Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said he’s had conversation with other southern governors on what reopening the economy might look like.
Reeves said at a news conference that he had a “great call over the weekend” with the governors of Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama, and said, “all of us are of similar minds."
"We each have different circumstances and different situation that are unique to each individual state," he said.
"We want to do it in a responsible safe way, but we also want to make sure that we get as many people back to work so that they're providing for themselves as best as they can. So, yes, we are working together. We are in conversations," Reeves added.
He said Mississippi is continuing to increase the number of staff to address the 14,000% increase in unemployment claims. They previously had 50 people answering unemployment phones and now they have more than 250 people and have processed about 50% more claims than they did last week.
Jackie Turner, executive director for Mississippi Department of Employment Security, said the state paid out $72 million in unemployment benefits last week.
By the numbers: There have been at least 4,716 coronavirus cases and at least 183 deaths in the state, according to Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas E. Dobbs III.
Dobbs said 90% of coronavirus deaths are people over the age of 60.
About 51.3% of positive cases and 64% of all coronavirus deaths in Mississippi are among black Americans. As of yesterday, 52,364 tests completed in the state.
“The reality is that we are still in the plateau, we are still in the eye of the storm, and the most important thing that every Mississippian can do is to use common sense. Stay at home, if at all possible. When you leave, go to work and go back home. If you need to stop and get groceries, wear a mask in the grocery store,” the governor said.