10/23/20 - Rising Hospitalizations | Gulf States Newsroom: Halloween | New Voting Provisions and Turnout
As coronavirus transmission intensifies, health care professionals prepare for a rising trend in hospitalizations.
Then, a Gulf States Newsroom special report examines how families are preparing for a different Halloween.
Plus, absentee voting has been a central focus this election. We check in at the local level to see how officials are handling the final days of election season.
Hospitalizations in Mississippi are spiking as transmission of the coronavirus continues to worsen - up 44% since the beginning of October according to data released by the department of health. Reported cases of COVID-19 are also on the rise with 958 new cases reported yesterday.
In an effort to keep the hospital system from being overwhelmed, Governor Tate Reeves has issued an Executive Order placing 10% capacity requirement on healthcare facilities across the state. If hospitals cannot maintain 10% of their capacity for COVID-19 patients, they must delay elective procedures. Dr. Roderick Givens with the Mississippi State Medical Association says cases and hospitalizations decreased during the period the statewide mask mandate. He tells our Kobee Vance the recent provisions are a viable way for hospitals to continue operations while ensuring beds for future COVID-19 patients.
The coronavirus pandemic affects virtually everything and that includes Halloween. It’s such a big issue across the South that recently, when a girl emailed New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell asking if the holiday was canceled, the mayor went on the record at a press conference. Families everywhere are trying to figure out how to make celebrating safe. From W-B-H-M in Birmingham, Andrew Yeager reports.
Election officials in Mississippi are preparing to manage new requirements this election season. One new provision allows voters to "cure" rejected absentee ballots. These ballots are usually dismissed due to a perceived signature mismatch. The new requirement prevents absentee ballots from being rejected for such an error.
A second provision is for curb-side voting. While this method of voting has always been available, the change ensures those with COVID-symptoms can safely vote without endangering others at polling locations. Our Desare Frazier checks in with Alcorn County Circuit Clerk Crystal Starling and Jackson County Election Commissioner Danny Glaskox.