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Top Miss. health officials debunk COVID-19 rumors

Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs and State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers disputed some rumors regarding the virus.
Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs and State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers disputed some rumors regarding the virus.(WLBT)
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 2:22 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi’s top health officials separated fact from fiction regarding COVID-19.

More than 500 new cases were reported by the Mississippi Department of Health Tuesday, with more than 90,000 cases in the state since March.

Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs and State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers disputed some rumors regarding the virus, like masks being ineffective and hospitals getting more money for reporting more cases.

Byers, when asked about a vaccine, said MSDH will not recommend a vaccine until they are confident that it is safe. He said there will be a number of vaccines that will appear as work continues on one, but they will only recommend a vaccine that has been tested thoroughly.

Dobbs said people do not need to test negative before returning to work. He said if someone tests positive and isolates for 10 days, they will no longer be contagious but will likely continue testing positive, possibly for months afterward.

Dobbs was asked about the issue of children trick-or-treating for Halloween and said he did not have a definitive answer. He acknowledged going outdoors is best, but was concerned about the ‘candy transaction’ from hand-to-hand. But he said state health officials will discuss Halloween further after weighing the options.

When asked about masks, Byers also did not have a definitive answer on when it will be safe to go about life without masks. He says its likely to be a while before it’s O.K. to go without masks again.

Copyright 2020 WLBT. All rights reserved.

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