JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - In Monday’s press conference, Dr. Dobbs revealed that nearly 40% of all ICU cases in Mississippi are coronavirus related. “That’s a phenomenal number,” Dobbs said. “And it continues to grow. Friday it was only 31-percent.”
Dobbs also played a round of mythbusters for the day, this time delving into what is considered a coronavirus-related death.
“I’ve been getting these questions about people are filling out COVID on every death certificate or someone dies in a car wreck, they’re putting COVID just to boost the death numbers. That is not happening.”
Dobbs said whenever they receive a COVID report from a death certificate, they then go back and validate that the deceased had a positive test. “Positive testing is the foundation of our reporting,” he said.
“There is no goosing of the numbers with deaths,” he stated. “The people who are dying of coronavirus are dying of coronavirus.”
Governor Tate Reeves’ executive order mandating masks in 13 counties expired at 8 a.m. Monday, but a new mandate is in its place.
The order targets counties with the most worrisome spikes in COVID-19 cases in the Magnolia State. It requires masks while shopping and at public gatherings and restricts the amount of people that can gather socially--a maximum of 10 indoors and 20 outdoors.
Ten new counties are listed in the order: Bolivar, Covington, Forrest, Humphreys, Panola, Sharkey, Simpson, Tallahatchie, Tate, and Walthall counties.
The original 13 counties in the order also remain in the new one: Claiborne, DeSoto, Grenada, Harrison, Hinds, Jackson, Jefferson, Madison, Quitman, Rankin, Sunflower, Washington, and Wayne counties.
The new order will extend until Monday, August 3, at 8 a.m.
Reeves continues to be adamant that a statewide mask mandate is not the best course of action, despite acknowledging that masks are effective. He believes more localized mandates will get more people to buy in.
“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.”
The new order also mentions swimming pools. It states pools can continue to be open to the public 24 hours a day as long as social distancing of six feet is maintained between people who do not live in the same household. Pools must, however, be limited to no more than 50% capacity.
Meanwhile, top health officials in the state are growing increasingly concerned about growing stress to the hospital system.
Dr. Dobbs said COVID-19 hospitalizations have stabilized and ICU numbers have gone up slightly.
“Every day we add a thousand new cases; statistically that’s 170 patients that will be in our hospitals in the next few weeks,” he said.
Elective surgeries have been put on hold while some hospitals in the state have a shortage or complete lack of ICU beds.