The DeSoto County Sheriff Department says it will not enforce Gov. Tate Reeves’ mask mandate or social-distancing orders even as COVID-19 ravages the county. Between the north Mississippi county’s three hospitals, only 52 hospital beds and one ICU bed remain available.
“Sheriff (Bill) Rasco doesn’t force his deputies to wear masks in settings where the host or property owner doesn’t require it. … We will not issue citations for not wearing masks, nor will we enforce Governor Tate Reeves mandate on social distancing,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement yesterday.
Reeves’ orders do not require citations for people who fail to follow social-distancing guidelines. While the governor’s orders do not include an enforcement mechanism, the sheriff department’s announcement likely hurts efforts to encourage county residents to wear masks in one of the hardest-hit parts of the state.