Mississippi to become No. 1 hot spot for COVID-19, Harvard official says

Mississippi emerges as a new COVID-19 hot spot as positive cases and hospitalizations climb.

A health official has predicted that Mississippi will become the newest COVID-19 hot spot in the US, citing higher positive tests and minimal social distancing regulations.

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Ashish K. Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, came to this conclusion, shared his reasoning on Twitter.

“One state doing VERY badly but has received little attention is Mississippi. MS has the 2nd highest # of new cases / capita, just behind Florida — but MS is going up while FL is slowly inching down,” he shares, initiating the thread.

Jha begins by introducing data that details although testing numbers are down, positive cases are up. He also shares that hospitalizations have risen and deaths have doubled in the past two weeks.

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Last week, Mississippi governor Tate Reeves shot down the idea of another statewide shutdown.

“The vast majority of Mississippians are small business owners and folks who work in small businesses, whereby if they don’t show up to work, they don’t get paid. If they don’t get paid, they can’t put food on the table for their kids and grandkids,” he states in a press briefing according to WLOX.

Business being open are one contributing factor Jha lists accounting for the growth in COVID-19 cases.

“Much of Mississippi remains open. Bars, restaurants are open with only modest limits. Retail largely open. No statewide mask mandate” he tweets before suggesting the state shut down bars, indoor dining, and gyms and implement a mask requirement.

According to the CDC, Mississippi currently has 59,002 coronavirus confirmed cases with 879 probable. The state has recorded 1648 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

Hinds County, which is 69% Black, according to the 2010 Census, has the most positive COVID-19 cases and deaths. According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, the jurisdiction reports 5209 cases and 106 deaths.

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