In Mississippi, nearly 4,000 students and close to 600 teachers are quarantined due to Covid-19 exposure, officials said. During a news conference Tuesday, state health officer Dr. Thomas E. Dobbs III announced 144 new teacher cases and 292 student cases for last week.
“These numbers that we’re seeing in our schools are not unexpected,” Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said during the news conference. “I am pleased the number of isolations that we’re seeing, the quarantines that we’re seeing.”
“And I’m pleased that there are a large number of Mississippi kids that are sitting in a classroom right now learning in a safe environment and so we got to continue to monitor it, we’ve got to continue to be careful,” he added.
Officials recommend more aggressive measures in Georgia
According to the White House Task Force for the virus, there are more points of concern.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WABE first reported on the group’s latest report which says Georgia’s improvements remain fragile and the state could suffer more without further aggressive actions to control the spread of the virus, including a statewide mandate on masks and shutting down bars in areas with high transmission rates.
CNN reached out to the White House and the Task Force for comment but in the past they have repeatedly declined to make these reports public.
Candice Broce, a spokeswoman for the governor, said in an email, “Since the last Coronavirus Task Force report was leaked to the AJC, our new cases per 100,000 people has dropped by 22.68%.” The report was dated August 23.
In the last seven days, cases across Georgia have declined by 12%. Over the last two weeks, the state has seen a 26.26% decrease in cases, according to an analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
The governor has defended the state’s Covid-19 strategies and Broce added the task force report, which CNN has not independently verified, shows “Georgia is making progress and has seen a decrease in new cases and a decrease in test positivity over the last week.”
But for the second week in a row, Georgia is among the worst in the nation for new cases.
On Tuesday, the state’s health department reported 2,236 new cases of the virus, bringing the state’s total infections to more than 258,000. It is the state with the fifth highest number of infections in the US, according to Johns Hopkins.
Hopeful news in California
In California, which saw a rapid surge of cases over the summer, health officials are now saying the numbers seem to show a stabilization of transmission.
The state’s positivity rate is down from two weeks ago, a month ago and two months ago, said State Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.
“Last week, we mentioned that we were showing progress on meeting the state’s benchmarks for getting off the watch list, and we are grateful for everyone’s sacrifices that have resulted in slowing the spread,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health, said in a statement.
“Because of the lessons we learned from our explosion of cases in July, I need to ask that we continue to significantly modify our actions if we want to keep community transmission rates low.”
California still leads the country with the highest amount of infections reported — more than 680,000 cases since the start of the pandemic.
CNN’s Andrea Kane, Nick Valencia, Maria Cartaya, Cheri Mossburg and Jennifer Henderson contributed to this report.