Ford recovering from virus


Freshman State Rep. Jill Ford of Madison is among the over 40 legislators and capitol staff that has tested positive for COVID-19.

Ford, who said she was on Day 11 of the virus, said she was feeling fine. 

“I can’t go run a marathon,” she joked. 

Ford said she thinks she contracted the virus the last day of the session and first felt ill on July 6. 

“I did not feel like getting out of the bed and that’s not typical,” she said. 

Ford explained she thought the exhaustion was a result of the hours she and other legislators poured in over the last couple weeks tackling the state budget and voting to retire the state flag. She then said she developed a slight fever and lost her sense of taste but that was the worst of it. 

“I’m glad to get this and get it over,” she said. “So many people are living in fear.”

On Monday, Madison County and 12 other Central Mississippi counties went under a mandatory mask order enacted by Gov. Tate Reeves. 

Reeves has repeatedly said there were no plans for a statewide mask mandate at this time, instead saying buy-in at the local level has proven successful in the past.

On Wednesday, 1,025 new cases and 18 new deaths were reported in the state. 

A new public health order that went into effect last week limits elective procedures in hospitals in six counties — Hinds, Madison, Rankin, Jones, Forrest and Washington.

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said there are patients who have transported to out-of-state hospitals because there are no available beds. 

“We’re running out of ICU beds,” he said. “It’s happening now. This is not a future state, it’s a now state. My greatest fear is starting to be realized. People in ERs across the state who can’t get a bed, we’re sending them out of state.”

On Tuesday, he said there were zero ICU beds available in the metro.

Reeves said he was 100 percent committed to opening up the schools for the fall term but less than 100 percent on extracurricular activities such as high school football. 

On Tuesday, the Mississippi High School Activities Association announced that fall football would be played following a two-week delay. 

Madison County is third in the state with a total number of 1,589 cases, behind Hinds and De Soto.

The state’s death rate has been cut by 31% since May, data show, but hospitalizations, ICU cases and ventilator usage has risen.

As of Wednesday, Madison reported reported 40 deaths. There were also 141 outbreaks in long-term care facilities, with 19 of those resulting in death. 

The Mississippi Department of Health reported on Wednesday 825 current hospitalizations of COVID patients, up from 536 on June 24. There were another 274 patients with suspected infection. There were 240 people admitted in ICUs across the state and 132 who were on ventilators. 

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