PHILADELPHIA, Miss.–When the Central Mississippi Fair began Wednesday, masks were part of the requirement. It was on that same day that Lee McCall, CEO of Neshoba General Hospital in Philadelphia, blamed the county’s high number of coronavirus cases partly on the Neshoba County Fair.
The fair drew thousands of people, some of whom stayed in the traditional quarters of cabins and trailers.
At the hospital this week, McCall is dealing with a shortage of 30 people who are out sick.
McCall Tweeted earlier this week at Gov. Reeves, saying “Where are you?”
“I have no political agenda whatsoever,” said McCall. “I’m trying to help our community. I’m trying to help be an advocate for all of us.”
Reeves declined again on Friday to issue a state-wide mask mandate. Last year those mandates were county by county. This year many school districts in central Mississippi have made masks mandatory. Kosciusko schools began the year with masks as an option and switched to a requirement a week in, and as of Friday, are now virtual for two weeks.
Neshoba County and Philadelphia schools are requiring masks, as are Leake County schools.
Reeves’ position has been, as he stated at the Neshoba County Fair, that Mississippians enjoy freedom. He called the guidance from the CDC “foolish”.
Today MSDH is reporting 5,023 more cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, 31 deaths, and 166 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care facilities. State #covid19 totals: 381,147 cases, 7,761 deaths, and 1,065,743 persons fully vaccinated. Full information: https://t.co/YCv9xPyJDk pic.twitter.com/Ho7c8JEiq7
— MS Dept of Health (@msdh) August 13, 2021
Neshoba County has the highest per capita COVID rate ion the state. The state has a 36 percent vaccination rate, which is the lowest in the country, and Mississippi had over 5,000 cases of coronavirus reported Friday.