JACKSON, Miss.(NewsNation Now) — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves is defending his decision to hold Christmas parties at the Governor’s Mansion after repeatedly warning people to avoid social gatherings as coronavirus cases surge in the state.
Reeves said Wednesday that he has invited family, friends and state officials to the multiple parties, but he expects many will choose not to attend.
The governor has often told people not to host gatherings as the virus spreads. He issued a new executive order Wednesday that restricts social gatherings statewide to 10 people indoors and 50 outdoors when social distancing is not possible and has issued a mask mandate for all Mississippi schools and for 61 out of 82 counties with the highest number of new coronavirus cases.
The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reported Wednesday 2,746 new coronavirus cases, along with 24 additional deaths. That brings the state’s total number of cases to 170,672 with 4,041 deaths.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.