Governor Tate Reeves held a press conference on Tuesday to update the public on what the state is doing to combat COVID-19 as numbers continue to stay high in the state.

Governor Reeves added 19 more counties to the list of those who have more restrictions and are under a mask mandate. Now, 41 of Mississippi’s 82 counties are under a mask mandate.

Those additional counties are: Alcorn, Attala, Bolivar, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lafayette, Lawrence, Lincoln, Lowndes, Neshoba, Panola, Perry, Prentiss, Stone, Tippah, Tishomingo, and Union. As of now 41 of Mississippi’s 82 counties are included within this order.

“As we go into Thanksgiving, please be extra cautious and look out for your loved ones. These are critical times,” Governor Reeves said. “There is much more COVID-19 around us, and therefore a greater risk that you pass the virus to someone that you love dearly.”

A copy of the executive order can be found here.

He said that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will potentially be available to the public by mid-December. They will be a two-part vaccine that will be taken roughly three weeks apart. He said the distribution of the vaccine will be a decision made by the Department of Health, executive leadership and the Federal Government.

“This is a multi-dose vaccine and it will require a little bit of time to get a large number of Mississippians that particular medicine,” said Reeves. “I know that I can’t wait to have access to it and I will be excited as soon as the trials are completed and the safety measures are completed.”

Reeves said there is a “light at the end of the tunnel.” However, it still won’t be tomorrow. He encouraged Mississippians to take precautions, wear their mask and keep others around them safe.

Dobbs said cases stand at over 144,000 for the state of Mississippi with deaths at over 3,700 deaths. He said the death rate is an increase of 18% for Mississippi’s typical deaths yearly.

While numbers are rising among children and young adults, death rates are not rampant within those groups. However, Dobbs cautioned individuals going into the holidays because it puts those over 65 at more risk.

“It’s extremely important for everyone to realize that you don’t have to be feeling symptoms of coronavirus to spread it,” said Dobbs. He said if you have any symptoms at all, even if you think it’s something simple like sinus issues, to avoid mixing with others.

He recommended doing any social gatherings outdoors and small.

Dobbs mentioned some therapies that have been administered to just under 100 Mississippians as an antibody agent.

“If you are diagnosed with Coronavirus you are legally obligated to isolate,” said Dobbs. “We added to this that if you are the caretaker or live in the household of someone who has been diagnosed with Coronavirus, you have to quarantine.”