Michael Watson

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COVID-19 Tips, Resources and Relief Efforts

Thursday, July 2, 2020


COVID-19 Safety During the Holiday Weekend

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reported 870 new COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday, July 1, 2020, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in our state to 28,770. According to MSDH, record-high, new cases are now being followed by a sharp rise in long-term care facility outbreaks, which have increased to 101 today (up from just 73 two weeks ago). There are now 101 active outbreaks of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities statewide (where an outbreak is one or more cases among residents or staff).

As we head into the 4th of July weekend, state health officials recommend celebrating the holiday with household members only. They encourage those who plan to watch firework displays to remain in their car (or home) and avoid interactions with others.

For questions and concerns, call the Mississippi Coronavirus Hotline at 877-978-6453 any day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Click here to view a map of COVID-19 cases.


Safe Return Order Extended

After record-breaking daily reports of COVID-19 cases, Governor Reeves extended the Safe Return order to help protect Mississippians and limit transmission. Executive Order 1505 extends the social distancing guidelines and restrictions under the Safe Return order until 8 a.m. on Monday, July 20th. Health officials believe the extension will allow more time to evaluate our state’s response to the virus and adapt accordingly. Some of the strict social distancing guidelines in the Safe Return order include the following:

  • All those in the vulnerable population are strongly encouraged to continue sheltering in place to protect their health.
    • This includes all elderly individuals (age 65 or older per CDC guidelines) and individuals with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune systems are compromised as such by chemotherapy for cancer or any other condition requiring such therapy.
  • For large group gatherings when social distancing is not possible, groups are limited to 20 people or less indoors and 50 people or less outdoors.
  • For large groups gatherings when social distancing is possible, groups are limited to 50 people or less indoors and 100 people or less outdoors.
  • All travel may resume, while minimizing non-essential business travel when possible.

The Safe Return order will remain in effect until Monday, July 20, at 8:00 AM.

Click here to view the text version of the Safe Return order.


ReStart Mississippi

The Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) developed a new online reporting system to assist the business community and individuals who are unemployed due to COVID-19. ReStart MS provides employers with information on individuals who are currently filing or have previously filed for Unemployment Insurance benefits. MDES officials say this system will help prevent improper unemployment payments and play an essential role in reviving Mississippi’s workforce.

ReStart MS allows employers to report:

•     Rehires

•     Refusal of Work

•     Inability to Locate

•     Potential Fraudulent / ID Theft Claims

Mississippi Law requires employers to report refusals to work within ten days of the date of refusal.

Click here to learn more about Restart MS.

Executive Orders

Executive Order 1505  Executive Order 1505 extends the social distancing guidelines and restrictions under the Safe Return order until 8 a.m. on Monday, July 20, 2020.
Executive Order 1504 Executive Order 1504 extends the time for the Governor to appoint an executive director of the public utilities staff from July 1, 2020 to July 15, 2020.
Executive Order 1503 Executive Order 1503 amends Executive Order 1471 to extend its duration until 11:59 p.m. on July 31, 2020. EO 1471 grants immunity from suit for civil liability to healthcare professionals and facilities that provide care related to COVID-19.
Executive Order 1502 Executive Order 1502 waives the one-week waiting requirement for all claims for Unemployment Insurance benefits between March 8, 2020 until December 26, 2020.

Click here to view all Executive Orders.

Emergency Contact Information


Office of the Governor of Mississippi
Tate Reeves
(601) 359-3150
Mississippi State Department of Health (877) 978-6453

Mississippi Emergency
Management Agency
(601) 933-6362
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (800) 232-4636
Mississippi Department of Employment Security (601) 855-3133

1-888-844-3577 (toll-free)

1-888-772-0061 (toll-free)



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