By Kevin Edwards BC Staff Writer Gov. Tate Reeves signed an executive order last Wednesday ordering citizens to stay at home except for the most essential of reasons. The order came a day after Reeves announced the first stay-at-home order exclusively for Lauderdale County. Reeves said data from the Mississippi State Department of Health showed the county was becoming a hotspot for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, and was part of Reeves's identify-and-isolate campaign. Over the ensuring 24 hours, Reeves concluded that the time had come for a statewide order. "This is a somber time for our country and our state," Reeves said during his press conference. "We are all in danger from coast to coast. As leaders, our priority will always be the safety of our citizens. "[The experts] told me that we are now at the point in Mississippi's cycle that such drastic orders may be required. "This will not be easy for anyone, but we believe it is the right course of action." Dr. Thomas Dobbs of the Mississippi State Department of Health was also present at the press conference to provide comments. "If we look at whatÕs happening in Mississippi right now, since yesterday we've reported another 136 cases of COVID, another two deaths, putting our total case count at over a thousand," Dobbs said. "One of the things that's become most worrisome is we've seen an expansion in the number of cases in nursing homes, so we're seeing at this point enough volume of cases where it's starting to infiltrate into a more vulnerable population.' Dobbs explained the purpose of a shelter-in-place order is to "slow things down" to allow the system, including hospitals, to have time to gain increased capacity to deal with increased demand. Essential services such as grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and restaurants if they can provide takeout and pickup orders will be permitted to stay open. Citizens can go outside and participate in recreational activities, but public parks and non-essential services such as movie theaters, retail stores and gyms will be closed. The order will be in effect from April 3 at 5 p.m. to April 20 at 8 a.m. pending extension by the governor. Cleveland Mayor Billy Nowell asks citizens to take the matter seriously. "I think that weÕre a long way from being out of the woods and we need to take this social distancing a lot more serious and to stay home, in place, for the sake of all of us because we are definitely in a hotspot in the Mississippi Delta," Nowell said. "We're the leading town in the Mississippi Delta with cases of the coronavirus and I just think it's much, much more serious than people are giving it credit for." The Cleveland Board of Aldermen approved additional measures for city businesses. Employers are asked to provide hand sanitizer for their employees and employees must wear mouth and nose coverings such as masks or cloths. Grocery stores are to enforce one cart per customer and to limit the number of customers in the facility at one time. Traffic must be managed, and social distancing notices must be posted. Cleveland Police Chief Buster Bingham asked citizens to remain calm during this time. "There's no reason for anyone to openly panic about this," Bingham said. "Just stay at home. You can still get the necessary items you need to get. You can still get healthcare. You can still get gasoline. You can still get groceries. "Just be mindful of your social distancing and the more that we do as what the governor has asked us to do, the better the outcome will be. We're trying to get rid of this virus as quickly as we can." On Monday, there were 51 confirmed cases in Bolivar County with two deaths and two outbreaks in long-term care facilities. Bolivar County ranked number nine in the state and in the largest category of COVID-19 cases.