New restrictions possible as Mississippi COVID-19 cases continue to increase

Watch: New restrictions possible as Mississippi COVID-19 cases continue to increase

JACKSON, Miss. — As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Mississippi, the governor and others warn hospital capacity is reaching maximum capacity.

The state currently has over 48,000 cases with another 982 reported Thursday.

The situation has Gov. Tate Reeves considering tighter restrictions.

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As of Thursday, there were 8 hospitals in Mississippi with no available ICU beds.

Reeves said because a lot of the new cases are from younger people, he must do something to clamp down.

“There is a real possibility as we go over the next 10 to 14 days that the hospitals get even more tight,” said Reeves.

With 4,000 new COVID-19 cases over the past three days, Reeves said he has to act and soon.

“I would anticipate that I will announce tomorrow some additional restrictions on bars throughout Mississippi,” he said.

Especially with new cases coming in daily from younger people between the ages of 18 and 29 Reeves said he’s concerned about how hospitals can and will handle the spike.

In addition to the 8 hospitals with no ICU beds, there are 11 with less than 10 percent ICU bed availability.

“If we need a step-down facility with beds we will take the necessary steps to do that,” Reeves said.

Reeves and Dr. Thomas Dodd emphasized the increase in cases is not because of increased testing and said it is because more people are sick and coronavirus is spreading.

Reeves and his medical team said the solution to overcrowding hospitals isn’t simple but they believe social distancing and wearing a mask can help level off the spike.

“If everyone just behaved for two weeks we’d see a difference but everyone wants to go do what we did before,” said Dobbs. “People want to play baseball and hang out with grandma and go to the concession stand.”

Reeves will make his announcement on new restrictions Friday. Restrictions on bars could be added but he said he doesn’t plan on shutting them down completely.

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