Mississippi: Determining where to crack down more on COVID-19

Mississippi: Determining where to crack down more on COVID-19

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Governor Tate Reeves said Tuesday that he’s still asking you to follow all the guidelines, even if you don’t have those additional restrictions in place that seven counties do. A closer look at the numbers reveals why that’s particularly important.

Governor Tate Reeves further broke down the process that he’s called a surgical approach to reopening and restrictions.

“The experts on public health, they are doing data management," he said. “They are mining that data.”

He says those experts are then coming to him with information and suggestions about the best approach forward from a public health standpoint.

But not all counties seeing upticks are getting more restrictions. Madison County, for example, went from 298 cases to 491 in one week. Wednesday, the case count stood at 493. Putting them within the top 12 counties for both sheer case number increases and per-capita numbers. Here’s why they’re not among those with added restrictions.

“If you look at those seven counties compared to a more populace county like Madison County, what we’re actually staying with those seven counties is that in total, they’ve accounted for more than 20% of the total cases in Mississippi to date" said State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.

That ‘cases per 100,000 residents’ metric is drastically different from county to county...even within the top 12. Scott County, for example, has a higher transmission rate …1,633 per 100,000 residents compared to 441 per 100,000 in Madison County. Those numbers coming from cases between May 4-10.

“If you look at the total analysis, certainly total number of cases matter but what also matters in terms of is their community spread is how many cases per 100,000 population,” said Reeves.

As for what’s happening in Madison County, here’s what Dr. Byers said.

“It’s looking like we are seeing some community transmission in certain areas within Madison County,” noted Byers.

MEMA said in Wednesday’s briefing that more than 70,000 community masks were delivered to the seven counties with the new restrictions. And more masks will be delivered to other counties Thursday.

Copyright 2020 WLBT. All rights reserved.