STATEWIDE – It’s ‘back to school’ time in 2020, and that means one thing: new coronavirus cases on campuses across the state.
At Governor Tate Reeves’ press conference on Monday, state Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs announced that 22 different schools reported coronavirus cases in the first week of reopening. Of the 34 new COVID-19 cases reported in schools, Dobbs said nineteen were among students, while the other fifteen were employees.
Reeves also reported that Mississippi’s COVID-19 cases peaked on July 30 at 1,361 cases. He said there has been a 30% average drop in new cases during a seven-day rolling period.
The Governor went on to explain that while the current numbers are down, they could easily go back up unless Mississippians continue to follow prevention guidelines.
“I know there’s been a lot of conversation, a lot of talk and a lot of discussion, […] I want you to know something, and I wanted to be very, very clear. Your efforts are working”, Reeves said. “What you are doing back home is making a tremendous difference. Now is the time for us to continue. Now is the time for us to push the gas pedal even harder.”
Reeves encouraged Mississippians to be diligent, and said the state is at a pivotal moment in fighting the virus. Although a statewide mask mandate remains in place, Reeves also said he hopes to see more people wearing masks, socially distancing, and staying home as the state – one of the worst hit in America – recovers from the damage already wrought by COVID-19.
“ I wanted to bring you, as I have every single day of this pandemic, the truth”, the Governor said, “and the truth is: what we’re doing is working. But the truth is also that we cannot stop now. We cannot let our guard down.”
Dobbs said the COVID-19 crisis won’t be over until there is a vaccine, with Reeves adding that, even then, Mississippi will have precautions in place.