Governor: Mississippi’s COVID-19 reproduction rate is lowest in the country

Governor: Mississippi’s COVID-19 reproduction rate is lowest in the country

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -The state of Mississippi is in a position to keep the COVID-19 numbers down and leaders are hoping the holiday weekend doesn’t reverse the downward trend.

Governor Tate Reeves tweeted Sunday that Mississippi has the lowest rate of coronavirus reproduction in the country. And said it’s because of your hard work and dedication.

But let’s take a closer look at what that means. You may have heard the leaders refer to it as the R0. Governor Reeves referenced it again a week ago.

“Every person gives the virus at this point to about 0.9 people on that number is over one, that means that the virus is increasing in numbers.”

The current R0 is 0.88. It appears Reeves tweet is using a graph from the site rt.live. It tracks that R0 value to show how fast the virus is spreading in each state.

A closer look reveals Mississippi tied with Arizona for the lowest rate a month ago and we claimed that spot for lowest reproduction rate two weeks ago. Some folks say as time has passed, it’s been tough to ignore then impacts.

“Unfortunately my cousin lost her life at 50 years old and it’s devastating to lose someone’s life to an illness unexpectedly like that,” said Billy Joe Tagert, Jr.

Part of the answer as to why the reproduction rate dropped may be found in State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs’ tweet that does show ups and downs but more of a downward trend since the mask and social distancing orders were put in place.

“To me, it has become like second nature,” said Arthur Walker of wearing masks. “When I go places, I’m like, ’Oh, I’ve got to get my mask.’ Just like putting on your shirt or socks or shoes.”

“I think there’s a light at the end of the tunnel because everybody’s taking heed to it now and they’re doing what they’re supposed to do,” noted Rose Drake.

Bottom line, the virus isn’t spreading as quickly as it was in Mississippi. By comparison, through most of May and June, each infected person was giving it to more than one other person which of course drove up the case numbers.

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