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.

Confirmed Cases: 64400

Reported Deaths: 1825
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5416112
DeSoto347227
Madison236360
Harrison228735
Rankin220231
Jackson215641
Jones182857
Forrest170155
Washington154835
Lauderdale137990
Lee129732
Neshoba126490
Lamar117713
Oktibbeha107737
Lowndes102333
Bolivar101032
Warren99531
Scott97820
Panola96012
Sunflower94223
Copiah92928
Lafayette90714
Leflore88261
Pike86133
Holmes85948
Grenada81921
Yazoo80312
Lincoln78741
Pontotoc7808
Leake77625
Simpson76730
Wayne74921
Monroe73151
Coahoma68410
Tate68327
Marion63419
Marshall6169
Covington60313
Adams59625
Winston59315
Union55215
George5454
Newton53011
Pearl River51537
Tallahatchie51210
Attala51024
Walthall48219
Chickasaw43819
Noxubee43811
Claiborne39913
Calhoun3929
Smith38913
Clay38014
Jasper3799
Alcorn3775
Prentiss3699
Hancock34914
Tishomingo3445
Itawamba32310
Clarke32225
Tippah32013
Tunica3076
Yalobusha30410
Lawrence3027
Montgomery3023
Humphreys28111
Carroll24811
Quitman2381
Greene23011
Kemper22715
Jefferson Davis2256
Perry2207
Amite2176
Webster21112
Jefferson1936
Wilkinson19313
Sharkey1913
Stone1603
Choctaw1294
Benton1280
Franklin1152
Issaquena241
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 91776

Reported Deaths: 1639
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12186230
Mobile9269204
Montgomery6350148
Madison512227
Tuscaloosa400269
Baldwin332223
Shelby311932
Marshall300134
Unassigned287856
Lee255442
Morgan227015
Etowah196728
DeKalb172113
Elmore163337
Calhoun162713
Walker147964
Houston133412
Dallas129823
Russell12672
St. Clair125214
Limestone122713
Franklin121520
Cullman117112
Colbert112213
Lauderdale111113
Autauga103021
Escambia98115
Talladega94613
Jackson8904
Chambers83238
Tallapoosa82778
Dale79823
Butler75435
Blount7453
Chilton7386
Coffee7255
Covington71620
Pike6727
Barbour5645
Lowndes56124
Marion54724
Marengo52914
Clarke4919
Hale45926
Bullock44411
Winston43511
Perry4324
Wilcox41110
Monroe3964
Randolph39210
Bibb3844
Pickens3769
Conecuh37310
Sumter36018
Lawrence3251
Macon31613
Washington31512
Crenshaw3073
Choctaw27612
Cherokee2497
Greene24711
Henry2473
Geneva2430
Clay2255
Lamar2052
Fayette1785
Cleburne1211
Coosa952
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