SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (WMC) - Despite the risk of contracting COVID-19, millions are hitting the roads and skies to embark on their Thanksgiving travel.
In Mississippi, officials are urging people to keep the celebrations small.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves says his state is in the middle of a second wave of COVID-19.
“This is a critical time,” said Reeves.
According to Reeves, 1,040 people are hospitalized across the state from COVID-19. He said 224 of them are in intensive care units and 107 of them are on ventilators.
“Our hospitalizations will likely continue to rise over the next week to two weeks,” said Reeves.
The governor ordered mask mandates in 41 of 82 counties to slow the spread.
Despite warnings, people are still traveling for Thanksgiving. Reeves is urging people to be smart about Thanksgiving gatherings.
“I’m not going to stand up here and tell you, you can’t do it, because each Mississippian has to make their own decisions. But I will tell you the risk today is greater than any time it has been since August,” said Reeves.
Pastor Bartholomew Orr of Brown Missionary Baptist Church in Southaven has been watching the numbers closely on both sides of the state line.
He said funerals at his church are up 50% this year.
“We’re seeing the numbers peak again in the Mid-South areas, especially in Mississippi, Shelby County,” said Orr.
That’s why he is joining state leaders, preaching safety this Thanksgiving.
His church is handing out Thanksgiving food to families along with the message to practice social distancing.
“We encourage every last one of us, let’s do all that we can in order to flatten the curve,” said Orr.