State’s top doctors: Think summer not spring for social gatherings

Published 8:24 am Sunday, March 14, 2021

Two of the state’s top health officers say social gatherings will be a lot safer decorated in red, white and blue instead of Easter pastel pinks and greens.

Think summer instead of spring — State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs and Epidemiologist Paul Byers said Mississippians should hold off until summer to begin planning large social gatherings.

Dobbs and Byers addressed the issue during a weekly discussion sponsored by the Mississippi State Medical Association.

Prom dances and congregating together for Spring Break would not be a good idea at this time the two health officers warned.

Dobbs said the state could see a surge in cases after Spring Break because travel and holidays have been accompanied by increases in the past.

When asked about school proms, Dobbs said he didn’t think it was a good idea, at this time.

A return to normal will happen slowly and not all at once, Dobbs and Byers said.

Dobbs and Byers say they are encouraged by the state’s efforts to get the COVID-19 vaccine to the local population and expect the vaccine to be available to the general public in April.

Currently, Mississippi residents 50 and older, and those 16 to 49 years old with chronic health conditions, are now eligible for vaccines, with many appointments open from a variety of suppliers.

By March 12, 824,528 Mississippians had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.