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Full press conference - Gov. Tate Reeves highlights businesses for roles in fighting COVID-19

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Full press conference - Gov. Tate Reeves highlights businesses for roles in fighting COVID-19
Full press conference - Gov. Tate Reeves highlights businesses for roles in fighting COVID-19
April 23, 2020

Test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test they have developed their own unique way to fight this didn't know visible enemy.

Rather than shutting doors they found a way to keep the lights on and support their employees all while joining the fight.

Each the businesses here today have gone above and beyond to take care of their fellow mississippians, we must stand away from those things that divide us, and stand aside our enemy us, and we must skew the red tape with the public and private sector working hand in hand.

For one such partnership when covid-19 started setting through, the founder of brew delta jones found a need that his country could fill, knowing how much blue devil jeans he turned to the mississippi prisons, corp, to increase their impact.

They hit the ground running to fillal void of critical resources needed, and at this time, i am going together hut this over to the ceo, of blue devil jeans, and bradley, the ceo.

>> thank you for of to of governor for us having and for your support touring this entire time.

We are tied to sports, and we saw the impact of cocaine quickly, and business turned down quickly, and we knew that we had to make a decision swiftly.

And so we it for two reasons, one is we wanted to keep our people working and employed.

And i am happy to say that we have more people in our factory today than we did the day before covid-19 happened, and another reason we want to do it is because there's a great need for ppe supplies, and we knew with our schools in north mississippi we can make it happen.

I just want to just highlight.

I think that this speaks to the resill yes, sir of the manufacturing in mississippi,noa to do this kind of came some of the guys that were in our facilities in parchman, and they said that we want to help them in this fight and effort.

They were doing other things, their normal production they said that we would like to participate, and take great pride in this, and i think that it speaks well to the guys who are in the facility and working that they want to be a part of helping our state in this recovery effort.

>> we are proud to be a part of this, and proud to support josh in the work that they do at blue dealt an and i did want you to he no that i had on my blue devil jeans too.

They are much more comfortable.

>> at this time, i would like to call on another mississippi business that saw a way to lend a helping hand.

The red laser technology, longstanding it, official, they retooled to fill the void in covid-19 >> what we did, we are typically a customer integration company.

We connect networks, and data systems, and cyber security, and as the jeans guy said that when want to keep our employees, our guys are hard to find.

So we reached out to the rural and health fair community clinics and we were wondering if it they have adequate supplies of ppe equipment, sono carrierr0 got our team took, retooled some equipment, and as the gentleman said earlier we have now more employees than we did prior to the virus, and we also have hiring at this point, and we are making themselves he days a week, 24 hours a day, and they are sheeping them all over the united states, not only in mississippi u and we are proud of it, and proud to keep people working and jd, warehouse, and donna manages jedd, and we are steadily loading material, which is also the raw material which is made into the polyeth lienelene, that is made into the guns.

>> we had our emergency manager director that couldn't speak, one of the dangers that we did have last night is a tornado type area come through pike county, did you y'all have any damage or?

>> we had no damage, and still out of power, and expected to be for at least three days they said.

>> is that slowing down production?

>> the yes.

We will work to see if when can't get that power back on as quickly as possible.

>> that get very much for what you are doing.

At this time i am going to turn it over to brian.

Fresh stream.

>> my company, i work mainly with retailers and distributors across the country, and internationally, and i also work closely with the mississippi manufacturing association, u.s. commerce, and when the crisis hit our state my focus, is usually the to help mississippi companies bring product to market.

At that time people from your team at mema, and u.s. commerce and the manufacturing association knew the resources and connections that i had in the industry asked me to help mississippi companies, like taylor industries up in madison, and brian bradley with advanced medical technology to help find the necessary ppe and other items that the state needs.

And instead of forcing it through medical distributors or hospital distributors, i was able to use regular retailer links to find necessary items for the state.

Mississippi has a lot of items, even though it is a cry sus, i think that it brings out the best in our fellow citizens, and our thoughts and prayers are with you and your team as you continue to do a fantastic job, and be between are here to help >> thank you, brian.

>> as what i have said repeatedly, ppe has been a constant challenge throughout this crisis.

>> we are feeling better and better about where we are as a state.

And we are feeling better that we are better as we have ppe, and be we are able to restock our stockpile.

So if we do have a resurgence in the fall god forbid, or in the spring you have next year, that we start from a better position, than we started from this time.

And thank you very much for your efforts.

And speaking of that.

I want to move to our long time friend mark hander son from lazy magnolia, down in the heart-the mississippi gulf coast.


>> that you have.


Our story is no different than any of the other people who have been or will be on the stage.

We are on the front line as much as any business, in attack room where we engage the public and tourism in a very direct way.

And as soon as this became a little bit of an event we saw an immediate need for hand sanitizer and ways to protect our people from all of the things that we saw that were coming down.

>> and we went to the stoe just like anybody could, and couldn't find hand sanitizer, leslie, brew master, and be my wife as well, not sure how that happened, and she said we will make it.

>> and she you go are you crazy, and we pulled up the world health organization spread sheets on making hand sanitizer, we had the right ingredients, we made it all happened.

We sold some hand sanitizer so some local people, and the mississippi highway patrol says that when need some hand sanitizer, okay, this is just not making five gallons in the back, this is now a real thing.

We started working through the process.

>> our revenue was a great help in securing the right permits.

To secure the right permits at the federal level as well.

And we've since trained up a variety of our breweries across mississippi to do this as well, and engaged other partners, and him they are here to talk about their efforts as well.

And we sell a lot of these things, and if i can ask anything from the mississippians at this point is to remember our service industry partners, the people who are at the front lines whose livelihoods have been impacted more than anybody else.

The we run a manufacturing operation, and when do hand sanitizer, we do beer, and package water, and that operation is running full you will tilt, and the tax room and all of those people that serve food and engage people on a regular basis, those people are really hurting and if you've ever been to a bar or a restaurant, or a brewery and said hey, can i get a small donation for our cause, and every time that you walked out with a gift or your silent auction, now is the time to return that favor.

In hhthank you for telling your story, it is really the story of mississippians, it is the fact that with he know that those in the service industry.

The fact that so many are hurting today.

If there's any way that we as you mississippians can go out and buy local, let's go out and buy local whether it's the beer that is being distributed by lazy magnolia, or the vodka distributed by someone coming up here shortly or whatever the case may be, if you can order out in a restaurant and pickup or have it delivered for mississippi based companies it would go a long way for helping people from mississippi recover.

We have more business that is we would he with a to highlight today.

And thank you all for what you are doing.

Appreciate you y'all.

Thank you.

's great now to switch to our friends at cathead industries, and double a calibbrations, and i am going to start with our richard from cathead facility.

>> thank you, governor, and thank you for having me, and literally i wouldn't be here today four if it wasn't over the support of our ten years, celebrating our tenth year anniversary next week.

>> on behalf of our staff, and the fellow mississippians who have bought and distributed our products throughout the state and throughout the country.

We are is humbled to serve the needs of others, and for the last four weeks, we've been exclusively making hand sanitizer as of yesterday we pivoted our sole manufacturing plant, in cathead distill erie 24/7 to hand sanitary advertiser, san we have are scaling it to the needs that are out there in the marketplace, and we also have a full fill.

Center offsite as well.

We've engaged in employing fellow mississippians to help service the needs of others, and literally could not have made this possible without the strength and support of our team.

I would say that the best way to support cathead is similar to what mark has said support your local bars, restaurants and package stores, and another remark that you wanted to add is that we couldn't have made this happen personally without the public and private partnerships between entering i mema, and ndot.

>> and and it is important that hand sanitizer will be critical.

As we are obviously going to be talking about reopening in a safe way our economy.

Will it is going to be critically important that individuals that go into large retail operations utilize hand sanitizers that they utilize masks that are being produced by many many mississippians that they exercise extreme strong hygiene, that is critically important, as we move into this next phase and for mississippians to be helping in that is a bug big help.

At this point, we are going to move to great river industries, to greg bowers.

>> it is an industrial construction company called mississippi homes, and we are are a fabricate or, and one of the local employers there in naches doing construction awe round the company.

And we are talking about all of the impacts four with is the projects shutting down and that would take away from what we are are here for, and that is the amazing effort that we've seen through the community, the industry, the state of mississippi to pull together, and find positives on this.

>> initially, we saw the leadership of the company moved swiftly to make many changes, and we attacked this on a multup he will front to make sure that our company kept pruitting from the strait of missouri and the country, and although it was on separate front it was with one goal in mind it was to make a positive impact on the people, and that was the people of the community first, and the people of the business next, and the people of our project, because the project was our customers.

Major suppliers, chemical producers, and subcontractors and small bugses around the country, and definitely here in mississippi.

A lot of the people in the community wanted to donate 100 percent of your on ppe, masks, and put our project on hold, and we tea started to donate meals to the hospital, and,s and that's the front line, that's the heros that are working to keep our people safe in the community, and we started donating meals to our employees, because they were definitely affecting, there was no way to avoid a certain amount of layoffs, and we have been supplying meals to our individuals, and supported the city of naches with any request with that we could, and if there will's something that we could do for them, and maintain financial stability along the way.

Since we are a construction company, we decide used to use our project technology.

We worked remotely at the time, and take the people that normally work in the office, and have them work remotely and use what we do best in the field.

The best efforts to keep our employees safe.

We had them start working from home.

System la are to working on construction projects.

Many of them came from the field they started to work from home.

Day to day, and to date, we are proud to say that we don't have a single employee with covid-19, which is a big thing for us to work around the country so much.

And for us, it's to move forward.

And as leaders of companies, we make them on a smaller scale, and there's not always a right and a wrong.

There's just people caring for people, doing the best that they can each morning, so we thank you for that.

>> amen.


Thank you to greg river industries, and i am going to turn it over to john all man, of all man crate.

Our business is a training business in north mississippi.

When all of this started happening.

I started talking with some of our members, team members, we need to keep the doors open.

What is it that we can do to do that's needed that will keep supplying employment, and i said that you think that we something supply face shield, and be we went online, researched it, and came up with a prototype, and started manufacturing face shield, and we reached out to a state customer of ours, that supplied a lot of stuff for nursing homes and asked them if they had after need for this, and surprisingly thermo the phones looking for them.

And we supplied them with some, and they worked really effective and they reached out to us, and asked us to crank up production, and then we decided luke, we need to make sure that we are covering mississippi as well, and so another employee reached out to mema, and said are y'all in need of these, and we have been manufacturing them nonstop since, seats been a good fit.

It is glad that we were able to take 800,s equipment from the 18 hundreds, and turned them into making face shields.

>> thank you john, and businesses like had double a calbrations, i am going to turn it over to lawyer, the ceo, to talk about his portion.

>> larry, and as the governor said, calbration services.

What motivated triple a calbration services was say woke up one morning, and found that i didn't have no sleep the night before, because i was staying awake wondering what can i do to help this nation and the state.

So i talked to the wife, is an and we said, well, if you do anything, you can figure it out, because i was in the navy for 20 years, you always figure things out.

And we look at it, and we say what can we do.

And we said we can do face masks.

And let's look at it, and so we went out, and started looking at doing the face masks.

Whether it's around the ear or the n95, and the fact that shy hadn't had anyone with the covid-19, and my motivation is to do a little bit to maybe help not get -- have a family member or friend get the covid-19 disease.

So i looked around, and i am happy to say that we have a long term plan, a short term plan, and a now plan.

And we've had no layoffs.

We found a way to get had had -- and hopefully in the near future we will be looking for even more employment.

>> and thank you, like i and a special thank you to richard, greg and to john to thank you for all you are doing to help mississippians in this crew cyst.

>> as we switch out the panel.

I want to point out that these folks represent mississippi businesses throughout our state.

As you can tell these folks come from every different region of the state, and are just doing fantastic work.

You've heard me me say that the researchers at the university of mississippi have opinion incredibly important in the process of when it comes to testing and it's also po.

To note that our educational institutioningses are stepping up and finding ways to support their community and to lend a hand.

>> this afternoon, we have representatives of ole miss and mississippi state, and also scott, who's a manager at fad labs,.

>> and it is a partnership between jackson county school district, and we teach kids stem, and i've heard every business up here talk about turning manufacturing of this alcohol into hand sanitizer, that's what stem does, we teach kids how stem can solve the world's propose.

And this is the biggest problem of our generation, tap really come together light like this.

And we started researching online, trying to find ppe that was fda, approved.

You don't want to do harm.

You don't want to provide things that are not of use, and we found a face shield that was fda, approved we tax our 3d printers and started printing and there were none kids in the building anywhere, so we said what can we do with idle that , evens, and we found students, and former students who had 3d printers at home.

High school students that are printing these at home and taking them to memorial health.

Taking to the health systems, taking them to the police department, and to the school district workers who are providing them to the kids who no longer have meals.

They had had propel getting their own ppe, and they were many use own ppe, and they prototype things for the airforce, they started printing the model.

This is not my model.

It was online.

I don't want credit for that, but we did do that, and that is awesome.

We were also providing online camps now.

Z we are doing.

Things, to keep a kid engaged.

We keep these kids engaged, they love it and they miss it, and we are just providing a resource and you said something governor about buying local imagine if every mississippian took their $1,200 stimulus check, and spent it in a local business, that is hiring local employees, and those local employees can go to a local business, and buy things that, from a business, sustaining local moist.

How times over that $1,200 would be reused.

That's an awesome plan in my opinion.

But your leadership, you can make those many comparisons for sure.

>> thank you, scott.

Mississippians helping mississippians is the theme of today.

And there are so many ways that we as individuals can step up it and do that.

Innovation, of the you dlucht josh gladden is from ole miss.

I will turn it over to hill.

>> thank you, very much.

Appreciate the opportunity to be here, and thank you for your partnership.

This is a trying time, and what sea really heart go he to see throughout this entire press conference is all of the different pieces.

Whether ginger private or public sector all coming together to solve a problem, and it's wonderful to see everybody step up to get everybody ready to go.

It's been tremendous, once the condition its started to worsen.

Weed folks just collateral oring what can we to to help h so one thing that we knew that we could do right off the bat is look at our shelves, and our labs, and then in our research centers look for ppe that was sitting on the shelf.

Goggles moves, and send them off to the different medic all centers across the state.

Including umsc, and baptist hospital >> and some of the things that we knew that we could do is work with baptist on some will face shields.

We then, they are randomly red and blue, but these face shields we've been printing, the clear part is a disposable bit that they can take off appreuse this, and just take off the infected piece.

And so we've been -- we printed about 400 of those, we've got another hundred in the pipeline right now, and the last little post that i wanted to show that umsc, told us that is a real need is nasal swabs, the traditional wood sort of cottonwood nasal swabs don't work well for collecting testing, and there's a lot of great content online.

You have universities are just putting out in the open domain their different technologies, we were able to download a print file, we are starting to make about 200 or 300 of these a day, and just drop them off at umsc, to do some testing and do everything right for them.

>> and i will tell you that the swabs, be i had in my conversations with governors around the country, swabs are a major challenge and that's an incredible thing.

>> next, we have from mississippi state university dr. julie jordan, vice president and she's going to talk about what's going on in her neck of the woods.

>> thank you, governor.

>> i want to thank you for your leadership during this difficult you will times, and it's my pleasure to share some of the things that we are doing at mississippi state.

We had a request of mema, had working with our electrical near department and machine works, we converted over 500 ventilators from battery power to apoured and had them delivered in less than a week back to mema, we had two young engineers, students, who figured out how to take a traditional tool box, and turn into an ultraviolet sterilize,.

>> and they can put their masks, and sterilize it, and it is portable and they can move it around to different areas that they need.

>> every 3d printer on our campus is running 247 and our machines having happening to be maroon, and not red and blue, our college of vertnary folks, we have a vertnary diagnostics staff, and they have been working with the mississippi department of health public labs and trying to provide it to personnel for testing.

Like josh said we've given up all of our ppe from all of our chemistry labs, and biology labs to the local area so other people can use those.

>> one of of the things too.

>> we have visited all 82 counties, throughout this we are providing assistance to ranchers and farmers, and be trying to understand drawed markets, and local governments that are trying to understand loss of revenue, and just in dealing with the physical and mental health that are stressing at this time.

The most important thing that we are doing for our economy, and is to be safe, yeah, we are open, we are having classes and we are preparing that future workforce.

>> and it wasn't- in five days time for all of our instruct organization our it, staff our vegetation to flip thousands of classes online in a short period of time, and that happened all over the strait of mississippi, so that our man i mission of teaching and learning because that's the future economy, and we can't stop preparing our students.

So this summer we are prepared to offer more summer class as than ever before from mississippi state university, and then be online, and be they are making all of our classes more affordable.

We know that all of our families need relief, and be support in trying to get that extra education, and i would encourage our students and families, don't stop your education, the most important education the most important thing that you can do for your community is continue your education, and look to staying in school, and please had-continue.

>> and he.

We all agree for the need for that p p earnings.

At the need for those masks it and want to thank every single one of you for what you are doing thank you thank you very much.


>> thank you y'all, awant to thank all of you that are here today for your service for mississippi, and you have my sincerest gratitude for helping in this fight, these are by no means the mississippi businesses that step up and continue to step up to support our efforts to combat covid-19.

There are many many more middians from every corner of our state lending a helping thanked to their neighbors and their community.

I thank each and everyone of you for donating your time, your resources.

And so much more to help your fellow mississippians.

Because the only way we can beat this is together.

We are all in this fighting to.

When we stand united nothing will hold us down.

When we stand united we emerges stronger as a state, and when we stand united we emerges stronger as a people.

I want to call on director michelle and dr. dobbs up.

>> i want to call on director michel, up first, and we did have some severe weather overnight.


>> and i want to start by thanking all of you in the businesses.

When we started this out, and this ppe was extremely scary, and you are are all patriots and you want to help you in this ppe fight, and ppe dispersion continues on, we delivered it, and what we've been able to put in the system to get more ppe out into the counties more tier one facilities will be delivered to tomorrow, and we are delivering to them as kneeled odd a regular basis.

And staying on top of that.

A storm update easter tornado that we talked about a number of times.

We have requested joint damage assessment, there are seven counties that we are looking to add back to the declaration that we already got for jones county,ing jefferson davis county, and we are looking to add carol, and almost should your damages meet both the threshold of the assessment now, and be we hope to add that back to that emergency declaration, and we are look being to survivor assistance centers, in jones counties to help first survivors with any met needs we will announce where those locations are, and they will be ready to go and open up on monday morning.


After we are giving those individual grants is.

We had 14 down east that were affected by the weather.

And ended up having a lot of flash flooding, conducted in heinz, and other counties, and we had wind damage in pike county, lincoln, and you will all across the state.

No assessments yet, on whether or not those were straight line wind, and currently governor we have 25 of them still without power, and the crews are doing a good job of getting that on judsge i will u.

>> and thank you director michel, and you many told and very pleased to hear this, and i want to personally thank president trump and his team that the federal emergency management agency did just approve our federal declaration request for the severe weather that occurred february 10th through the 18th of 2020.

And as you have heard me say we had five federal emergency declarations we now have six emergency declarations over the last three months, and these had counties that have been approved for public assistance are atala, claiborne, clay, pine,ly failure, warren and jazz u counties from those disasters that transpired in the middle-february, so thank you very much to fema and to president trump and his team.

Put i am going to turn it over to dr. dobbs.


1,553 in total cases, 850 death, and bringing us to a total of 201.

And be if we look at the total testing numbers as of april 20th, they had tested 355,089 times tests for covid-19.

And we did break down the tests by race for the state public health lab, and it revealed that 37 percent of the tests were african americans and 61 percent were in caucasians, although that does mirror the population balance in mississippi we certainly recognize because of the increased case burden it lukely does represent under testing in the black community something that we will work hard to correct as quickly as we can.


We are at 78 patients on mechanical ventilators, and 86 in icu, beds,ing we are seeing relative stability with that, with perhaps a slow down ward trend with folks on ventilation, and it is a slow metric, and as far as testing opportunities.

I would like to announce a couple of places.

>> i've done no from he screening drive through event this week.

Tomorrow there will be one provided by aaron e henry.

And in tunica, mississippi, and there will be one by coastal family health in guffaws, and if you love in these areas, and need testing please do that.

And today the department of health with the support and partnership of umc, and the national guard has a testing event in, and in kemper county, and oxford, and it is a conference center, and then on sunday in oxford.

>> thank you, just to put some of those numbers in perspective.

If you are to look at the university of washington,-the model from march the 29.

Which was a little over three weeks ago, it seems like 33 years ago, but it was a little over three weeks ago, they had projected that on today, which would be mississippis peak, mississippi would need 7,990 on hospital beds.

As dr. dobbs just said we have a little less than 400 patients that have been hospitalized, as of today.

They said that we would need somewhere in the neighborhood of 1100 ventilators.

And as dr. dobbs told you, would he have 78 current patients on ventilators.

In the strait of mississippi.

Now is the time to recognize that your are our approach is working, to recognize that what you as mississippiance are together is working, and the necessary steps that we have taken so far are working.

And now is not the time for us to take a victory lap.

Now is a time for us to be even more focused on making sure that we protect ourselves, and protect our neighbors.

And as we move into the coming days, and weeks, we must continue to protect, we must continue to wear masks when we go out in public.

We must continue to stay socially distanced and we must continue to know that while some of the restrictions are going to loosen, if you can stay home, stay home.

And most importantly for those of you in the vulnerable population, those who, as defined by the president's guidelines to reopen american, those over the age of 65.

Those who have preexisting conditions, please stay home.

>> please do not subject yourself, if at all possible, to putting yourself at an even greater risk.

And so again, with that, i will open the floor to questions.

Yes, ma'am.

>> [ inaudible ] .

>> had do you feel pressured to make sure that the restrictions that you have in place now are [ inaudible ].

>> you you will tell you that i have great respect and admiration for the governor of georgia.

He's a personal friend.

I don't know all of their data, because i haven't spent the last several, three months of my life studying their data i have a ben focused on ours.

>> what i will tell you is that when you look at the actual numbers, and the justifications, we believe that we are very justified in being responsible, and taking a cautious approach to reopening.

As you know, we took a small step toward reopening our economy, and we have every intention of continuing down that path.

But what i want mississippians to understand is of do not think of this potential reopening in terms of a light switch that is on or offer, it is not ear 0 percent, or 100 percent.

>> think of it in terms of are the dimmer, where you can actually change the quality, and quantity of the light.

Where you can go from 30 percent, to 40 percent, and you can see us do in the next, and we will announce our final decisions tomorrow, we've been having conversations the better of tart tad, and we will continue until the better part of tonight, you will see us loosen some restrictions, but we are not going to loosen all restrictions.

In fact, quite the contrary we are going to continue to see sows, and we will continue to regulate some areas of the economy, we need to continue to open more and more of the state.

>> we are getting lots of messages of lifting unemployment assistance for those staying on the line for hours, only to be disconnectioned are you aware of any particular issues that are happening with that line, is this is there anything that you wall folks to know about the new call center.

>> what i want folks to know that you will sorry if that has happened, and i am not at all issing that it's not.

You feel certain that it has i am sorry that that has happened.

Demand is overwhelming.

We went from less than 1,000 up to 45,000 new claims last week.

We did have a down tick this week, it showed approximately 35,000 new people got online and were successful in filing unemployment injury augusts and we are continuing to ramp up another of people, and the down tick, i do think that there was less people applying, and put a little pressure on the system.

With our announcement two days ago, and it was just two days ago.

With it now being in our computer system, and be by the way, we did that quicker than just any other state in america, very few states that you can go and request of for the pua, like this.

But it has put additional stress on the system.

We are going to continue to build capacity there.

>> please be patient, we are working very hard to get that particular line fixed, and quite frankly and very hard to have capacity to teal not only with pua, and not only the line that came up, but the old as well.


[ inaudible ].

>> [ inaudible ].


Thank you, dave, i believe that i heard the gist of your question, and it's the individuals getting frustrated as it relates to the unemployment insurance.

>> i know that people are frustrated i am frustrated.

The i know that we went from less than 1,000 per week in new claims, four weeks ago to now that we are doing over 140,000 new claims a week, or 140,000 claims a week, that are added over the last three week, and be everybody had to reapply on a weekly basis, or reconfirm that they are still eligible, and i know that they are frustrated and we are working diligently to get that fixed.

>> the question that, dave asked was what role, i believe he said what role, if any, was dr. dobbs in his experts played in the reopening of the economy.

I will answer it, and then i will turn it over to dr. dobbs.

He will play a critical role in helping us make that decision.

In fact, every single step of the way throughout this process.

We have been engaged with the health department, with dr. dobbs, with dr. byers, and their entire team when we were gaining capacity, and as we go into the glad what will reopening process, dr. dobbs will not only have a seat at the table, he will have the most important seat at the table from my perspective.

Dr. dobbs do you want to talk about that.

>> every step along the way, every decision has been made with painstaking attention to detail.

Using data available to us to make the decision.

This is uncharted territory.

And so it does take a lot of attention, and mississippis situation is different than a lot of places and it has to be a tailored decision based on the reality here.

So just like it has been the whole time.

The data and the science is driven, the decision-making and that will continue.

I have no doubt.


Thank you.

>> [ inaudible ].

>> great.

>> >>.

[ inaudible ].

[ inaudible ].


Thank you for that question.

And the question was regarding when can we get back in church, and once we get back in church what would those restrictions look like.

Let me begin by saying that churches are not closed.

I don't believe that the state government, and i don't believe that any local ability has any aaboutit to shut down our church, and i believe that our freedom of religion in the united states constitution has assured that.

The approach that i have taken is to strongly strongly encourage our pastors to recognize the risk that can happen in a community when large groups of people from out of the community coming into one building it and then go back into their community, that can lead to a significant spread.

Some of the had imunder ween have had major community spread in any community in mississippi, and some of the community spread that we have had.

Particularly the ones from early on.

As dr. dobbs and his team, and by the way, they have been in contact with, and worked on contact tracing from the very beginning.

It's been our stratjust, so they've been in contact with those individuals who have contracted the virus, and some of the worst cases of community spread happened either at weddings or at funerals.

And that really stands to reason, if you think about it, those are both emotional gatherings, and people in mississippi like to hug.

Sometimes if it's a bad situation, we like to cry, and we hug each other once we are crying at a funeral, or we are crying or celebrating at a wed heather between hug each other then too.

And then we get on the dance floor, and maybe dance too closely together, and all of that.

And it just lends it stuff to very big challenges, and what i am encouraging everyone to continue to do is continue to practice church services online.

Certainly you can do drive-up services if that's what you want to do, and i encourage everyone to keep your windows up for everyone to stay in their car, and not talk to other people, because that will lend itself to significant potential challenges.

>> we forgot to give back to a more normal opportunity for church.

>> but i don't think that you need to be in the next week or two.

And once we get back, and so everyone knows, we are approximately looking at encouraging social distancing guidelines for the foreseeable future.

We tonight think, even where we are in our cycle that it makes sense for us to subject a lot of people to risk by having large numbers of people in our sanctuaries.

>> we have been getting a lot of questions for folks, spring and summer is a busy time for things like weddings.

Are they going to start thinking about what is in their best interest to moving things, so that they can plan for fewer people [ inaudible ] be >> i can't speak to june and july.

Dr. dobbs may have an opinion on that.

I will certainly turn it to him.

I can't tell you with earn isty what july is going to lock like or june.

There's a lot of at a time an out there that suggests that the summer months tend to slow viruses in general, and corona virus weres in particular, and none of of the studies that we have found don't deal with covid-19, and with covid-19 we have found that you should had you expect the unexpected.

And while i hold out hope and pray that the summer months are going to bring a reprieving, in terms of the spread of the virus, i don't think that we can definitively say that at all.

>> it really is impossible to say.

But i think that i feel pretty comfortable to say that normal gatherings throughout the summer are extremely unlikely to be safe.

>> [ inaudible ].


That have she a good question, caleb.

We are testing.

Over the last.

I don'tknow 3 to 5, 7 days must be.

The word "testing" has become the hot word in america.

Some of these governors have figured out that testing might be important, and after they spent week and weeks talking about ventilators and the health care systems of america were not stressed to the point where ventilators became an issue u my impression is that every single person that has needed a ventilator to this point has gotten one with very very excuse exceptions and now the notion has become that we have to be a able to test test test before we can reopen any economy.

In mississippi what i will tell you is that we've been talking about testing since day one.

We believe that testing was a critical you component of our overall identify, and isolate strategy.

To be able to identify and isolate, you have to be able to test.

That's the reason why when you look at the most recent dayton a from a public source that mississippi was listeds at the sixth highest testing state per cap the an in america, and just to make sure that everyone understands, the states that were above us, at least most of them, new york, new jersey rhode island, louisiana, all had major federal support in their testing over the last three weeks, and why do they have major federal support?

That's where the hot spots were.

And i'm not being critical of the feds for together that.

I understand that.

And if you take them out of the equation, mississippi is a shining example of a state, and by the way i give full credit to dr. dobbs and his team for the regular recognition of this, and you give credit to our partners at the university medical center, and the university of southern mississippi and at our private labs, and our hospitals throughout the state.

We recognize that testing was important, but your are right, caleb as we move into the next face, testing is going to continue to be critically important, we are going to have conversations that are really across the board.

We are talking about how do we increase the capacity for testing, how do we increase capacity for the inagreedients that are needed for testing and also we are having conversations about how do we do things such that we push more of the cases that maybe are of less risk so we free up the capacity at our state labs to focus on those types-risks so we know that we can get those turned around in a quicker way.

We don't have a lot of control over the private labs in terms of how long it talks their tests to be returned to our state.

Put we do, in a public lab, so he we are building capacity at the lab and also working to ensure that we have those testing capabilities that will allow us to continue our strategy because no matter what steps we take next, no matter what decisions we announce tomorrow.

We are continuing with our identify and isolate strategies, and utilizing our contact tracing teams that have been built up beautifully by the department of health and making sure that we are continuing to do the same going forward that has allowed us to, by the way, if you look at national data, we have more positive death on a per capita pass base, than many other it states, ginger not because we have so much more illness, it's because we have more testing.

>> the more positives that we cannuedify the better we are.

[ inaudible ] a detailed plannop dealing with the inmates and things like there.

>> there's family contacting us that they [ inaudible ] the virus, any update on the masks or protective measures?

>> there is that immense amount of fear throughout the state with respect to the virus.

There's a lot of concern, and i am sure that there are those family members who have inmates that are concerned as well, and i certainly understand that.

S as we announced yesterday.

We have tested approximately 22 or 23 inmates.

We've had almost all of them have come back negative with the exception of four, and we've tested even more of the staff members that were potentially symptomatic, and we've had approximately four staff members of that tested positive.

We sent them home immediately as you would expect to isolate them.

We cut off visitation very very early onto our prison system, which obviously reduce us the risk of someone from the outside bringing the virus in.

>> and we are continuing to implement the protocols that we put in place from day one, which is if you have symptoms, you go to the inofficialary, you get tested for the common flu, you get tested for strep throat, and you can get tested for covid-19.

So we are going to continue to look at that.

Had, i am very pleased that we've got inmates that are actually working to increase ppe.

We have certainly had conversations regarding delivering that to critical health care workers at the various facilities.

We have been fortunate thusfar unlike many other states, and surgeonly unlike the federal system in that we have not had massive outbreaks, and we are tunc to do everything in our power to protect those that are in that system.

As i promised, 3:30 is the longest i could stay today.

I just want to again, i want to thank everybody in this room who represents literally hundreds of thousands of mississippians who are getting up going to work every day, and are providing for themselves, providing for their familiar less, and providing for their fellow governor tate reeves wrapping up his news conference.


The main thing that came out of thank y'all, and it god bless.

>> that was governor tate reeves.

He says that a final decision will be coming tomorrow about ending restrictions ((adlib)) concerning be sure to stay with wtva 9 new corona virus although he as we work to keep you and did y that not all of those restrictions will go away.

Also there was a mention by the state health officer dr. thomas dobbs who is talking about what could happen in this summer with regards to restrictions.

He did say that normal gatherings during the summer are unstrikely likely to be safe.

Be sure your family healthy and safe all across northeast to stay mississippi and northwest wtva, alabama.

Nine it's part of our commitment to , as we wor keep you informed duringk to ked these challenging and all of your unprecedented times.

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