Gov. Reeves says spike in COVID-19 cases Wednesday does not fit state’s downward trend

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File photo(Rogelio V. Solis | AP)
Updated: Aug. 19, 2020 at 3:30 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Gov. Tate Reeves updated the public on the state’s COVID-19 response after the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 1,348 new cases and 36 new deaths Wednesday.

“We saw numbers today that do not fit the downward trend of COVID-19 cases and it is a reminder that nothing is inevitable,” Gov. Reeves said. “Our actions, as a people, dictate the results.”

The governor said he is a “numbers guy” not a “narrative guy.” He said he will tell Mississippians when the numbers are good and when the numbers are bad. “The numbers had been very, very good. Today, they’re not so good. In fact, they’re bad.”

He said that this is just one day, but that it is important to notice it. He asks the public to continue to do the things that “we know have an impact. Masks work. The numbers from the last few weeks bare that out.”

Reeves stated that the 7-day average of cases, as of Tuesday, was around 700 and that Wednesdays are typically larger in cases than other days.

Dr. Dobbs echoed this, saying that the 1,300 cases Wednesday were “a considerable increase” than what the state saw earlier in the week, but reminded the public that there is lag in reporting after the weekends and a reset in the middle of the week.

Over 2,000 Mississippians have now died of COVID-19 complications with 31 new deaths being reported Wednesday.

“We have 31 new deaths in Mississippians. We need to realize that these are people who did not have to die, these are people who otherwise would be with us today,” Dobbs said. “Most of the people who are dying today in Mississippi are not in nursing homes. They are people who live in the community, they are contracting COVID, they are getting sick and they’re dying.”

Dobbs said they have reported 84 additional teachers and 132 students who have been diagnosed with coronavirus. 1,970 total students in the state of Mississippi were quarantined last week.

He warned that due to the high number of students and teachers in quarantine, some schools in the state will have to temporarily close. “Just be prepared for that,” he said.

He said the they are “extremely concerned” about colleges, saying that they are now looking at two outbreaks at Ole Miss and the University for Women - with some of the cases at the W tracing back to the Cotton District in Starkville.

“Not a big surprise,” Dobbs added.

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