JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi State Department of Health discussed the outbreak of COVID-19 in the state Tuesday afternoon.
Dr. Byers and Dr. Dobbs started the press conference stating that the state saw 957 new coronavirus cases and 44 additional deaths, half of those deaths occurring in long-term-care patients.
Dr. Dobbs said that they are now seeing an increase in hospitalizations and an increasing stress on the state health system due to the rising number of cases.
Monday, they reported 624 COVID patients hospitalized in Mississippi, 167 in intensive care and 93 on ventilators. Because of these numbers, Dobbs said that hospitals in certain counties will now begin limiting elective procedures.
Those counties are: Hinds, Rankin, Madison, Forrest, Jones and Washington.
Dobbs called this a ‘fluid situation’ and said additional counties may be added as coronavirus cases continue to spike.
Regarding the coronavirus spread amongst state legislatures and Capitol staff, Dobbs revealed there have been 8 confirmed cases of coronavirus among the legislatures and 11 suspected of having the virus. Those 11, Dobbs said, will likely end up being positive cases.
House Speaker Phillip Gunn and Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann are among those infected.
In all, 270 people on the Capitol grounds were tested. The results of those tests should be revealed in the coming days.
Dr. Dobbs also repeated ways in which people can stay safe from the virus, including the six-feet-of-separation rule and wearing a mask while out in public.
“And also, stay home,” Dobbs said. “Not only don’t go to small groups, but stay home as much as you can. Coronavirus is as worse as it’s been this whole time and we’re seeing a massive number of new cases... Please be safe at this time when we’re seeing so many cases out in the community.”
Dobbs restated, though, that the best way for people to be safe is to not get the virus in the first place. “It’s just dangerous to violate the social distancing rules,” he said.
The health department is currently looking at an incident of teens hanging out on a Lakeland sandbar on Fourth of July weekend.
“We’ve got a bunch of listings of people who were maybe affected from the event,” Dobbs said. “But, again, it’s just not surprising. You can’t put a lot of people together in the middle of the worst pandemic in a century and expect nothing bad to happen. It’s just an absolutely insane thought process.”