11 new COVID related deaths confirmed as Governor extends shelter in place order


JACKSON - Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has extended a statewide shelter-in-place order for one more week as the total number of COVID-19 cases has risen to nearly 3,800 this week with 140 deaths.

Reeves said he will, however, open state lakes, rivers and beaches and allow for non-essential businesses to sell goods through curbside or delivery as long as they adhere to health guidelines for social distancing and limiting person-to-person interactions.

Those new guidelines will go into effect at 8 a.m. Monday morning.

Mississippi added 163 new cases on Friday with 11 new coronavirus-related deaths, but those numbers reflect a flattening of the curve, Reeves said.

As of Thursday, Kemper County had reported 16 total positive cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. Friday's updated numbers had not been posted to the State Department of Health's web site as of 10:30 a.m.

Reeves said he had hoped he would be able to announce a full reopening of Mississippi's businesses and public parks Friday morning, adding "but we're just not there yet."

"I made a vow to protect the people of Mississippi," he said after calling the shelter-in-place order a "total contradiction" to his instincts as a small-business Republican. "I have to do what's best based on the information and wisdom that is available to me. Right now, that means asking you for one more week."

Reeves added that he and his advisors were paying close attention to the benchmarks for reopening, based on guidelines given to governors by the federal Coronavirus task force headed by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

"What we're doing is working," he said. "We're effectively flattening the curve. We saw about 270 new cases yesterday and the day before that, so it's holding steady and not continuing to rise. But when you do that, that extends your time at the peak of the curve, which is where I believe we are."

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