Officials stress ‘one bad day’ could turn coronavirus outlook

Officials stress ‘one bad day’ could turn coronavirus outlook

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves discussed the state’s pandemic response again Thursday.

Wednesday, he discussed the Safe Return order that will go in effect June 1, allowing all businesses in the state to reopen with precautions in place.

Reeves and top health officials continue to stress the risk the virus, with hundreds of new cases still being reported in Mississippi each day.

Reeves said he doesn’t believe he has the right to force people to stay inside their homes for months upon months, but leaves that decision on Mississippians to mitigate the risk of contracting the virus.

“Every community is one bad weekend from falling off the cliff,” State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs said.

Dobbs says one large gathering or a big party could spike numbers, even in areas with low case numbers. He says each area of the state should be concerned.

In Wayne County where the case count rose sharply in recent days, Dobbs says they’re learning folks were ignoring the guidelines and having large gatherings.

“We have evidence that some of those were points of outbreaks where many many more cases are likely to come,” added Dobbs.

So, we asked Governor Tate Reeves if he’s anxious that folks will feel more comfortable with large gatherings since they are around more and more people at retail stores and out in public.

“If the question is am I feeling a little bit anxious? The answer today is yes and the answer yesterday was yes," said Reeves. "And I’m fairly certain the answer tomorrow is going to be yes. I’ve been anxious since the onset of this virus in doing everything we can to educate Mississippians and make sure that we are making the best decisions to not only protect the lives of our fellow Mississippians but also protect their livelihoods.”

Reeves says it’s also one of the reasons he’s continued to hold the daily briefings.

“Explain in no uncertain terms that the single most important thing in protecting people from this virus is for individuals to exhibit personal responsibility,” he added.

Another specific example of a gathering leading to an outbreak is the Department of Health investigating a funeral and after service gathering of more than 100 people that happened in Northeast Mississippi.

They’re now saying it is the source of a cluster of cases and they expect more may be discovered.

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