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‘Please do it.’ Reeves and Dobbs again advocate for wearing masks in public



Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs (Photo via video screen grab)

Mississippi is not seeing a decline in COVID-19 cases. Instead, the numbers of cases continue to steadily rise.

“Please, take these simple steps that we know will prevent transmission of coronavirus,” said State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs in the governor’s live news conference Monday.

Dobbs, as he has done for months, continues to advocate for Mississippians to follow the guidelines set by the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It’s really simple stuff,” he said. “I mean, all we’ve got to do is practice the simple things like social distancing. Stay 6 feet away from one another when you’re out and about. Wear a mask when you’re in public or when you’re at work and you can’t properly social distance. Use normal hand hygiene. Wash your hands. Use hand sanitizer.

“Avoid mass gatherings. This is actually one of the big things that’s giving us trouble is people are so desperate to get back normal, we’re seeing, you know, all sorts of areas where people are gathering in ways that are not only normal, but super normal, I think because of their desperation in the previous months, which is understandable, but now we’re chasing a lot of outbreaks. A lot of them are in churches. We have outbreaks in state offices.”

Although Gov. Tate Reeves did not specifically say he would mandate the use of face masks throughout the state, he did not rule out the possibility if cases continue to rise. He also did not rule out reinstating some of the earlier restrictions for businesses, although he said it was unlikely.

“Anything is possible,” Reeves said. “We are in 2020, and we’re in coronavirus world, but I would say it is exceptionally unlikely that we would choose to significantly close down our economy going forward. … The reality is that we have to ensure that every decision we make, we protect not only the lives of Mississippians, but also the livelihoods of Mississippians. ”

“There is a scenario in which we could see mandates for individuals” to wear masks in public, Reeves added. Several counties are under such mandates now because they have seen steep rises in case counts. It is less likely that such a mandate would be statewide, he said, but counties that show spikes could be put under similar mandates going forward.

“We’re seeing upticks, not downticks” in cases, Reeves said, adding, “It is important that when you go out in public that you wear a mask. Please do it. It protects not only yourself, but it shows that you care enough to protect your fellow Mississippians.”

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