JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI — Mississippi’s health officer says he is not “remotely surprised” and is concerned for the future after the state saw its highest single-day increase in coronavirus cases.
The announcement came as the Mississippi Senate is working to limit lawsuits by customers who say they were exposed to COVID-19 at businesses or medical offices.
“We’ve been seeing this trend evolving over weeks,” Dr. Thomas Dobbs said in an interview with The Associated Press Tuesday. ” As people have tried to embrace normal, but unsafe normal, it is permitting the virus to spread. We’re really going to end up paying the price for it.”
The Mississippi Department of Health reported 611 new cases and 11 deaths Tuesday. Dobbs said the uptick is driven by community transmission of the virus from younger, asymptomatic people to their older relatives.
“If you drive around and look at how younger people are having social gatherings, they’re crowding into bars, it’s just not safe,” Dobbs said. “People are not complying, people are not wearing masks. It’s not a joke. Really bad things are going to happen.”
Dobbs said a big concern of his is the stress the new cases are putting on Mississippi’s heath care system. He said it’s already testing the state’s hospital bed capacity.