Mississippi governor to slow reopening after surge in coronavirus cases, deaths

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JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves says he’s going to slow the state’s reopening process after a recent surge in coronavirus cases and deaths.

Mississippi is currently reporting 7,212 cases, including 281 deaths. The state health department says 397 cases and 20 deaths were reported Friday.

According to the governor, it’s the largest single-day increase of both cases and deaths the state has seen.

Reeves said the case and death increases have caused him to reconsider his reopening policies for the state.

“This was a large enough change to make me take a step back, and look at the board. To re-examine things,” Reeves said.

The Magnolia State will now have to wait through the weekend before making any decisions.

Reeves said he desperately wants to reopen Mississippi’s economy, but the state health department is concerned for public safety if the virus is allowed to return.

“This thing is not even remotely toward the end,” said Mississippi State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs. “Don’t be surprised if we have rebounding cases and have to reverse course, if people are not wiling to do the simple things that are requested at this time.”

The governor’s office is remaining confident despite the reverse of course.

“We may still move forward with more re-openings soon,” Reeves said. “We believe what we’re considering represents safe steps. They wouldn’t recklessly put more people in harm’s way.”

The governor is set to update his reopening plan Monday.

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