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Gov. Reeves and Dr. Dobbs discuss ongoing efforts of COVID-19

Dr. Dobbs is providing an update on COVID-19 in Mississippi and our strategy as a state.
Dr. Dobbs is providing an update on COVID-19 in Mississippi and our strategy as a state.(FACEBOOK)
Updated: Mar. 29, 2020 at 5:31 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Governor Tate Reeves held a press conference with State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs about ongoing COVID-19 efforts.

Governor Reeves says that there is more testing now than when the pandemic began several weeks ago. Dr. Dobbs said that Mississippi has done more testing per capita than other some other states.

They said that multiple agencies are coming together to make even more testing accessible to different parts of the state.

Dr. Dobbs said that we are still in the beginning stages of the fight against coronavirus and that things will not be getting back to normal soon.

“I think that social distancing and that kind of thing have help, but that’s not going to stop it. That’s just going to slow it down. I think we’re kind of at the cusp of really getting into something bad. Now have our efforts slowed it down, yes. But, if we don’t do something right now as far as making sure that we’re following social distancing measures, get tests out there, making sure that we do our job as the health department making sure that we identify and do all the public health interventions,” said Dr. Dobbs.

The two discussed quarantining people who were high risk and those in clusters to slow the spread further. Dr. Dobbs’ related to this form of testing would be like “pruning a bush rather than burning the bush.”

During a discussion of a “shelter in place order” Dr. Dobbs stated that type of order may be needed for areas with large case numbers and rapid spread, but maybe not the entire state.

Watch the entire press conference here:

The Governor also announced a Memorandum of Understanding with the federal government to provide relief for Mississippians who lose the ability to work because of COVID-19.

The memorandum will do the following:

  • Provides Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to people who are out of work because of this disease, but wouldn’t typically qualify for regular state unemployment benefits.
  • Emergency increase in unemployment compensation benefits. The weekly benefit amount goes up by $600.
  • Funds the first extra week of unemployment insurance that we have made available at the state level.
  • Provides additional weeks of unemployment benefits for anyone who remains unemployed after typical state unemployment benefits are no longer available.
  • Provides relief for non-profits and local governments to ensure that they are able to help workers get assistance during this trying time.

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