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Andrea Sanders appointed commissioner of MS Child Protection Services

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Andrea Sanders (photo courtesy MS Governor's Office)

Monday, Gov. Tate Reeves announced that Andrea Sanders will serve as the new Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services.

A former social worker for children and current general counsel and principal deputy executive director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, Sanders has been on the front lines of the effort to protect Mississippi’s most vulnerable. She has been a key leader in the efforts to reform the Department of Human Services.

“I am proud to make this appointment today,” Reeves said in a statement. “Not only has Andrea served with integrity and devotion in this field for many decades, she brings powerful personal experience to the job. Andrea was adopted into a loving Mississippi family as an infant. She is not only a leader in the effort to look after Mississippi’s children, she is a testament to the unlimited potential of every child in the system.

“From her work to provide therapy and care for struggling children as a social worker, to her esteemed legal background, to her efforts to clean up the Mississippi Department of Human Services–there is no one who could be better equipped for the job.”

“I am honored and excited to take on this task,” Sanders said. “I know that we have more work to do in order to provide a secure environment and loving home to Mississippi’s children. I’m grateful to Gov. Reeves for putting me in this position of trust, and I know that we have many kids out there who are relying on us to get it right. I believe that we can make a difference if we always remember the God-given potential of every child in our state. All must be protected and uplifted.”

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Events

Turn in your unused prescriptions on Take Back Day Saturday, Oct. 24

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The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is holding its 19th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Saturday, Oct. 24, at locations across the country.

In Vicksburg and Warren County, event locations will be staffed by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office or the Vicksburg Police Department from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

  • Outlets of Vicksburg, 4000 S. Frontage Road
  • Walgreen’s Pharmacy, 3341 Halls Ferry Road
  • WalMart, 2150 Iowa Blvd.

The nationwide event aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that most abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets.

Collection sites will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement.

“The initiative – now in its 10th year – addresses a vital public safety and public health issue,” said DEA Acting Administrator Timothy Shea in a statement. “Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Together with our partners, we are not only holding National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, but offering other ways to dispose of unwanted, unused and expired prescription medications.”

Given the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, the DEA wants to ensure that the public is aware of other ways they can dispose of unwanted prescription drugs without having to leave their homes. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have tips on how to safely dispose of drugs at home.

In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, prescription drugs can be disposed of at any of the 11,000 DEA authorized collectors at any time throughout the year. Search for those sites at https://apps2.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch/spring/main?execution=e1s1.

DEA also encourages the public to reach out to their local law enforcement to find out if they have any permanent drug disposal locations throughout their local community.

DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches and other solid forms. DEA will also accept vape pens or other electronic cigarette devices from individual consumers, only after the batteries are removed from the devices. If the battery cannot be removed, individual consumers can check with large electronic chain stores who may accept the vape pen or e-cigarette devices for proper disposal. Liquids, including intravenous solutions, syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs cannot be dropped off. This service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

For more information on DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and to find other collection sites near you, visit www.deatakeback.com.

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COVID-19

Watch: Governor announces additional COVID-19 measures

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Gov. Tate Reeves during a news conference Oct. 19, 2020. (photo via video screen grab)

In the wake of a recent spike of new COVID-19 cases in Mississippi, Gov. Tate Reeves announced additional measures Monday to slow the spread of the virus.

A new executive order places a 10% capacity requirement on health care facilities across the state. If hospitals cannot maintain 10% of their capacity for COVID-19 patients, they must delay elective procedures. This was a vital part of the effort to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed during the summer wave. Mississippi’s COVID-19 cases have increased over the past few weeks—part of a global and national trend of increasing cases.

The governor also announced additional targeted measures for counties that meet the standards established during the summer wave. In these counties, indoor social gatherings should be limited to groups of 10. Outdoor social gatherings should be limited to groups of 50. Face coverings are required while indoors and interacting with the public without social distancing.

“We’ve seen this before,” Reeves said during a live news conference Monday streamed on Facebook. “We know what can happen if we allow this to get out of control, and so we want to be proactive to prevent that from happening. None of these elements are silver bullets. None of them will totally eliminate the virus. We have to allow for life to go on in the meantime. As we wait for a vaccine, our mission is the same as it ever was: to prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed. That has to be the focus.”

Counties must meet the following criteria for additional measures: more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents over a designated two-week period or more than 200 cases total over the designated two-week period (with more than 200 cases per 100,000 residents).

The counties that currently meet the criteria for additional COVID-19 safety measures are Chickasaw, Claiborne, DeSoto, Forrest, Itawamba, Jackson, Lamar, Lee and Neshoba.

View a copy of the executive order here.

“You’re smart. You know what you need to do to keep safe,” Reeves wrote in a Facebook post Monday. “We’ll keep trying to set policies that mitigate rampant spread while respecting everyone’s individual rights.

“Please stay watchful and be careful. We can get through this together.”

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