Mississippi top doc: COVID 'solution is not to get infected'

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs during the June 18, 2020 coronavirus briefing.

Mississippi is hiring more people to investigate the spread of COVID-19, but cases are expanding rapidly in the state and the work is outpacing the number of employees.

Posted: Jul 18, 2020 7:34 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi is hiring more people to investigate the spread of COVID-19, but cases are expanding rapidly in the state and the work is outpacing the number of employees.

The state health officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, is imploring the public to take precautions against the pandemic. Resources such as hospital beds, personal protective equipment and coronavirus tests can be exhausted.

“The solution is not to get infected,” Dobbs said Friday during a news conference with Gov. Tate Reeves.

The pathway to avoid infection is to wear masks, stay at least 6 feet (1.8 meters) apart from other people and avoid groups, the physician said.

“Forgive my frustration that everybody wants the magic bullet of the contact tracing or the testing or the vaccine when the solution is just plainly obvious, in front of us for everyone to see," Dobbs said. "And I’m baffled that the simplest of solutions is the one that we refuse to broadly adopt.”

At the beginning of the pandemic during the spring, Mississippi had about 200 contact tracers. They communicate with people who test positive for a particular disease to find out who they've been near; the tracers then reach out to those others and suggest they get tested or take steps such as isolating themselves while they could be contagious.

Dobbs said the department now has about 240 contact tracers and is in the process of hiring about 100 more. In addition, another state agency is having its employees pitch in on the work.

Mississippi has a population of about 3 million. The Health Department said Saturday that the state has had at least 41,836 confirmed cases and at least 1,346 deaths from the coronavirus as of Friday evening. That was an increase of 1,017 cases and 14 deaths from numbers reported the day before.

At least 3,142 cases of the virus have been confirmed in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, with at least 647 virus-related deaths in those facilities, the department said.

The true number of virus infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick. While most people who contract the coronavirus recover after suffering only mild to moderate symptoms, it can be deadly for older patients and those with other health problems.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 844594

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1160612006
Mobile741651379
Madison53255732
Shelby38313368
Baldwin38061589
Tuscaloosa35996641
Montgomery34473781
Lee25541263
Calhoun22582518
Morgan22441406
Etowah20009517
Marshall18771316
Houston17723425
St. Clair16863358
Limestone16123218
Cullman16032303
Elmore15902294
Lauderdale14945306
Talladega14186299
DeKalb12957269
Walker12011380
Blount10700192
Autauga10512157
Jackson10151194
Coffee9412192
Colbert9325208
Dale9013191
Tallapoosa7248201
Russell707465
Chilton7015170
Escambia6951143
Covington6926195
Franklin6337108
Chambers5778142
Marion5400130
Dallas5283209
Pike5114109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4777110
Geneva4640136
Bibb434094
Barbour369180
Butler3433100
Marengo342393
Monroe336666
Randolph334067
Pickens333188
Fayette329885
Henry320566
Hale317989
Cherokee316963
Crenshaw260477
Washington256952
Cleburne254360
Lamar251253
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192762
Coosa184647
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152545
Perry141840
Sumter139041
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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High pressure will continue to dominate our weather forecast for our Saturday. This will keep us filled with plenty of sunshine in our weather forecast for our Saturday.
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