5/20/20 - Guidelines for Churches | Case-free County | Southern Remedy Health Minute | New HIV Prevention Drug
Governor Reeves announces guidelines for churches to resume in-person services, while the Health Department is pressured to release more information regarding the outbreaks at long term care facilities.
Then, one Mississippi county has no reported cases of COVID-19. We look at how Issaquena has stayed case-free.
Plus, after a Southern Remedy Health Minute, a new preventative HIV medication.
For nearly two months, churches across the state have held services in parking lots; or virtually through streaming video or conference calls. Now, Governor Tate Reeves is issuing eight pages of guidelines for churches to resume in-person gatherings. Reeves announced the move during his daily press briefing yesterday. Reeves recommends churches deep clean their spaces before welcoming members back. He also suggests they close coffee stations and suspend collection and offering plates. He emphasizes that these are guidelines, and he is leaving it to Mississippi's pastors to determine when to resume in-person gatherings.
The guidelines come as the state eclipses 11,700 cases of COVID-19, and while seven Mississippi counties are under enhanced scrutiny due to concerns over public transmission. Hospitalizations, as well as ICU and ventilator utilization, have remained steady since the beginning of May, with no trends of reduction in the data released by the department of health. Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says cases may not decrease if Mississippians do not accept a new normal.
Out of 82 Mississippi counties, only one has no confirmed cases of COVD-19 - south Mississippi Delta's Issaquena County. With a population estimate of 1,327 from the U.S. Census Bureau, it is the least populated county east of the Mississippi River. The county has only recently started testing - at the health clinic in the county seat of Mayserville. So far, no positive cases have been reported. Delta Health Center’s Chief Program Planning and Development Officer Robin Boyles explains some of the reasons why with our Alexandra Watts.
Southern Remedy Health Minute
The HIV Prevention Trials Network or HPTN is announcing the results of a global randomized, controlled, double-blind study of an injectable HIV prevention drug. The study shows that CAB LA lowers the HIV incidence in certain tested population groups. Dr. Ben Brock is an Assistant Professor of Infectious Disease at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He tells us more about HPTN and what this study means in the long fight against HIV.