December 4, 2020

Stay away from crowds to avoid virus, even if temperature checked, Mississippi leader says

Mississippi’s top medical officer said Wednesday, Mississippians need to avoid crowds to avoid catching coronavirus from someone who may not know they have it.

“It’s the wrong time of the pandemic for folks to be getting in any big group, especially older folks,” Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said Wednesday. “Within any group of 100 people, there are going to be 1 or 2 people with coronavirus. It’s just inevitable.

“So if you have 1,000 people at an event, there’s going to be, you know, 10 or 20 coronavirus patients so there will be transmission if you’re not careful,” he said. “Any group gathering … is going to be a dicey proposition.”

Dobbs said events that are using temperature checks of participants as they enter may give people false hope that all is well

“The temperature checks and stuff is a useful, but minimally impactful endeavor,” he said. “It’ll help catch a few people, but we know that most people who are spreading it are asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic, and they’re going to feel perfectly fine to go out and spread coronavirus.”

Dobbs said the solution to helping curb the spread is simple: Wear a mask, wash your hands and avoid crowds.

“Just stay out of crowds for crying out loud,” he said. “It’s just the wrong time.”