Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves is planning to host holiday parties in the near future despite his current executive order limiting gatherings due to a surge in coronavirus cases across the state, Mississippi Today first reported.
State Rep. Chris Bell told CNN affiliate WAPT that he received an invitation to one of the governor's parties, but he is respectfully declining to attend because the virus is still out of control.
CNN reached out to the governor's office on Wednesday. While the governor's spokesperson Bailey Martin didn't specifically address the holiday invitations, Martin said in a statement that any event held by the governor and the first lady are conducted safely in accordance with the governor's executive order.
"The Governor and First Lady have cancelled or delayed many mansion events this year including the 1st Friday Christmas Candlelighters event and their daughter’s 16th birthday party, and have only continued with those events that can be conducted safely – following the governor’s executive orders. These events – that tend to be smaller and never allow more than ten participants indoors at a time to see the museum/decorations – are conducted similar to the limited public tours that are offered to the general public," the statement read.
It's not clear how many people are invited to each event.
Currently, state orders limit indoor gatherings to fewer than 20 people, but the governor has said he will be announcing more restrictive measures this week.
The latest numbers: The Mississippi Department of Health reported at least 1,732 new single day cases of coronavirus and 56 additional deaths for Monday, December 7, bringing the state to a total of at least 167,926 Covid-19 cases and 4,017 reported deaths.
Note: These numbers were released by Mississippi’s public health agency and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.