where there is an uptick in airborne respiratory infections may want to take extra precautions, like wearing a mask, in indoor public spaces.

According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, Warren County’s COVID-19 numbers are low even though there has been a 21.6-percent uptick in Mississippi’s cases this past week.

Gov. Tate Reeves released a newsletter about masks on Monday.

“We will not return to widespread masking of COVID-19 rules. If you want to take extraordinary measures to protect yourself from getting sick, God bless you. That is your right and you should do what you think is best,” Reeves said in the newsletter. “But we are never going back to 2020. People have a right to make their own decisions. To decide how much risk they tolerate. We will go to school, we will go to church, we will go to work and we will play sports. We will live in self-determination, not top-down fear.”