Reeves: Mississippi State Fair allowed under current order

Gov. Reeves addresses the media
Gov. Reeves addresses the media(WTOK)
Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 2:43 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WTOK) - Gov. Tate Reeves gave an update on efforts to combat coronavirus in Mississippi.

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs reported 497 new cases Friday, with the total number from the beginning of the pandemic at 92,432. There are 12 new deaths reported, with the total at 2,792.

“We have moderation in cases and declining deaths,” said Dobbs, continuing to encourage the wearing of masks and social distancing and urging that gatherings be outdoors.

Dobbs noted CMS has made changes to nursing home visitation guidelines. It will allow for residents to have short visits with family and friends.

Reporters asked about the advisability of allowing the Mississippi State Fair to be held, being that it will involve a large number of people.

Reeves said hours and hours have gone into the planning of the fair. He noted it will not be exactly like it was in the past. For instance, rides will be further apart and people standing in line will be expected to stay at least 6 feet apart.

The governor said he does not anticipate amending his executive order for the fair because he doesn’t classify it as a social gathering.

“I think it’s more a business operation than a social gathering,” Reeves said. “The revenues help fund the fairgrounds.”

Dobbs said people will be screened going in, masks required and monitors will be on duty to watch that safety is observed. He advised older people who may be vulnerable to not go, but said “we have to live a little”.

U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson also joined the governor to talk about the need to have pumps present in the Delta area to assist farmers affected by flood waters. Gipson said planting in 2019 was prevented from happening because of Mississippi River flooding.

Emergency management director, Greg Michel, noted that 20 inches of rain fell there in December 2018 and flooding remained January through July 2019. He said it was months before the state could do damage assessments. Michel agreed the pumps would have prevented that loss.

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