State Epidemiologist: I think Mississippi is on the horizon of having another increase of COVID-19

State Epidemiologist: I think Mississippi is on the horizon of having another increase of COVID-19
(Source: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said Friday that he fears Mississippi is on the path to another large rise of COVID-19.

This as the state sees a week of unusually large numbers of new coronavirus cases. Over 800 cases were reported Friday and over 900 were reported Tuesday.

“We are starting to see some increased number of cases that are currently in the hospital with confirmed COVID," said Byers during a discussion on Facebook. "We’re seeing increased new admissions into the hospital setting. All indicators right now are pointing to the fact that I think we’re on the horizon of having another big upswing. I sure would like to be proved wrong.”

Byers laid the blame on community transmission, with the same “irresponsible behavior” not only at colleges but other settings as well. He said in these clusters people are not wearing masks and are not social distancing.

“I don’t know how many times we have to prove that that’s a recipe for disaster, for increased cases," a frustrated Byers stated. "I guess we have to just keep seeing it cause I think we’re headed that way again.”

He said this new increase would be hard to tie to the elimination of the statewide mask mandate which took place last Wednesday. Byers did say, however, that regardless of a mask mandate, “wearing a mask is the right thing to do.”

Due to the fact that state hospitals are already “pretty full," Dr. Dobbs said that he has already warned them to start thinking of transitioning to non-elective surgeries that would not require admissions. He said physicians should begin thinking about this also.

“For the [doctors] and everybody, y’all please get ready,” Dobbs warned.

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