Mississippi health officer: Keep masking up to fight virus

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Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs, listens to Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves respond to a question about the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine during his briefing for reporters in Jackson, Miss., Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s top public health official is urging people to continue wearing masks in public to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Republican Gov. Tate Reeves has lifted a mask mandate and Mississippi has seen a decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations, but state health officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said Monday that the pandemic is not over. Dobbs also says Mississippi is closing the gap on racial disparities in vaccinations.

Black people make up about 38% of Mississippi’s population. They now represent 25% of those who have received at least one dose of a vaccination.

That’s up from about 17% in early February.

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