Governor Tate Reeves launched new COVID-19 initiatives to ensure the health and well-being of students and teachers as they return to school.
Understanding the concern of many as schools reopen across our state, Governor Reeves is expanding COVID-19 testing for all Mississippi teachers, even for those without symptoms, and emergency telehealth coverage through the Mississippi Division of Medicaid (DOM) to include schools.
“Today, as we work to ensure that children can achieve some quality learning in the state of Mississippi, we are announcing two measures to increase access to health care and COVID-19 prevention in schools. First, we are expanding school-based emergency telehealth coverage throughout the state of Mississippi,” said Governor Tate Reeves at today’s press briefing. “This will allow schools, even those without school nurses or school-based clinics, to access telehealth services. We also know that testing can allow us to prevent the spread of the virus by immediately identifying and isolating known cases. As teachers return to the classroom, we want to make it simple for them to get access to testing.”
Friday, the Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag selected nine designs to advance to the next round (pending clearance of intellectual property rights).
The nine flags and a nonbinding public poll have been placed on the MDAH website. You can vote for your preferred design here: https://www.mdah.ms.gov/flagpoll.
At the time of this reporting, over 73,000 have voted in the public poll. Option 9, or the Great River Flag, is leading the public poll with 26%, or just over 19,000 votes. Currently in second place is Option 7 at 22%, or some 16,000 votes. Option 3 has nearly 12,000 votes, or 16%.
Let Mississippi Vote held a press conference Monday at the Mississippi State Capitol announcing the filing of a ballot initiative on the state flag.
The initiative proposes placing 4 flags on the ballot – the 1894 flag that was recently removed, the bicentennial flag with the state seal, the choice presented by the Flag Commission, and the Stennis, or Hospitality, Flag.
The group will need to collect at least 106,000 signatures from registered voters.
“Well, I haven’t seen that particular data,” the Governor responded, adding, “but what I can tell you is in our state, we peaked with a seven day average of one 1,391 cases on July 29. As of yesterday, we had brought that number down considerably to 728 cases per the state of Mississippi for a seven day trailing average. And so we’ve actually almost cut the total number of cases on a daily basis in half just over the last two and a half weeks. And what that shows us is our mitigation measures are working.”…
…In Mississippi, both Governor Reeves and State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs have encouraged citizens with symptoms to get tested. As such, the State Department of Health has reported that 536,310 tests have been given with 72,136, or 13.45%, have been positive since the beginning of this pandemic. It is also reported that 2,084 deaths have been reported as a result of COVID-19. That is 2.89% of positive confirmed cases, or to frame it a another way, 97.11% of confirmed patients with COVID-19 have survived to date in Mississippi.
MSDH reports lowest new cases in weeks
Today MSDH is reporting 276 more cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, 11 deaths, and 174 active outbreaks in long-term care facilities. The total of #covid19 cases for the year is now 72,412, with 2,095 deaths. Case details and prevention guidance at https://t.co/QP8mlJ41AN pic.twitter.com/buhmgKZZoo
— MS Dept of Health (@msdh) August 17, 2020
Despite being a member of the Senate that supports the current formula for dispensing GOMESA money, DeLano said he wants to make sure that money is going to worthy projects.
“I want to make sure that all of the dollars that we’re spending to enhance the water quality of South Mississippi is actually spent in those matters and with that primary function in mind,” Delano said in an interview last week. “We just want to make sure that there is a credible plan that is in place to make sure that the dollars that are spent are going to be done based on sound science and a strategic plan, a credible strategic plan.”
There were 89 applications for the state’s 2020 GOMESA funds.
Those projects have been studied by multiple state agencies and sent to a review committee. That committee will send a list of recommendations to the governor in September.
America’s schools should be SAFE places for students. I'm reminded of this as Mississippi students go back to school today (or already have). Let’s be clear: The coronavirus pandemic puts students, teachers, and staff in danger.
Mississippi schools should not be open right now.
— Mike Espy (@MikeEspyMS) August 17, 2020
WJTV – Mississippians to take part in DNC on Monday
Secretary of State Michael Watson says other states that are planning to vote completely by mail had time to prepare.
“Washington, for instance, took five years to implement their vote-by-mail election,” Watson said. “So when people say, ‘Hey look, we got to jump to it and issue vote by mail by November,’ logistically, it would be impossible.”
In these states, registered voters will be mailed a ballot without having to request one. Watson describes why Mississippi isn’t ready to take that step.
“I talked to the Secretary of State in Washington and she said, ‘Michael, look, if you’re not at 60% or more already vote by mail, it would be impossible to get there by November.’ Mississippi is at about 3.5%, so we’re just one of those states that couldn’t get it done,” Watson said.
YP – MS Veterans Cemetery receives $3.6M grant
Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Newton Receives $3.6 million Grant for Expansionhttps://t.co/BvkEhk1zsX
— Yall Politics (@MSyallpolitics) August 17, 2020
Carroll County retired the former state flag with its Confederate emblem after the Mississippi Legislature voted to do so in July, but the county still continues to fly a Confederate flag on the grounds of the courthouse in Carrollton.
Supervisors’ President Rickie Corley said Monday the Confederate flag is flown at the Confederate monument. He said the Confederate flag has been there for as long as he can remember. The Confederate monument, with a sculpture of a Confederate soldier atop, was dedicated Dec. 1, 1905, according to Smithsonian Institution records.
Corley said the county has no plans to remove the Confederate flag.