Governor Reeves, Dr. Dobbs, and Executive Director McCraney will provide an update on Mississippi’s response to COVID-19.

Governor Reeves addressed the current state of the pandemic in Mississippi and what officials and hospitals are doing to combat the reality of the skyrocketing numbers.

During last weeks press conference, Reeves was asked seven times why he would not initiate a statewide mask mandate. He continued along his rhetoric that it is up to the individual, business or school to make those decisions.

Currently numbers show that 89% of hospitalizations are individuals who are not vaccinated and 87% of all COVID deaths have been among the unvaccinated. Roughly 150 hospitalizations have been among vaccinated individuals.

Reeves said thus far 1.35 million Mississippians have been vaccinated. Last week alone over 71,000 vaccination doses were given and so far over 40,000 have been reported this week and Dr. Dobbs said they expect it that total to be much higher due to a lag in reporting.

Currently the MSDH and MEMA are working together to address staffing issues in 57 hospitals across the state. Director McCraney said they anticipate many of those new staffers to begin work by Monday of next week.

He said those requests total 1,100 employees. Once those spots are filled it will allow for 689 hospital beds to be manned and 212 ICU beds.

Dr. Dobbs focused on the current monoclonal antibody treatment that is being utilized in 179 clinics or hospitals across the state. He said it has been instrumental in fighting COVID-19 and recommends anyone who tests positive for COVID contact their doctor for that treatment.

He said there is now a hotline set up in which you can call and schedule a time to receive the infusion which is: 1-877-978-6453. 

“If you get covid we want you to talk to your doctor about this treatment,” said Dobbs.

Officials still say it is unclear if the mortality rate of the Delta variant is as high as the original strain of covid Mississippi experienced.

“We are in about week four or five of this wave and really the last 10 days has been the primary increase of cases. We just don’t know. There is not enough data yet to verify it either way,” said Reeves.

However, he added that it is clear Delta is much more contagious than the previous strains of Covid. Dr. Dobbs also indicated that Mississippi could be on the front end of what the U.S. could see nationally when it comes to Delta.