Edmund Pettus COVID-19 Update | July 21, 2020
3 512 of those have come back. Positive 28 092 have come back negative. We have 1595 tests currently pending. Those are all for our four healthcare organizations. Right now, in the hospital we have 79 patients who are positive for covid that’s combined merit health wesley and forrest general that’s about 10 over where we’ve been the last 14 days uh. We have two additional 28 patients who are under investigation right now in the icu right now we have 34 patients who are positive for covid uh that’s about five over where we’ve been for the last two weeks uh. This is kind of the chart on where, where things have gone lately, as you can see, uh they’ve gone not in a great direction. Um we were. We were kind of under that 50 mark for until the first part of july and it’s been going up ever since we’re just under 80 right now in hospitalizations and our icu numbers have risen as well uh. We did report one new death over the weekend. It takes our forest county death total of 46 we’ve, actually had four deaths in our metro area. In the past six days. In terms of new positive cases, we have 35 in forest county today, 25 in lamar. I want to go back to one thing: real, quick um in terms of uh when we go to this news next slide.
These are the total positive cases, since this began 1232 for forest county 832 for lamar county.
If you didn’t see my write up last night on facebook, we had a situation on saturday where the number of new positive cases for forest county was actually negative 22 and the actual number of positive new positive cases for lamar county was 57. That was all in one day, of course, you’re not going to have a negative number of new cases. Some people suddenly don’t just not have coveted and never had it uh what what those things are and it’s happened twice before those are. Those are kind of really dated reconciliations where addresses that were attributed to forest county were actually in lamar, county or stone, county or even perry county, and so our emergency management offices, both in forest county and mark county, get those addresses and when they find errors, they Do send them back to the department of health to try and make sure they’re reconciled and so on saturday that’s, what that was there weren’t 57 new people that suddenly had coven in lamar, county and and nobody or negative 22 in forest county. It was just them reconciling old test results, uh our five day average, of course um. This is actually situations like saturday or while we look at the five day average. It kind of irons out when there are one day, discrepancies, and so it takes the number of new positive cases and averages it with the two days prior and the two days after and so uh.
What we’ve seen here, um lamar county, has passed forest county in terms of new positive cases, um it’s in between right over 30. uh forest county is still around 20, but again um when forest county is having these 30 35 new positive cases every day that that Trend is going to reverse uh. We look at the number of cases that were reported inside the last 14 days. The reason we do that is because this disease typically has a life cycle of 14 days or fewer, and so when you look at the number of people who have reported that positive in the last 14 days, that gives you an estimate, an imperfect estimate, but still An estimate of how many active cases you could have in your community and in forest county again this this takes into account that minus 22 on saturday uh. That number is at 316 right now inside the past 14 days, lamar county. That number is inside the inside 14 day. Number is 341. now both of those numbers are aren’t again it’s, not a totally accurate estimate on the number of active cases, because you may have reported your test back positive on one day, but you may have had symptoms been waiting five days for your test results. So it’s it’s an imperfect estimate, but still an estimate uh the number of inside 14 days. We look on the chart here: um, that is a uh again, not the direction we want to go.
We were kind of in a really kind of a good spot in the middle of june. That number for our metro area is now well over 600 of people who have reported test back just in our two counties, combined uh in the past two weeks. Our goals, of course, this is important, now understanding that that we’ve got a lot of people in the hospital and a lot of people in the icu protect vulnerable populations from getting sick in the first place. Those are the people who will have adverse reactions. People who are over the age of 60 people with underlying or chronic health conditions, people who are immune compromised if we can keep them from catching us in the first place, we’re more likely able to protect them from that adverse reaction. Secondly, we want to prevent overrun of the health care system by slowing the spread that’s a real issue right now, not only for our area but for most of the state. And finally, if we can prioritize and commit to prioritizing public health uh, we can continue allowing the private sector to go on, as it is uh four factors that we looked at widespread availability of testing, the wearing of masks watching our own data. Listening to all voices, statewide data right today, 1635 new positive cases that sets a new high from mississippi, also 31 new deaths in our state um. We send our condolences to all those families that’s, actually one of the higher uh days in mississippi for that as well.
Um in terms of also just looking at data, i want to make sure that you, you have access to this, that you can go and pull these things up if you want to take a little deeper dive into forest lamar counties. If you go to the department of health’s website, which is msdh.ms.gov covid 19, you can click on this link. That says, data by county and there are a couple of really interesting spreadsheets in terms of case summaries cases per day, but also there’s, a one that you can. You can see the ranking of of counties in terms of the last seven days and right now, both foreign last night were in the top ten, but just again trying to make sure that you have information that you’re not just hearing from me. But you can go and explore this information for yourself. You can find those on the department of health’s website uh. One thing that we launched yesterday from our business community. I want to thank all the people who participated in yesterday’s call: bernard green ab, payne, tracy, rouse, ty jackson, hoppy cole and dr rubash. We, our business community, has launched mask of hattiesburg. This is a thing where i know that people get tired of me. Talking about masks – and so i want to hear from the people who are actually the ones that are in business right now having to go through these challenges that they are taking the issue on themselves: they’re, taking the mantle spreading the word using their spheres of influence To spread the word that masking up is the thing to do: um you’ll see these ads on facebook, you’ll see them on tv, um you’ll see them on your friends.
Facebook profile pictures. If you haven’t made added this to your profile picture, we invite you to do so, but it’s about the importance of wearing a mask while we wear them who we wear them for and how to wear them and so uh. If you don’t want to do it because i said so, you can be an ambassador for this yourself by um to your friends. While we should wear masking out in public and on that on that note, it’s important to note that now all of forest county is under a mask order. This is with the governor governor reeves executive order. 1509. It did add forest county to the list of counties with mandatory masks in public places. It also takes us back to shelter and place in terms of sizes of gatherings sets limits on gatherings to 10 people indoors 20 people outdoors uh requires in businesses space people out by six feet and um their customers. Wear that wear the face coverings as well extends all those previous orders to august the third, the the whole idea of what is a public place, because you hear the governor says you have to wear a mask in public places. What is a public place? Well, it’s, in in according to governor reeves order, any places, business or gathering retail restaurant event, venue uh, it could be indoors or outdoors. That is a public place and governor reeves says that you have to wear a mask when you go to those places.
That applies to anyone over the age of six. There are, of course, exceptions for medical, behavioral health conditions, your hearing impaired, if you’re, actually eating or drinking it’s, a little hard to wear masks. You can take the mask off when you actually uh have your food. Not while you work you can you don’t have to wear when you work out, but going into those places, retail restaurant gyms, you do have to wear them, and so, of course his order only applied to forest county and it would make absolutely no sense for half Of hattiesburg to operate under one set of rules and the other half not too so uh with my latest executive order, which is 2020 13. It extends not only all the previous orders regarding masks for employees and masks for customers in retail, but also brings forth the governor’s match, quarter and mandates and those gathering limits and and the mass for all businesses uh to both forest and lamar county sides of hattiesburg And so, in addition to expending all the previous capacity limits from previous orders uh, we know that, even though governor reeves only did for forest county, if you’re in the city of hattiesburg or if your business is in the city of hattiesburg, whether foreign county uh, we Will be abiding and enforcing uh that match order? And finally, in some city news uh, we have. We have learned over the last several days that 14 of our employees now have coveted, while we’re trying to make sure that we are leading from the front living.
The example on those those goals protecting the vulnerable. We are actually closing several city offices to the public for walk in service. You can still get drive through or call in or curbside, but city hall, water building, community center reservations, cemetery, engineering and then the police. In terms of obtaining records, those offices will be closed to the public. Municipal court will still be open and you can still access those services through curbside drive through or by phone and finally, our act of courage. Today, over the weekend, america lost an icon of hero. In georgia, congressman john lewis, flags in hattiesburg flew half staff for a man that has become a living symbol of not only the civil rights movement but of hope, forgiveness and reconciliation. We remember the images of him with dr martin luther king at the march on washington. We remember the images of him on the edmund pettus bridge on bloody sunday in selma, alabama on march 7, and remember a very different image of him on that bridge. Some 50 years later walking hand in hand with the first african american president here in hattiesburg. We also remember his involvement in the local civil rights struggle as he came down as a leader with the student non violent coordinating committee back in january of 1964, which set the stage for freedom summer later that year, john lewis once said, freedom is not a state. It is an act, it is not some enchanted garden perched high on a distant plateau where we can finally sit down and rest freedom is the continuous action we all must take, and each generation must do its part to create an even more fair, more just society.
When we see heroes, like john lewis pass, we have seen many in our community leave us in recent years, it’s critical that we not only honor their life but also take up the torch and run hard toward justice and opportunity. Hopefully, if we do that, when it’s our time to take our eternal rest and hand that torch off to someone else, we would do so. Knowing that we did all, we could do to take this community.