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MSDH releases new guidelines in response to rising Covid-19 numbers

Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs, along with State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers, on Wednesday hosted a virtual press conference regarding the “record high” number of COVID-19 cases reported on Wednesday.

Mississippi State Department of Health Communications Director Liz Sharlot said Wednesday that the “numbers are alarmingly high and that we are lacking hospital space.”

“I want to say two quick things,” she said. “Number one, we need the leaders in this state to stand behind our guidelines and stand with us in saving lives. The second thing is that everyone in the public should, if you have someone that gets sick, you may or may not have hospital space here. It does not look good at this time. With rising cases and increasing hospitalizations, we are looking at a big mess to put it in laymen’s terms.”

On Tuesday, the state reported a “record” number of hospitalizations for people diagnosed with COVID-19, Dobbs said, “145, which is higher than any time throughout the summer.”

Dobbs said that there are currently 13 major medical centers with zero ICU beds and 20 other hospitals that have ten percent or less of ICU beds available.

“MSDH recommends that Mississippians only participate in work, school, or other absolutely essential activities,” Dobbs said.

He added, “We recommend that Mississippians protect themselves and avoid public or social gatherings such as the following: All social events or parties; family gatherings outside of the household or nuclear family; weddings; funerals other than close family and preferably outdoors; all sporting events; and in person church services. That’s why it’s important to avoid all social gatherings and assume that anyone with whom we come in contact is going to be contagious.”

Byers said that by and large, the age group most impacted by the deaths is individuals over the age of 65.

Dobbs added that the spread is “preventable in the most simple of ways.”

“We don’t need to be having social events, period, of any kind whatsoever right now,” Dobbs said. “We’re almost to a vaccine that looks very effective and very safe, we’ve just got to just have a little bit of discipline right now or we’re going to see a lot more cases.” Dobbs said that he wouldn’t “recommend shutting down the state.”



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