Following Tuesday’s recommendation by the Mississippi State Medical Association that Gov. Tate Reeves issue a statewide mask mandate, the Vicksburg Daily News reached out to prominent Vicksburg physician Dr. Daniel Edney for his guidance.
Dr. Edney is one of 10 physicians serving on Mississippi’s COVID-19 coronavirus task force. He also practices here in town at Medical Associates of Vicksburg, specializing in in internal medicine.
“We watch the seven-day average of deaths, the number of hospitalizations, the number of ventilators used along with the number of ICU beds in use,” he said. “All those numbers are going the wrong way.”
During the month of June, Mississippi saw a decline in deaths particularly in the elderly population, Edney continued. Cases were increasing but the Mississippi State Department of Health had gotten the nursing homes under control.
The elder population is listening, Edney said. The spikes are coming from younger folks who tend to end up in large gatherings.
“I know one family with four deaths,” he said. “This needs to be taken seriously.”
Asked about his opinion on schools reopening, he said he would defer to our state leaders such as State Medical Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs, but he said provisions should be made for at-risk children and teachers.
The doctor cautioned that everyone needs to continue to follow the guidance issued by the MSDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Simple things such as wearing a mask, frequent hand-washing and social distancing are key factors in turning this upturn in cases around.
“If we as medical professionals can wear masks and protective gear for eight hours a day,” Edney said, “certainly you can tolerate it for your trip to Kroger or Walmart.”
“Despite what you read on Facebook, you need to wear your mask,” he said.