April 25: Day After 'Safer at Home' Order, 284 new COVID-19 Cases, 12 Deaths | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

April 25: Day After 'Safer at Home' Order, 284 new COVID-19 Cases, 12 Deaths

Mississippi added 284 new cases of COVID-19 to its tally for the time period ending Friday, April 24, at 6:00 p.m.

Mississippi added 284 new cases of COVID-19 to its tally for the time period ending Friday, April 24, at 6:00 p.m.

One day after Gov. Tate Reeves signed his "safer-at-home" executive order designed to reopen some non-essential businesses, the state added another 284 cases of COVID-19 to Mississippi State Department of Health's official tally.

The past week has seen the highest daily numbers on both counts—cases and deaths—with an average of 250 new cases reported over the past seven days, a number higher than in previous weeks, with overall cases accelerating slightly, not flattening.

It took more than four weeks for the number of cases, which MSDH started reporting March 11, to pass 3,000. That happened on April 14. Four days later, the total number was nearly 4,000, five days after that it passed 5,150. That was the report two days ago, on March 23.

As of today, Saturday, April 25, the total number of cases is just over 5,700, or up more than 550 cases in two days. If the numbers stay near the average of the past week, the total should be very close to 6,000 on Sunday, which will have been roughly four days after passing 5,000.

Reeves said Monday that he believes this week represents a "plateau" of cases and deaths. That suggests they would remain high for a while and then begin to come down.

If the cases are on a plateau, then the raw numbers do not suggest Mississippi has reached the downslope as of yet. Reeves seems to be betting on that curve flattening before the numbers MSDH reports actually show it, as his April 24 "safer-at-home" order begins to open retail and other non-essential businesses on Monday.

While gyms, theaters, amusement parks, museum and personal-care services (such as salons, barbershops, massage and tattoo parlors) remain closed, other retailers may now open if they maintain "50 percent" of their capacity. Reeves suggested they make hand sanitizer available to patrons as they enter.

Reeves' order is not as aggressive as Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's order, which opened salons, bowling alleys and many other non-essential businesses on Friday. Even Donald Trump criticized Kemp's order as too aggressive, despite also encouraging protests against COVID-19 restrictions in states with Democratic governors.

In his Facebook live stream on Friday, Gov. Reeves justified the re-opening by saying Mississippi small businesses were "unfairly" shouldering the economic burden of COVID-19.

"Wall Street and Hollywood will be fine. Mississippi small businesses and workers are not," he said. "That’s who has been asked to shoulder the country’s burden. It’s not fair, and it’s not right. We are starting to re-open our economy. It’s not a light switch that only goes on and off. It’s a dimmer. We can take measured steps to make life better."

Read the JFP’s coverage of COVID-19 at jacksonfreepress.com/covid19. Get more details on preventive measures here. Read about announced closings and delays in Mississippi here. Read MEMA’s advice for a COVID-19 preparedness kit here.

Email information about closings and other vital related logistical details to [email protected].

Email state reporter Nick Judin, who is covering COVID-19 in Mississippi, at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @nickjudin. Seyma Bayram is covering the outbreak inside the capital city and in the criminal-justice system. Email her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @seymabayram0.

Correction: This story originally said today is March 25; it's April 25th. This was an error by the writer.

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