Governor Reeves says statewide mask mandate not best approach right now

Updated: Nov. 24, 2020 at 6:51 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Some Mississippians tell us they worry the state isn’t doing enough to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“People definitely need to take responsibility for themselves but it doesn’t seem that they’re going to, so it may be necessary for the state to step up and make some changes,” Margaret Gattas said.

“People still don’t take it seriously,” noted Jacqueline Cross.

This letter was sent by four leading doctors in the state Tuesday, telling the governor that a mask mandate is vital to maintain the integrity of our healthcare system and asking that he issue one that would last through the end of the year.

Governor Tate Reeves calls the words statewide mask mandate the latest buzz words.

“I get frustrated when so-called experts decide that if we just did one more thing, then we could change this,” he said. “There is no one silver bullet. There is no one thing that we can do as a state. There is no one thing that I as a leader or that we as Mississippians can do to make this go away.”

He instead continued with the county-by-county approach, adding 19 counties to the list with added restrictions. That makes it a total of 41 of the 82 counties now under such orders.

“I would like for everybody to make sure that we understand that along with that order or restrictions on the number of people who can get together indoors,” described Dr. Thomas Dobbs. “And if we look what’s driving transmission right now, it’s groups of people indoors.”

Another ask from the governor and state health officer is ensuring that those who’ve had close contact with a positive case are quarantining.

“If you live in the household with someone else, your odds of getting coronavirus are extremely high,” Dobbs noted. “Maybe around forty percent. So, that’s super high. We know you’re a high risk target for infecting other people when you don’t realize it.”

The governor does point out that while hospitalizations are increasing, he expects those numbers to keep rising based on the high case counts in the last two weeks and 10 days.

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