In today’s press conference Governor Tate Reeves announces additional measures going into effect in 13 counties.

“The virus is deadly, it is spreading. Our experts believe we are experiencing a more dangerous strain in our state. They believe the virus is mutating and may be getting more dangerous,” said Reeves.

The counties in question are:

  • Claiborne
  • De Soto
  • Grenada
  • Harrison
  • Hinds
  • Jackson
  • Jefferson
  • Madison
  • Quitman
  • Rankin
  • Sunflower
  • Washington
  • Wayne

Reeves tells Mississippians that at this time it is important to wear a mask to protect yourself and others. He said doing so can help prevent another large scale shut down of businesses across the state.

“Every smart move you make every sacrifice you make, every little action you take, the end result you are helping to safe lives,” said Reeves. “I believe in my heart we can do this, I also believe in my heart we have to do this.”

He said that at this time, by wearing a mask you can protect yourself and protect others. When combined with socially distancing and other measures, Reeves said it could make a real difference.

“What we’ve got to do now as a state and a people, we’ve got to get back into that mentality where we slowed the spread in April and May,” said Reeves. “If we don’t and continue on that trajectory we will be in a scenario like what you saw in New York where you saw a huge spike and people were not able to get the quality of care that they needed.”

While there are currently only 13 counties within the recent order, Reeves said he and Dobbs are looking into a few more that are beginning to meet the criteria.

Dr. Dobbs with the MSDH said there are currently 1,020 hospitalized cases for COVID-19 with over 758 currently in ICU.

Reeves addressed the idea of “herd immunity.” He said experts estimate that over 80 percent of Mississippians would have to have contracted the virus in order to develop herd immunity. Reeves used the example of only 40 percent contracting the virus, that would be 1.2 million Mississippians. He added that using this strategy would greatly overwhelm the healthcare system and lead to more deaths.

“We still prioritize our PPE pushes to Tear 1 and Tear 3 entities,” said Director of MEMA, Greg Michel. He added that there was currently no concern on PPE or a lack of it.