Governor urges Labor Day safety; Dobbs confirms child COVID-19 death

Governor Tate Reeves is urging caution ahead of the upcoming holiday weekend.

While the state’s 7-day average of new COVID-19 cases continues to drop, the governor expressed that Mississippi’s positive momentum could be undone if Labor Day festivities go on as they have in years past.

“We can’t give up the gains and the improvements that we’ve made over the last two months with Labor Day weekend coming before us. I’m asking every single one of you to be on your guard. We can make a difference if we commit to it and if we work together. We can continue to see declining numbers which will allow us to get back more towards normal,” Reeves said.

Avoiding large gatherings and scaling back celebrations are encouraged along with continuing to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

“Let’s not repeat the error of Memorial Day and the 4th of July. We had massive increases in cases and deaths because we got carried away,” State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs warned.

The governor stated that the next 8-10 days are critical in the effort to drive down the state’s lagging indicators such as hospitalizations and deaths.

Dr. Dobbs also confirmed the unfortunate death of a child who passed away as a result of multi-system inflammatory syndrome — a condition associated with COVID-19 among children. The child was between the ages of 1-5. No additional information was released to protect the identity of the child and the family.

Additionally, Governor Reeves announced the launch of a $19 million reimbursement program to provide additional PPE and testing resources to different types of long-term care facilities across the state. The program is designed to allow more families to be able to visit their loved ones in a safe and responsible way.

Acknowledging the fact that those who live in these facilities are at a higher risk for the virus, Governor Reeves said, “We also know that loneliness is a powerful disease. It can be deadly, and we have to do everything we can to guard against that as well.”

Stephen McCraney, the Deputy Director of MEMA, announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will deliver 1.8 million masks to Mississippi to be districted at schools across the state.

Watch today’s full briefing below: