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: 70930

Reported Deaths: 2043
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5852126
DeSoto383233
Harrison271036
Madison252172
Jackson243047
Rankin238241
Jones196562
Forrest188957
Washington177146
Lee165742
Lauderdale148196
Neshoba132095
Lamar126518
Bolivar118940
Warren116637
Oktibbeha115739
Lowndes112140
Panola110818
Sunflower110128
Lafayette104321
Scott102521
Copiah98029
Leflore97169
Pike96638
Holmes93850
Yazoo88214
Pontotoc8769
Grenada86326
Lincoln86244
Monroe85855
Simpson84232
Leake81127
Coahoma81013
Wayne80521
Tate76030
Marshall75710
Union75017
Marion69821
Adams65528
Covington65015
Winston64417
George6269
Pearl River58440
Newton57512
Tallahatchie56311
Attala54425
Walthall52122
Chickasaw50219
Prentiss47510
Noxubee47212
Tishomingo4639
Alcorn4475
Calhoun4309
Tippah42614
Hancock41915
Smith41913
Jasper41610
Itawamba41410
Claiborne41114
Clay41114
Tunica3708
Clarke35928
Montgomery3558
Lawrence3408
Yalobusha32010
Humphreys30912
Quitman2751
Greene26713
Carroll26411
Webster25413
Jefferson Davis2526
Perry2518
Kemper24614
Amite2446
Stone2356
Wilkinson23114
Sharkey2147
Jefferson1978
Benton1591
Franklin1422
Choctaw1384
Issaquena272
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 102196

Reported Deaths: 1825
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13682262
Mobile10836223
Montgomery7009153
Madison558135
Tuscaloosa437880
Unassigned411368
Baldwin379129
Shelby341437
Marshall321438
Lee273547
Morgan245720
Etowah221934
DeKalb187014
Calhoun186719
Elmore178939
Walker158466
Houston149313
Limestone140713
Russell13982
St. Clair138820
Dallas134925
Franklin131522
Cullman125212
Colbert124318
Lauderdale121920
Autauga119622
Talladega110314
Escambia109917
Jackson10914
Tallapoosa88379
Dale86329
Chambers85238
Blount8485
Chilton8439
Clarke83010
Coffee7926
Butler77936
Covington76321
Pike7187
Marion59426
Barbour5906
Marengo57817
Lowndes57624
Bullock49411
Hale49026
Bibb4655
Washington46113
Winston45911
Perry4524
Wilcox44510
Monroe4276
Pickens42010
Randolph40511
Conecuh39810
Sumter37119
Lawrence3643
Macon34415
Crenshaw3398
Cherokee2938
Choctaw29212
Clay2785
Geneva2742
Henry2733
Greene25611
Lamar2372
Fayette2345
Cleburne1311
Coosa1063
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