Governor Tate Reeves discusses the dangers of isolation during social distancing and what you can do to help your fellow Mississippi’s who might be alone during this time.
Governor Reeves expressed concern at the beginning of the press conference for individuals who may become isolated during the time of social distancing and the shelter-in-place order.
He urged Mississippians to be willing to reach out to people they know whether they be family, friends, coworkers or neighbors and offer support. He said that can come in many ways from a phone call to offering to pick up groceries for someone who may be at a higher risk to contract the illness.
“I know that these are challenging times but I also know we can stick together and if we as a state can stick together for the next several weeks and flatten our curve, lessen the impact on our healthcare system then we can come out of this,” said Reeves.
Reeves also announced a new website launched by MEMA for Mississippi business to offer their resources for those in need.
“We’ve already seen so many step up. Stepping up to make masks, hand sanitizer and even ventilators,” said Reeves. He added that many resources that have come during the need have been from private businesses.
Director Michel of MEMA, said that companies can register on the website and explain what services they can provide. They will then be entered into a database in the event that those resources are needed, they are already a certified vendor for the state of Mississippi.
This website will be accessible even after COVID-19 has subsided. Michel said the effort was begun prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be utilized even after it is over.
Dr. Byers with the Mississippi State Health Department reported that an additional 177 cases were reported with another 8 deaths. That is close to 2,000 cases in the state.
“This is a point in time when we all need to remember the things we can do to protect those who are most vulnerable,” said Byers. He adde that the age group most greatly impacted is 65 and older.
He said the MSDH has also seen data that indicates there are racial disparities in cases and deaths. Right now about 50 percent of cases are in African Americans and more than 50 percent of deaths are in African Americans. Byers said in those deaths there is an underlying chronic illness.
Byers said when you think about the things you can do as Mississippians, if you do get tested that is the time that you need to start isolating.
“Don’t wait for the test results. If you’ve been tested don’t wait to home isolate after the results,” said Byers. He said even if the test is negative, please stay home until your symptoms are gone.
As of now, it is required that all testing public and private be reported to the CDC. Right now, Mississippi is reporting over 20,000 people having been tested for the virus and just under 2,000 have been confirmed positive.
“Our testing has been a shining light in Mississippi compared to other places,” said Reeves.
In the event that hospitals are overwhelmed with patients, Reeves said there are facilities like Camp Shelby being prepared to take in individuals. He said first and foremost the primary healthcare facility will be utilized but if they need care they can be transferred.