Gov. Reeves attributes rise in COVID-19 cases to protests

In recent weeks, COVID-19 cases in Mississippi, and across the country, have surged with many possible factors playing a part.

Sunday afternoon, Governor Tate Reeves attributed the rise to the nationwide protests in response to the death of George Floyd.

During a press briefing late last week, State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs stated that “[MSDH] doesn’t have any evidence to that effect, and our investigations have not revealed any specific links to protests.”

The largest protest in Mississippi occurred back on June 6th in downtown Jackson as thousands gathered to march through the capital city.

Senate Minority Leader Derrick Simmons issued the following response to Governor’s tweet, outlining a timeline of the state’s continued reopening and emphasizing its potential impact on the rising case numbers.

The most significant rise in cases occurred on June 25th as the state reported its largest one-day rise with 1,092 new cases. That trend continued into the 4th of July weekend as the state’s three-day average from July 2-4 was slightly above 924.

The statewide ‘safe return‘ order, which places restrictions and guidelines on social gatherings and businesses, has been extended until July 20th. The extension came as both the Governor and Dr. Dobbs expressed concern for the state’s healthcare system as hospitalizations increase.

Monday’s report represented a welcomed decline with just 357 new cases. This brings the state’s total number of cases of COVID-19 up to 31,257.

Several members of the Mississippi House of Representatives have tested positive, including Speaker Philip Gunn. Governor Reeves is now awaiting the results of a test after Gunn was present for last week’s signing ceremony for the bill to remove the state flag.

Governor Reeves addressed the state on Facebook Live earlier today, and urged everyone to continue wearing a mask in public and practicing social distancing.