GR US

Mask Mandate in Effect in Parts of Mississippi

Αssociated Press

A shop sells face masks in Dortmund, Germany, Monday, July 6, 2020. Germany discusses the obligation for face masks when shopping. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

JACKSON, Miss. — A mask mandate and other restrictions took effect Monday in 13 of Mississippi’s 82 counties as the state continues to see a rapid increase in cases of the new coronavirus, including a steady rise in hospital patients.

“This is the worst that it’s ever been for spread of cases in our state,” Republican Gov. Tate Reeves said during a news conference Monday.

Figures released Monday by the state Health Department showed 1,020 people were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 Sunday. That is up from 664 on June 22.

The state health officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, said eight hospitals in Mississippi had no beds available in their intensive care units as of Monday. Four of those were in the Jackson area. He also said long-term care facilities are seeing an increase of cases because of transmission in communities. Even if people can’t visit loved ones in nursing homes, employees go in and out.