Big coronavirus outbreak in US' Mississippi legislature; 26 lawmakers test positive

WION Web Team New York, New York, United States of America Jul 11, 2020, 12.23 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in Mississippi, USA Photograph:( Reuters )

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Mississippi has seen a rapid rise in confirmed cases in the past two weeks, with the total hitting nearly 33,600 by Wednesday, including at least 1,200 deaths.

At least 26 lawmakers from the Mississippi legislature have been diagnosed with the coronavirus in the biggest known outbreak in any state legislature in the United States. That works out to about 1 in 7 Mississippi legislators.

None of the lawmakers has been hospitalised, according to state officials.

US President Donald Trump has resisted wearing a mask, and many other Republicans around the country have cast face coverings and social distancing as an infringement on their freedom. But around the Mississippi Capitol, wearing a mask was compulsory.

In addition to the legislators, at least 10 people who work in the Capitol have been diagnosed with the virus.

Mississippi has seen a rapid rise in confirmed cases in the past two weeks, with the total hitting nearly 33,600 by Wednesday, including at least 1,200 deaths.

Mississippi legislators were supposed to meet from January through April but went home in mid-March because of the outbreak. They returned briefly in May during a feud with the governor over spending coronavirus relief money from the federal government.

At least 73 lawmakers in 27 states have tested positive for the coronavirus since the outbreak began. Three lawmakers have died, in Louisiana, Michigan and South Dakota.