Gov. Tate Reeves announced Wednesday that the planned full reopening of the state has been paused because coronavirus cases continue to spike. The plan was to reopen everything Wednesday.
There were 653 new cases Wednesday and nine additional deaths, along with 579 hospitalizations and 207 in the ICU. Both June 22 and June 25 saw Mississippi have more than 1,000 new cases in a single day. As of Wednesday, Marion County had a total of 248 cases and 11 deaths.
Reeves said the virus is not only a risk but a potential long-term problem.
“I see, I hear and I know the cost that these measures carry. But in our state and in many states across the country, the number of cases are on the rise and things are getting worse, not better,” he said. “Frankly, it’s not that our current rules are too loose. The challenge is that our people are not following even the simplest of rules. Additional orders are useless if people will not follow what we have in place now.”
Reeves pleaded for the people of Mississippi to do the little things such as wearing a mask and avoiding large crowds. He said he believes the state can regain control but that it’s going to take a collective effort and people must remain on guard.
“What I ask of you today is simple: Just try. Please do anything at all, and it can make a difference,” he said.
He added that the coronavirus is not a hoax, but it is a danger and an imminent threat to all. The governor said he wants to see football and schools reopen in the fall but that the only thing he fears more than not having them is widespread death if the hospital system becomes overrun.
Dr. Thomas Dobbs, the state health officer, said if the people had followed the rules and wore masks and stayed 6 feet apart, Mississippi would be in much better shape.