Mississippi is nearing its single-day high in COVID-19 positive tests.
Mississippians learned today that 914 new people tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, the second-highest day since the State Department of Health began reporting numbers in April. More than 1,100 Mississippians have died from COVID-19-related illnesses in that same time period.
MSDH reported that 603 patients with confirmed COVID-19 are in hospitals, with 165 in intensive care, both numbers at the highest end of the past month's reporting.
On Thursday, the chief medical officer of the state, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, tweeted a chart showing a steady increase in hospitalizations over the past week. "Please be safe July 4 weekend! Recommend celebrating with household members ONLY! Please avoid parties, gatherings. Things are getting worse very quickly," he tweeted.
Read breaking coverage of COVID-19 in Mississippi, plus safety tips, cancellations, more in the JFP's archive.
Hinds, Rankin and Madison counties all appear on the "High Case over 1 Week" list for June 22-28, 2020, with Hinds County also appearing on the "High Incidence over 1 Week" list, meaning that even its per-capita rate was high last week. Overall, 4,537 residents of the tri-county area have tested positive for COVID-19 since counting began.
On Thursday, Gov. Tate Reeves announced that he was "pausing" the reopening of the state, while Dr. Dobbs said most cases arose from people attending large gatherings and not following safety recommendations.
“It's very simple. If we can't maintain the simple things—6 feet, a mask and small groups only—we wouldn't be having this conversation,” Dobbs said. “The virus would actually be petering out on its own. The draconian measures that we had to implement early on are not necessary if people will follow the simple rules.”
On Tuesday, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba signed an amended "stay at home" order that requires face masks in commercial buildings and outdoors when 6 feet of social distancing isn't possible.
Read the JFP’s coverage of COVID-19 at jacksonfreepress.com/covid19. Get more details on preventive measures here. Email state intern Julian Mills at [email protected].