MS Gov. addresses rising COVID-19 cases and unemployment numbers

WATCH: MS Gov. addresses rising COVID-19 cases and unemployment numbers

JACKSON, Miss. — Nine more coronavirus deaths reported in Mississippi Thursday bring the total number to 76 deaths in the past 24 hours. That number runs closely behind the total number of COVID-19 deaths in Tennessee, with double the amount of confirmed coronavirus cases.

Like the rest of the country, Mississippi is experiencing deaths which could be related because it has an older population, but that data isn’t available yet. But job unemployment is a huge issue because historically the state has been behind compared to the rest of the country and Gov. Reeves addressed those concerns.

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“Elee and I are praying for the families that lost loved ones. This is a public health crisis,” Reeves said.

Mississippi’s overall coronavirus caseload grew to at least 2,260 infections and 76 deaths as of Thursday evening, but the governor said he doesn’t want people to be alarmed.

“One day does not a trend make. This is all based on reporting,” he said.

Mississippi, like other states, continues to see a rise in the number of people seeking temporary unemployment benefits during the coronavirus pandemic, but the state will be one of the first to see some stimulus money.

“Some of the resources for the Cares Act will start going out tomorrow,” Reeves said. “Mississippi will be one of the first states in the nation to be able to do that.”

Governor Reeves said more than 8000 new unemployment claims were filed. To process those claims the Mississippi Department of Employment Security reportedly doubled its staff and Governor Reeves said more workers are coming to help with the workload.

“We are automating a lot of the processes. MEDS is working with outside private sector help to try and find a way to automate a lot of the back-end work that goes into insuring people we can get people their money,” said Reeves.

The governor said the money is not based on when you get through the system but when you lost your job.

“It is an economic crisis for the people who thought they would never need to rely on the government to get them by, but now find themselves in that position,” Reeves said.

Last Friday, Gov. Reeves’ Stay At Home order went into action and it still remains in effect for the next 11 days. We’ll see if the governor decides to extend it.

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