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Mississippi pauses reopening process after Coronavirus surge

Gov. Tate Reeves says he's pausing its efforts to reopen Mississippi's economy.

Posted: Jul 1, 2020 7:37 PM
Updated: Jul 1, 2020 7:59 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Wednesday the state is pausing its efforts to reopen the economy after a recent surge in new reported coronavirus cases.

“Things are getting worse, not better," Reeves said at a news briefing.

Mississippi reported a peak of 1,092 reported cases of the virus in a single day last week. The state Health Department has consistently reported 450 to 700 new cases each day since. On Wednesday, Mississippi was reporting 653 new cases.

Like other states across the South, Mississippi has lead the nation in its efforts to reopen the economy. Many restaurants have been open for dine-in for more than a month at limited capacity. Most state agencies are open. Movie theaters and entertainment venues are open.

The governor had initially planned to completely reopen the state by July 1. But on that date, he said a goal that is no longer feasible.

Reeves and state health officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs were adamant that efforts to reopen the state's economy are not the cause of Mississippi's spike.

“It's not that our current rules are too loose," Reeves said. "Our challenge is that our people aren't following even the simplest of rules. Additional orders are useless if people will not follow what we have in place now.”

Dobbs said cases are increasing in those between the ages of 20 to 29 and in more urban counties of the state, including Hinds County in the Jackson area. He said most cases arose from people attending large gatherings and not following safety recommendations.

“It's very simple. If we can't maintain the simple things — six-feet, a mask and small groups only -- we wouldn't be having this conversation,” Dobbs said. “The virus would actually be petering out on its own. The draconian measures that we had to implement early on are not necessary if people will follow the simple rules.”

The Health Department said Wednesday that Mississippi — with a population of about 3 million — has had at least 27,900 cases and 1,082 deaths from the coronavirus as of Tuesday evening. Nine new deaths were confirmed Wednesday, with four of those deaths occurring between June 18 and June 25 and identified as from death certificates.

The Health Department said at least 2,664 cases of the virus have been confirmed in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, with at least 527 virus-related deaths in those facilities.

The number of coronavirus infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick. For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause severe symptoms and be fatal.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 497790

Reported Deaths: 9917
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34102530
DeSoto31839398
Hinds31837622
Jackson24314377
Rankin21881388
Lee15427234
Madison14525279
Jones13772241
Forrest13412250
Lauderdale11937314
Lowndes10934185
Lamar10470135
Pearl River9431237
Lafayette8454138
Hancock7697126
Washington7365156
Oktibbeha7111129
Monroe6727174
Warren6642176
Pontotoc6609101
Neshoba6606205
Panola6460131
Marshall6386132
Bolivar6266145
Union596094
Pike5784152
Alcorn5633101
Lincoln5417134
George491879
Scott470998
Tippah465381
Prentiss464181
Leflore4627143
Itawamba4596104
Adams4570119
Tate4546109
Copiah445191
Simpson4421116
Wayne438572
Yazoo438586
Covington427394
Marion4216107
Sunflower4215104
Coahoma4115104
Leake407787
Newton380879
Grenada3692108
Stone358464
Tishomingo356391
Attala330289
Jasper328265
Winston313191
Clay306375
Chickasaw296767
Clarke290694
Calhoun277945
Holmes266987
Smith262550
Yalobusha232647
Tallahatchie225251
Walthall217763
Greene215548
Lawrence211140
Perry204755
Amite203954
Webster201645
Noxubee185340
Montgomery179056
Jefferson Davis170642
Carroll167438
Tunica158639
Benton147438
Kemper141241
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131237
Humphreys129038
Franklin119128
Quitman106227
Wilkinson104539
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 813481

Reported Deaths: 15179
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1139971910
Mobile722271323
Madison51970686
Shelby37279341
Baldwin37069540
Tuscaloosa34934599
Montgomery33953725
Lee23142240
Calhoun22142470
Morgan20639372
Etowah19758496
Marshall18245300
Houston17302405
St. Clair15912337
Cullman15306290
Limestone15202198
Elmore15075284
Lauderdale14143294
Talladega13715272
DeKalb12569259
Walker11085366
Blount10094174
Autauga9893146
Jackson9789180
Coffee9182189
Dale8859181
Colbert8789200
Tallapoosa7044195
Escambia6732127
Covington6682179
Chilton6587160
Russell625958
Franklin5930105
Chambers5559142
Marion4955126
Dallas4882199
Clarke472782
Pike4719105
Geneva4564126
Winston4473101
Lawrence4264117
Bibb421686
Barbour355475
Marengo334089
Monroe330262
Randolph327063
Butler324794
Pickens313882
Henry310965
Hale309187
Cherokee299957
Fayette290679
Washington250951
Cleburne246958
Crenshaw243575
Clay240367
Macon230562
Lamar215846
Conecuh185652
Coosa178538
Lowndes173761
Wilcox167438
Bullock151744
Perry138040
Sumter131038
Greene125544
Choctaw86927
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A cold front passing through our area overnight will bring into our area some of the coolest temperatures of the season so far. We will see most of the highs this weekend only in the upper 60s to lower 70s. While overnight lows will drop off down into the 40s Saturday night.
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