Miss. State Medical Association calls for statewide mask mandate but Governor sticks with current plan

Miss. State Medical Association calls for statewide mask mandate but Governor sticks with current plan

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -Masks still aren’t required statewide in Mississippi but there’s a large association saying they should be.

Governor Tate Reeves described Tuesday what sounds like a juggling act. He again noted that he realizes not all Mississippians are convinced of the COVID-19 dangers.

“We’ve got a thread that needle of how do we get the best compliance and I believe that the approach were currently taking is the right approach.”

But the Mississippi State Medical Association says the virus doesn’t know city limits or county lines. That’s why they are calling for a statewide mask mandate.

“This is the only tool we have left before we get to another lockdown,”explained Dr. Claude Brunson, Mississippi State Medical Association Executive Director. “But we also know that based on the science, that we can decrease the spread and if we decrease the spread, will take the pressure off our hospitals.”

Dr. Thomas Dobbs tweeted this Tuesday morning, showing how sharply hospitalizations have increased.

“It’s consistent with our predictions,” Dobbs said. “17% more or less of cases will end up hospitalized. So, every time we had 500 new cases, you can predict we’re gonna have another 85 hospitalizations. "

Reeves also criticized some of the state’s hospitals, saying they could’ve done better with avoiding suspension of some elective procedures again.

“Adhere to our executive orders which require 25% of capacity in hospitals to be for COVID patients,” Reeves pointed out.

Ultimately—Reeves says his goal is the same as that of the medical association...to get more Mississippians to mask up. He just doesn’t think the statewide mandate is the answer. And he believes compliance is more likely when there’s buy in from local leaders.

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