JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi continues to see new COVID-19 cases and outbreaks and state leaders are still leaning on folks to take some personal responsibility in slowing the spread.
Summer will officially start in a few days, but state leaders say they’re already looking at the chance of higher rates of COVID-19 in the fall.
“But there’s no amount of preparation that can prepare for a tidal wave of cases,” said State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. “It’s like mopping up the floor but you won’t turn the sink off. So, we’ve got to turn the sink off.”
The guidelines released today ask the schools to be flexible and prepared for changes in the event of resurgence in the fall. The report doesn’t say to require masks but says they are strongly encouraging them.
They’ll also suggest things like adjusting attendance policies so students won’t be penalized if they miss due to COVID-19 symptoms.
“In classrooms and controlled environments, there’s always going to be some risks but it can be minimized,” explained Dobbs. “It’s the other things are going to kill us. And this is the summer and we can’t even stop fraternity parties in the summer. So, I’m gravely concerned.”
Dr. Dobbs noted he’s been disappointed with folks lack of following simple measures to slow the spread.
“Coronavirus is out there,” Dobbs added. “My head is sore from banging it on the wall. Wear masks, social distance, don’t do mass gatherings and certainly follow the rules. You don’t want to see me with a bruise up here next time.”
Gov. Reeves attended Simpson County Deputy James Blair’s funeral Wednesday without a mask. We asked why after he’s urged others to wear them.
“I did have a mask,” said Reeves. “It was in my pocket. I should’ve put it on. The fact of the matter is, if y’all want to shame me for how I handled it... go for it.”
Reeves added that he had no apologies for attending the funeral.
Dobbs also described more about this rise in cases in Oxford. They now know that stemmed from an off-campus fraternity rush party. And they believe the town is now in the midst of an outbreak because of it.