As Mississippi continues to reopen, the new week begins with a slump in new cases of COVID-19—what state leadership dearly hopes marks the beginning of a trend. Photo courtesy MSDH
Gov. Tate Reeves’ safer-at-home order continues this week, with notable exceptions, as the Mississippi State Department of Health announces 173 new cases of COVID-19 and five new deaths from Sunday reports. Newly added data on MSDH’s website show one death each in Adams, Itawamba, Lauderdale, Leake, and Neshoba counties. The total number of cases in Mississippi now stands at 9,674, with the death toll at 435.
The data continue a brief but noticeable slump from last week’s record number of cases and deaths. MSDH also reports an estimated 6,268 people have recovered from COVID-19. The state has conducted almost 100,000 tests so far, including both private labs and the Public Health Laboratory.
Mississippi continues to reopen for business. In addition to last week’s revised rules allowing for dine-in services at restaurants, limited to 50% capacity, today marks the reopening of the state’s salons and gyms, under the governor’s strict but primarily self-enforced rules, except for areas like Jackson where local orders keep them closed.
“The number-one person that is going to enforce this is the person that is actually opening the business,” Reeves said. “I am convinced that the industries that we are reopening are going to do a better job of monitoring themselves than any governmental entity ever will.”
The effect of Mississippi’s gradual reopening will not be reflected immediately. State health leadership has clarified repeatedly that their primary concern is hospitalization data, rather than the reports on spread of the disease, which State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs has suggested is a byproduct of Mississippi’s aggressive testing regime.
The newest hospitalization data from May 10 is distinctly positive. Both COVID-19 hospitalizations and suspected infections show a sharp decline. Intensive-care unit and ventilator use remain stable.
Read the JFP’s coverage of COVID-19 at jacksonfreepress.com/covid19. Get more details on preventive measures here. Read about announced closings and delays in Mississippi here. Read MEMA’s advice for a COVID-19 preparedness kit here.
Email information about closings and other vital related logistical details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Email state reporter Nick Judin, who is covering COVID-19 in Mississippi, at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @nickjudin. Seyma Bayram is covering the outbreak inside the capital city and in the criminal-justice system. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at @seymabayram0.