Doctor: Mississippi virus indicators go 'unwanted direction'

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs

Mississippi's state health officer says he's troubled by the state's recent rise in COVID-19 cases.

Posted: Oct 13, 2020 9:55 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's state health officer said Monday that he's troubled by the state's recent rise in COVID-19 cases, including a significant increase during the past week of people hospitalized because of the highly contagious coronavirus.

Dr. Thomas Dobbs said six hospitals have no beds available in their intensive care units, and clinics are seeing an increasing number of patients with COVID-19 symptoms.

“All of the indicators are starting to turn in an unwanted direction,” Dobbs said during an online news conference.

Although Republican Gov. Tate Reeves ended his statewide mask mandate Sept. 30, Dobbs said it's important for people to voluntarily do simple things to slow the spread of the virus — wearing masks, keeping social distance of at least 6 feet (1.8 meters) and avoiding large gatherings.

Dobbs said Mississippi's case numbers were “starting to creep up” before health officials expected any impact from the lifting of the mask mandate. He said the lack of a mandate could add to the problem of increasing cases.

“I will say, personally, I've been a little bit disappointed just hearing from churches and businesses that they feel like they are no longer empowered to have their members or visitors wear masks,” Dobbs said.

Cities and counties are allowed to set their own mandates for people to wear masks in public places.

The state health department will start offering rapid coronavirus testing in some counties this week. Dobbs said it should be available next week in the department's other testing sites. Until now, tests done by the department have had results available in days rather than hours.

Dobbs also said that ahead of the Nov. 3 election, the department will hand out free paper masks that include a plastic guard to cover part of the face. Those will be available at testing sites to people who are at least 65 or who have health conditions that could make them more vulnerable to the virus, including diabetes, hypertension and lung disease.

The state health department said Monday that Mississippi, with a population of about 3 million, has reported more than 105,000 cases and at least 3,101 deaths from COVID-19 as of Sunday evening, with an increase of 296 confirmed cases and no deaths from numbers reported the day before.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 292811

Reported Deaths: 6613
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19515228
Hinds18611385
Harrison16431275
Rankin12543261
Jackson12419216
Lee9641160
Madison9378194
Jones7857145
Forrest7094136
Lauderdale6760225
Lowndes5998137
Lamar581180
Lafayette5698113
Washington5135128
Bolivar4580120
Oktibbeha438691
Panola424992
Warren4101113
Pearl River4083128
Pontotoc406668
Marshall398392
Monroe3977126
Union392173
Neshoba3758166
Lincoln3447100
Hancock338673
Leflore3349118
Sunflower316685
Tate299874
Pike298293
Scott291867
Alcorn289660
Itawamba288571
Yazoo283262
Tippah275465
Copiah273957
Coahoma272666
Simpson270778
Prentiss267658
Leake251370
Wayne250540
Marion249878
Covington247178
Grenada244676
Adams232877
George229845
Newton223151
Winston220274
Tishomingo211465
Jasper211244
Attala205969
Chickasaw200550
Holmes181470
Clay177848
Stone171129
Tallahatchie169239
Clarke168271
Calhoun155527
Smith151531
Yalobusha142236
Greene126533
Walthall123340
Noxubee122629
Perry120934
Montgomery120537
Lawrence119021
Carroll117223
Amite110732
Webster109229
Jefferson Davis99931
Tunica98023
Claiborne97329
Benton92524
Humphreys91326
Kemper89422
Quitman76614
Franklin75419
Choctaw69416
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61027
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 490220

Reported Deaths: 9744
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson704661342
Mobile35810721
Madison32203443
Tuscaloosa23961409
Montgomery22417489
Shelby21773211
Baldwin19635272
Lee14883147
Morgan13571248
Etowah13118312
Calhoun13090283
Marshall11212203
Houston10036257
Limestone9321133
Elmore9313179
Cullman8864177
St. Clair8771220
Lauderdale8570210
DeKalb8419173
Talladega7450162
Walker6492249
Jackson6466102
Autauga617285
Blount6072125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5229100
Dale4614106
Russell401431
Franklin397675
Covington3948105
Chilton383196
Escambia376670
Tallapoosa3559139
Clarke342749
Dallas3396140
Chambers3393103
Pike292771
Lawrence281284
Marion280793
Winston245665
Bibb243759
Marengo238554
Geneva238468
Pickens223554
Barbour209550
Hale208464
Fayette199356
Butler195165
Henry182341
Cherokee176338
Monroe165638
Randolph162740
Washington156233
Crenshaw143353
Clay143254
Macon140543
Cleburne136539
Lamar131632
Lowndes130148
Wilcox120825
Bullock116534
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98231
Coosa86823
Greene86732
Choctaw54723
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