Even though Gov. Tate Reeves’ statewide coronavirus mask ordinance doesn’t come with a penalty, an executive order issued by Magnolia Mayor Anthony Witherspoon three weeks ago does, and the city’s police chief says violators will be hit in the pocketbook.
“We’ve been doing our best to make sure every bodys been following that,” Police Chief Ray Reynolds said of the local order put in place in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Reynolds said he had to cite a local business on Wednesday for violating the mask ordinance.
“I don’t make the laws. I don’t make the rules, but I am going to enforce them,” he said. “As long as that order is in effect I’m going to enforce it.”
The ordinance requires face coverings in public for anyone over the age of 2, but carves out some exceptions, including state and federal government buildings.
There’s no end date to the order, which carries penalties of $50-$100 for individuals cited for second and subsequent violations and fines of $500 to $1,000 for businesses, depending on how many times they’ve been cited.
Reynolds said people have generally been in compliance with the mayor’s ordinance, but those who are not will receive a citation.
“People have to take it seriously,” he said. “We need to all do our part to get these numbers down. We need to think about more than just ourselves. We need to think about the next person.”
Reeves issued a mask order effective immediately on Tuesday, replacing a piecemeal approach to ordering face coverings in counties with rampant outbreaks. It’s in place for two weeks.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the governor gave mayors the authority to enact local policies to prevent the spread of the virus.