Governor Tate Reeves has announced the extension of Mississippi’s ‘State of Emergency Order’ that was set to expire on the 15th.
Originally enacted in the early days of the pandemic, the order will be extended for 30 days, according to a social media post from the governor.
The extension does not implement any lockdowns or statewide mandates, and is meant to “ease the process of marshaling additional resources” for the state’s response effort in the midst of the latest wave of the pandemic fueled by the Delta variant.
The statement specifically mentions that the extension will “allow our system of care to continue to transfer patients to hospitals where treatment is available, ensure expanded access to telemedicine, and will keep options open for use of the great men and women of the MS National Guard.” The extension will also ensure local governments and school districts can offer paid leave to employees and teachers who test positive. Additionally, it gives MSDH the ability to mandate compliance from healthcare facilities with its COVID-19 System of Care plan.
The Mississippi National Guard ended its original COVID-19 mission in the state back in July, which was part of the original announcement made the governor back in June.
Now, case numbers are surging to all-time highs, hospitalizations are back at peak levels and and ICU capacity is dwindling all while the state’s vaccination rate is among the lowest in the country.
In another social media post Wednesday, the governor outlined the steps being taken to address these issues. These steps include requesting federal assistance to bring additional personnel to the healthcare system and expanding hospital capacity in the state.