JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves is discussing the latest COVID-19 response in his state.
As cases continue to spike in Mississippi, more than 1,000 new cases were reported Wednesday.
Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, met with Mississippi leaders in Jackson on Wednesday, including Reeves.
Reeves says Birx and others within President Trump’s task force agree that masks work and are needed to slow the spread of the virus.
Reeves announced a new hub for Mississippians to purchase masks, hand sanitizer and other protective equipment that is made in Mississippi. You can click here to view the marketplace.
Another website was launched in an effort to prevent unemployment fraud, something Reeves said has been a problem as more people have had to apply for unemployment as a result of the pandemic.
Officials say more than 400,000 people applied for unemployment between March and July 4, and nearly half of those people are still filing as of July 4.
State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs reiterated that hospitalization rates continue to rise alongside COVID-19 cases within the state. He says slowing the spread is the only way to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.
Reeves is concerned over the amount of people on ventilators. He says the amount has doubled from where it was months ago with the recent spike in cases.
Reeves remains adamant on enforcing a statewide mask mandate. He says people will simply neglect it.
“If people don’t comply, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “...I think fewer people would wear masks in the counties where it’s important if I signed it.”
He says localized mask mandates are working, and get more people to follow them.
“In this instance, I’m convinced this is the best strategy at this time.”