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Gov. Reeves holds press conference on...

Gov. Reeves holds press conference on surge in COVID-19 numbers in Mississippi

By: Anne Summerhays - August 13, 2021

Gov. Reeves discusses healthcare reinforcement efforts, booster doses, expanding access to monoclonal treatment, and updated numbers. 

Today the MSDH is reporting 5,023 more cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, 31 deaths, and 166 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care facilities.

At today’s press conference, he said that we are heading towards a new peak, with challenges lying ahead. Reeves stated that when you look across the country, this is now the “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” 

Yesterday they announced a 30 day extension on the state of emergency in Mississippi. Extending the state of emergency is vital for the state to be able to coordinate care across several hospitals.

Gov. Reeves gave an endorsement of the vaccine and says that they are safe and effective. He encourages people to get vaccinated and talk to doctors about vaccine and to make best decision for themselves and family.

“I want to be clear. I have been vaccinated. My mom’s been vaccinated. My dad’s been vaccinated. My grandma has been vaccinated. I believe the vaccines are safe, effective and the best tool to beat the virus,” stated Governor Reeves.

Though we have seen a rather significant increase in total number of vaccinations over the last several weeks, Governor Tate Reeves announced that Mississippi will not have a statewide mask mandate at this time. Reeves does encourage the public to wear masks and continue to become vaccinated.

Four weeks ago, Mississippi had about 18,000 doses administered. Last week, 60,000. Now, the state is on pace this week to have more than 70,000 doses administered.

Gov. Reeves was joined by Dr. Thomas Dobbs and Executive Director McCraney with the Mississippi Department of Health at the press conference where they discusses an FDA approved third booster dose of the vaccine for those with weakened immune systems.

Dr. Thomas Dobbs also discussed the use of monoclonal antibodies as a potential treatment option.

Reeves said he is focused on filling staffing concerns within hospitals as well as making sure they have the proper equipment they need in order to continue operations.

Mississippi has also requested primarily staffing as the state has lost around 2,000 health care professionals within the last year. Three hospitals have requested 65 physicians, 920 nurses, 41 CRNAs, 59 advanced practice nurses, 34 physician assistants, 239 respiratory technicians and 20 EMT paramedics. This would open up more than 700 med-surge beds and 200+ ICU beds.

He says his office, MSDH and MEMA will work around the clock to get these additional resources to hospitals throughout the state.

Gov. Reeves says he’s encouraged schools to keep students in classrooms but to do so safely. In other words, it’s local decision for mask mandates and virtual learning, but there will be no interference from the state-level. Reeves said he will continue to leave decisions regarding schools and learning up to local school boards and districts.

“The best way in which for us to get beyond this is for all of us to come together, work together, do the little things to take care of ourselves and our families,” said Governor Reeves.

About the Author(s)
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Anne Summerhays

Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth. Email Anne: