At a press conference Friday afternoon, Governor Tate Reeves urged Mississippians to continue to get vaccinated against Covid, calling Mississippi’s current “fourth wave” of the virus “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
On Thursday Reeves extended Mississippi’s State of Emergency order for 30 days, a move that allows public health officials and other government leaders some flexibility in responding to the pandemic. Reeves reiterated the shortage of medical staff, citing Mississippi’s loss of 2000 health care workers in the past year. Requests for additional staff have been sent out, with 19 private contractors responding thus far, as well as requests for additional Federal aid for medical equipment such as ventilators and ICU bed capacity.
“It’s never been a realistic goal to eradicate us from the virus or to ensure no one in the state gets the virus,” Reeves said. “The goal is to protect the system such that every Mississippian who can get better with quality care can receive that quality care.”
Gov. Reeves said he has no intention of issuing a statewide mask mandate, nor does he intend to mandate vaccination for government employees.
More than 5,000 new cases of the virus were reported Friday, the highest single-day total for Mississippi since the pandemic began. Reeves said that of the total new Covid cases, “97 percent of those are found in unvaccinated individuals. Approximately 89 percent of the current hospitalizations are those who have not been vaccinated.”
See the Facebook Live recording of the press conference here: