/Reeves issues new mandates, vaccines on the way as COVID-19 spread continues record pace

Reeves issues new mandates, vaccines on the way as COVID-19 spread continues record pace

Reeves stated that his parties would be well-structured for safety and social distancing. He also said that he respects state medical officers, considers them “confidants”, but does not always agree with them. Reeves stated that he believes Mississippians desire some “normalcy” following the 10 month pandemic. He also said that holiday gatherings could be safely held. State health officers and the state health department have advised Mississippians to avoid holiday parties outside of their immediate family. They also warned that holiday socializing could lead to more deaths and cases because Mississippi’s health system is already overtaxed. Reeves stated that parties and public tours of the mansion allow them to “send a message to Mississippians that you can return back to life as somewhat normal but with a reduced risk.” However, MSDH reported a record 2,746 new cases Wednesday. Reeves extended his statewide order that limits gatherings to no more then 10 people indoors, and 50 outside when social distancing cannot be observed. These executive orders were issued to 54 counties, and they also required them to wear masks in public places. Although state medical experts urged him to, he did not extend the mandate for masks beyond those counties with high COVID-19 levels. These new orders added and removed a few counties to the list of counties subject to a mask mandate. This brings the total number of counties covered by a mask mandate to 61 out of 82. Available vaccines by next week. A day after the first vaccine shots in the United Kingdom were distributed, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, the State Health Officer, announced that Mississippi’s primary healthcare workers will have 25,000 doses next week of the Pfizer vaccine. He expects that the state will have enough vaccines to cover all employees and residents of nursing homes within the week. The vaccine won’t be available to the public until the spring/summer, as COVID-19 spread constantly sets new highs both nationally and locally. Mississippi’s seven-day rolling average for new cases has reached 1,927. This is a 40% increase in the past week and a quarter. Health officials are urging the public to be more cautious due to the recent numbers and the fact that it is winter holidays and concurrently cold. At a press conference last Wednesday, Dr. Alan Jones, assistant vice-chancellor at the University of Mississippi Medicine Center stated that “I think as society we’ve let down our guard, we’ve become less concerned with certain things.” It’s not super-spreader events, or the things that we saw at the (summer peak). It’s safer to have smaller groups. These events are unsafe.” Wednesday’s executive orders also placed new restrictions on indoor sporting events. At schools, there are a maximum of four spectators per student and 250 ticketed spectators. Indoor arenas will have a minimum of 10 percent seating capacity and a maximum of 1,000 people. Reeves announced that Greg Michel, Mississippi Emergency and Management Agency Director, has tested positive for the virus. Michel was not present at Wednesday’s briefing. Adams, Alcorn and Calhoun are the 61 counties that have been placed under a mask mandate. To support this important work, you can make a regular donation to the Spring Member Drive today.