Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced additional statewide restrictions today on social gatherings, bars, restaurants and alcohol sales, citing an increase in Covid-19 cases that are currently stressing the state’s hospitals.
“We have over 1,600 new cases today. And that number is simply not sustainable. It pushes us towards almost 6,000 new cases in the last four days alone,” the governor said at a news conference. “We have to do things a little bit differently. We have to be willing to make sacrifices as a state and as a people.”
Reeves added six counties to the existing list of 23 counties that must follow stricter measures, including mask mandates.
State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said there are currently nine major medical hospitals in Mississippi with no intensive care unit beds available and some patients have had to be flown to Georgia to receive medical care.
“If we look at how Mississippi stands in the nation, among US states, we're number nine in per capita cases in the last seven days. So, Mississippi is one of the leading states in the country as far as coronavirus goes, and in the Southeast, we’re led only by Louisiana and Florida," the governor said.
The governor’s executive order requires social gatherings consist of no more than 10 people indoors and no more than 20 people outdoors, including at parties in people’s homes.
“There's going to have to be additional sacrifices made by the people in Mississippi,” Reeves said. “None of those sacrifices are fun. I don't like it. You don't like it. We don't like it. But we are where we are.”