FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 28, 2021
Grace and peace to you,
We are in constant prayer for the health of our members and the healing of our nation. The rise of the COVID-19 Delta variant is causing great strain on hospitals and healthcare facilities. We must also keep in consideration the health of children, who haven’t reached vaccination age, as schools begin to reopen.
For those congregations who have returned to in-person worship, mask wearing is highly recommended. The Mississippi Conference Pandemic Task Team encourages you to follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH). We urge continued caution and partnership with pandemic response-focused collaborative leadership teams as they meet to assess how recent guidance may need to be applied to your mitigation of virus transmission strategies.
In today's COVID-19 press briefing, due to rapidly increasing Delta variant cases and being short on medical staff, MSDH leadership's school guidance recommends that all students, teachers, staff and visitors in indoor settings wear masks at all times, regardless of vaccination status. Additionally, there needs to be appropriate spacing for classroom settings to minimize transmission. State health officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs also recommended that people get medical-grade mask because it would be most helpful to the mask wearer. According to senior deputy and director of MSDH Office of Health Protection, Jim Craig as of the evening of July 27, there are 28 hospitals in the state reporting no availability in ICUs and these are the state's larger hospitals. Effective Thursday, July 29 MSDH is issuing a Health Officers' Order for the Crisis of Care that will be in effect until August 15. This order necessitates mandatory compliance to proper assignment of patients to appropriate levels of care at hospitals. This will require hospitals to delay elected procedures to make more availability for beds for COVID patients.
In light of the recent increase in COVID cases, one church decided to cancel vacation Bible school after a child tested positive for COVID-19. Some churches have decided to delay the start date for their Wednesday evening meals and program schedules. Additionally, churches are beginning to reemphasize wearing masks inside.
The Mississippi Conference Pandemic Task Team has medical professionals on hand to answer any questions you may have. For those with additional questions for the pandemic task team, we welcome your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Praying that your soul prospers as your health prospers,
The Mississippi Conference Pandemic Task Team
Dr. Marcus Gaut Dr. Bob Ford
Dr. Steve Shirley Dr. Thais Walden
Mrs. Lynette Harris Mrs. Sarah King
Rev. Haywood Hannah Rev. Trey Skaggs
Rev. Dr. Joe Ranager Mrs. Jamie Beatty
Mr. Cameron Cloud
Bishop James E. Swanson Sr. Rev. Vickie White
Rev. Dayna Goff Rev. Fred Britton
Miss Jasmine Haynes Mr. Mike Howington