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Warren County continues worst stretch of the COVID-19 outbreak

Tuesday, the Mississippi State Department of Health announced an additional 21 cases of COVID-19 in Warren County.

Not only did the new cases push the number of active cases near the highest levels of the pandemic thus far, but added to the largest number of cases reported over a 7-day period in Warren County.

The estimated number of active cases reached 194, which is slightly lower than the record level of 198 reached on July 3. Tuesday’s cases give Warren County 136 new cases over the past seven days, an average of just more than 19 per day — the highest of the local pandemic that began on March 29.

Overall, Warren County has now reported 748 cases during the pandemic, with 22 virus-related deaths. The last death connected to COVID-19 was recorded on July 14.

Due to the threat posed by rising numbers, local leaders — including the city of Vicksburg and the Warren County Board of Supervisors — have instituted mask mandates, requiring anyone entering a business or public building to wear a mask or face covering. The city’s mask mandate continues through at least Aug. 3, while the county’s new order will continue through at least Sept. 8.

State health officials on Tuesday reported the state had set another one-day record for new cases reported, as 1,635 new cases were confirmed, with 31 new virus-related deaths. Since the first case was reported in Mississippi on March 11, the state has now reported 45,524 cases and 1,389 deaths.

It was the first time that the state Health Department reported an increase of more than 1,600 cases over the previous day. Mississippi has had several recent days with increases of more than 1,000 cases.

Gov. Tate Reeves and the state health officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, have been pleading with people to take steps to slow the spread of the coronavirus, including wearing masks in public and avoiding large crowds.

“We’re going to have to recognize that none of us are invincible,” Reeves said during a news conference Monday.

Reeves has declined to issue a statewide mask mandate, but he has signed an executive order that requires people to wear masks in public in 23 of the 82 counties that have the largest or fastest-growing caseloads. The order also tells people in those places to avoid large crowds. Reeves said it applies to about 55 to 60 percent of Mississippi’s population.

In Claiborne County, the state is now reporting 354 cases and 11 deaths, while Yazoo County reports 640 cases and seven deaths. The number of cases in Sharkey County continues to rise as it reported 79 cases Tuesday. Issaquena County on Tuesday reported 16 total cases with one death.

Sharkey, along with Benton County, are the only two counties in Mississippi to not yet report a virus-related death. Sharkey is, however, among the 23 counties included in the governor’s mask mandate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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