11/16/20 - Rising COVID Transmission | State Party Chairs on Election | Schools Switch to Virtual
As the holiday season nears, state health leaders evaluate the rising trends in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
Then, with the election in the rear view mirror, we hear from the state chairmen from both major parties on the lessons learned and next steps forward.
Plus, heightened community COVID-19 transmission is compelling more schools to switch to distance learning. We talk to one district about its decision to shift one of its largest schools to virtual.
Health officials continue to sound the alarm as coronavirus cases in Mississippi surge. For the majority of last week, the seven-day rolling average remained around 1,000 new coronavirus cases per day. Hospitalizations and ICU occupancy also continue to rise. State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says during this time of heightened transmission, the threat of infection is closer than many would assume. Increased community spread of the virus has led to transmission in school classrooms, causing some schools to return to virtual education. Health officials fear the increased transmission is a result of out-of-balance priorities.
It has been nearly two weeks since the 2020 General Election, but the tremors from the contentious national contest are still being felt. President Donald Trump has refused to concede to challenger Joe Biden, and has leveled unsubstantiated claims of fraud against the election process in a number of key states. The races in Mississippi, however, are settled and the President's party maintains its stronghold on the state's Congressional seats. All of the GOP's incumbents won re-lection, and the state went strongly for the Trump-Pence ticket. State GOP Chair Frank Bordeaux shares the lessons the party learned from this election.
For the state's Democrat Party, 2020 signaled an opportunity to shift the state "purple" - picking up a key Senate seat. But for the second time in as many years, challenger Mike Espy was not able to win against Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith. Retired Judge Tyree Irving is chair of the state party. He reflects on the hard fought campaign.
More and more schools across the state are shifting to virtual learning as transmission of the coronavirus soars. While state health officials attribute the rising numbers to community spread, Dr. Thomas Dobbs says they're starting to trace some infections to schools. He is encouraging schools to consider the virtual option. One school shifting to a virtual learning is Germantown High School in Madison County. Gene Wright is Director of Communications for Madison County Schools. She says the decision is a result of the protocols put in place before students reported to campus in September.