/Nearly half of state’s population now under mask mandate

Nearly half of state’s population now under mask mandate

Monday’s addition of 10 new counties by the Republican first-term governor to the original thirteen he placed under the mandate on July 10, to wear a mask when in public places, was an attempt to stop the spread COVID-19. The new executive order will be in effect until August 3. Thomas Dobbs, the State Health Officer, stated that the state’s health system is nearing saturation. Dobbs stated Monday that if there isn’t a reduction in transmissions, it is very likely that the state’s health care system will become overwhelmed. Dobbs stated that hospitals are already converting emergency rooms to intensive care unit beds. Dobbs stated that there are 293 coronavirus cases in the state, which is 40% of all patients admitted to intensive care. Dobbs stated that nine hospitals, mostly larger ones in the state, have no ICU beds and one ICU bed is available in the Jackson metropolitan area. Bolivar is now covered by the mask mandate. DeSoto and Grenada are still covered by the mask mandate. Although the mandate covers only 23 of the state’s 82 counties the mask mandate includes many of the most populous, including Hinds, Rankin and DeSoto. According to the most recent census data, Mississippi has just over three million people. According to an internal document by the White House coronavirus taskforce, Mississippi has experienced a spike in coronavirus hospitalizations and positive tests. The report recommends increased testing and contact tracing. A mandate for all states to wear masks has been proposed by the Mississippi State Medical Association. This group of physicians is also calling for a statewide mask law. Reeves rejected a state mandate saying it would be more effective and encourage participation from the community to target hot spots in the state. Dobbs and Reeves emphasize that everyone should wear masks and keep their feet at least six feet apart. The mandate was given to counties that have seen 200 cases in the past 14 days, or had 500 cases per 100,000 people over the same period. The executive order prohibits groups exceeding 10 people indoors and 20 outside. COVID-19 is killing and spreading in our state. It’s not an exaggeration. It’s happening,” Reeves stated. The Mississippi Department of Health reported Monday a record 1,251 cases, three deaths and 943 COVID-19 hospitalizations. Last week’s record 1,230 new cases for a single day was broken. Record-breaking numbers were also recorded in hospitalizations. The number of hospitalizations was also record-breaking at the news conference. It was reported that about 30 legislators had contracted the coronavirus, with several members being admitted to the hospital – some in very serious condition.