7/24/20 - COVID Strains Health Care System | School Start Delays | REFORM Alliance
State officials continue to express concerns over a hospital system on the brink of crisis as the state faces it’s worst month of the pandemic.
Then, the unceasing trend of high cases and hospitalizations has some school administrators and lawmakers going against the grain.
Plus, a national prison reform group has its eyes on Mississippi following the Governor’s veto of a comprehensive reform bill.
Mississippi's hospitals remain on the brink of crisis as the steady trend of high cases usher in the worst month of the pandemic in the state. After reporting 27,900 between March 11th and June 30th, the state has added over 20,000 in July, shooting the cumulative total to over 48,053 cases. 18 - 29 year olds represent the most infected demographic, with a growing number of cases in those even younger. Governor Tate Reeves says that while cases in this age range are less likely to result in death, they can serve as transmitters to those who are more vulnerable.
Widespread transmission also continues to put a strain on the Mississippi's health care system. Dr. Thomas Dobbs is the state's health officer. He says there are holes in the narrative that cases are up because testing has increased. He affirms cases are up because residents are sick. He says in addition to the hard data, there is anecdotal evidence in the parking lots of urgent care centers.
As the new school year approaches, school communities in Mississippi are getting similar messages from national and state-wide leaders - children need to be in the classroom. But that message is getting more resistance has the state, and much of the country, faces its worst period of COVID transmission to date.
Representative Tom Miles, a Democrat from Forest, recently requested the Mississippi Department of Education delay all instruction until after Labor Day. He tells our Desare Frazier he is hearing concerns from constituents. At least one school district is electing to wait until after the Labor Day holiday to resume. Madison County Schools announced earlier this week it will not resume classes until September 3rd. We talk to MCS Superintendent Charlotte Seals.
Mississippi's prison system was a top priority heading into the new legislative session in January. Earlier this month, after a months-long hiatus due to the pandemic, lawmakers passed what they hoped would be a comprehensive prison reform bill. That bill was vetoed by Governor Tate Reeves. Now, REFORM Alliance, a national prison reform group associated with hip-hop artist Jay-Z, is speaking out. Jessica Jackson is their Chief Advocacy Officer.