/Reeves extends mask mandate, limits crowd size at school extracurricular events

Reeves extends mask mandate, limits crowd size at school extracurricular events

Reeves stated Friday that he believes students should be allowed to take part in extracurricular activities. However, adequate safety precautions must also be taken due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that sports and other activities were crucial in the lives Mississippians’ young people. They teach responsibility and discipline in a way that cannot be duplicated. We are currently experiencing a pandemic. Sports and other events that draw people to the area are my biggest concerns going into the school season. A local hospital is not going to be overwhelmed by twenty-two players on one field. Two thousand people might be in the bleachers at a small school. The most attention has been on high school football in recent weeks. Although the public schools won’t start the season until Sept. 4, they will be holding scrimmages late August. Reeves stated Friday that he didn’t know if the crowd limits will be extended into September. However, he indicated that it is possible. Reeves stated that he is still examining the issue of college football games’ crowd sizes, which will not begin until September. Reeves extended the current executive order to Aug. 31 and required the wearing of masks in public. He also ordered that alcohol sales at bars or restaurants after 11 pm be stopped. Reeves also restricted social gatherings to a maximum of 10 indoors and 20 outdoors. Reeves stated Friday that “our numbers are improving.” Reeves stated that the average number of coronavirus infections per day in the last seven days has fallen from 1,358 cases three weeks ago to just 800 for the latest seven days. Thomas Dobbs, the State Health Officer, said that the average number of hospitalizations has also decreased. However there are 11 hospitals in the state without any intensive care beds. Despite reporting a lower number of daily cases this week Mississippi’s positivity rates remains among the highest in the country. Dobbs stated that there are 38 counties within the state where students and teachers have tested positive for COVID-19. Dobbs stated that COVID-19 has been tested on 109 teachers and 69 students. More than 600 teachers and students are currently in quarantine due to possible exposure. Dobbs stated that most students have not been exposed to the coronavirus at school. He said that it’s likely that the coronavirus has been transmitted to students and teachers in the area and then brought to schools. Reeves stated that most likely cases will be reported to schools in all 82 county at some point. Reeves had delayed school starting for seventh graders and higher in eight counties that have a high volume of cases. This delay will be lifted Monday.