Jackson, Mississippi – The baseball season plunged into a deeper crisis on Tuesday, as states like Mississippi and South Carolina sought more hospital beds, and governors of the hardest hit regions resisted requests to order the use of face masks, despite to the increase in cases of coronavirus.
Major League Baseball suspended scheduled games for Miami Marlins until Sunday due to an outbreak that has spread to at least 15 of the team’s players and staff members, and a series of games this week between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies was also suspended as a measure of caution.
While states like Florida, Arizona, and Texas are in a dire situation, the virus has spread further to the northern states of the United States in recent days, causing alarm among public health authorities who fear such entities are not doing enough to avoid catastrophic outbreaks such as those registered in the so-called Belt of the Sun, which comprises the southern fringe of the country.
The rebound in the north central region has been largely driven by an increase in cases among young adults, who have returned to bars, restaurants and gyms.
Florida reported 191 new deaths, another one-day high in the state, while Arizona recorded 104 and Arkansas set a one-day record with 20 deaths.
The United States has recorded approximately 4.3 million coronavirus cases and around 150,000 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University count. Internationally, more than 16.5 million people have been infected and more than 655,000 have died.
Republican governors in Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri and South Carolina have declined requests to close bars and gyms, as well as issue a mask-wear order statewide, though local officials have imposed some restrictions on their own. .
In Mississippi, nine of the state’s largest hospitals had no beds available in their intensive care units on Monday, and authorities were considering opening temporary facilities to provide more space. More than 24% of coronavirus tests have tested positive for Mississippi in the past week, representing the highest rate in the country and triple the national average.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has argued that because wearing face masks has become a political issue, a statewide order could discourage people from covering their faces. Instead, he asked that masks be worn only in the most affected counties.
Terry Sullivan, CEO of Fondren Fitness in Jackson, said a statewide order would be “the right thing.”
“I know it is a touchy subject, but if we can all wear face masks and get it right for a month, it would help a lot to try and stop this in Mississippi,” he said. “If we don’t, it won’t stop.”
In Missouri, large cities are becoming increasingly uneasy about a rebound in cases after the state completely resumed economic activities. The state reported another record increase in cases in a single day, with nearly 1,800. St. Louis will cut bar hours and reduce restaurant capacity starting Friday, and Kansas City could follow suit.
Governor Mike Parson has repeatedly refused to issue an order to require the use of facemasks throughout the state, arguing that there are relatively few cases in most of the state compared to other sources of infection in cities. bigger.
Last month, Parson said he did not believe the governor had a personal responsibility for any virus and compared the disease that has killed nearly 1,000 people in the state with influenza. He said that no one should expect him to take responsibility if someone is involved in a car accident on a state highway.