Gov. Reeves: Personal responsibility key in reopening

Published: May. 28, 2020 at 12:45 PM CDT
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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves and state officials updated the public on the state's efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says he talked with leaders in Wayne County Thursday about an escalation of COVID-19 cases there since May 18. Dobbs says the rapid increase is traced to people participating in large social gatherings.

Dobbs said he will have a conference call with the clergy in Wayne County later Thursday. He implored people there to practice social distancing and to wear masks.

Gov. Reeves indicated Wayne County could be added to a list of counties labeled as hotspots for the virus. He said he intends to address that Friday.

Dobbs also said testing at Mississippi's long-term care facilities has reached the 2-thirds mark and he hopes to complete that very soon. The testing includes patients and staff at LTC facilities.

The governor again stressed the importance of citizens staying watchful and practicing personal responsibility to protect yourself and others.

The Mississippi State Department of Health issued more information Thursday about a cluster of COVID-19 infections related to funeral in northeast Mississippi.

The funeral and after-service gathering were held on May 17, in the city of Baldwyn and were attended by approximately 100 people.

To date, at least 7 COVID-19 cases in Mississippi and at least two cases in out-of-state residents have been identified in individuals who attended the event. Several other potential cases are under investigation.

Individuals who attended the graveside service May 17 at 1 p.m. and the after-service gathering from 2-6:30 p.m. are advised to monitor for symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath.)

If symptoms develop, they should immediately isolate themselves and contact their healthcare provider.

MSDH says gatherings of individuals, including funerals, weddings or other events, pose a risk of spreading the virus if appropriate precautions are not in place. Cloth masks and social distancing of 6 feet or greater are recommended in public settings, especially in group settings, and gatherings should be limited to groups of 20 outdoors and groups of 10 indoors.

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