Mississippi completes its reopening strategy today, with no sign of COVID-19 abatement. Photo courtesy MSDH
Today, Mississippi looks to emerge from its months of protective orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19, in spite of last week’s all-time high reports of new infections.
Today marks the “final stage” in Gov. Tate Reeves’ order to reopen the state. All businesses may now open, and the state’s schools may proceed with summer programs. Travel is unrestricted, but Reeves’ order emphasizes “minimizing non-essential business travel when possible.” Businesses and summer programs must also still observe “strict social distancing guidelines & sanitation guidelines,” the order states.
Gatherings are categorized based on whether social distancing can realistically take place. With distancing, 50 people may gather indoors and 100 outdoors. If social distancing is not possible, 20 people may gather indoors and 50 outdoors.
This morning, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 251 new cases of COVID-19 from Sunday, May 31, following 272 from Saturday. With a seven-day rolling average of 328, current case tracking showed the highest peaks and averages in the crisis thus far, culminating in Friday’s 439 new cases.
Hospitalization data from the weekend are difficult to gauge. MSDH’s graphs show that an unspecified number of data points are “provisional.” MSDH reports 136 long-term care facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks. As of May 28, the Jackson Free Press has formally requested the entire list of facilities affected by coronavirus and awaits a response from the state health agency. The MSDH reported that 108 COVID-19 patients were on ventilators on Saturday, again a high mark for the crisis.
MSDH reported that five Mississippians lost their lives as a result of COVID-19 complications yesterday. The day before brought 11 new fatalities due to the virus. This brings the total case count to 15,752, with 739 deaths, as of 6 p.m. Sunday, May 31.
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].