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More counties receive tougher state COVID-19 restrictions; Warren County not among them

Gov. Tate Reeves announced Thursday he is extending the social distancing measures under the Safe Return and county-specific executive orders to continue combating the rising cases of COVID-19 across the state.

The executive orders are now extended through Monday, Aug. 17.

“We are throwing everything that we can at the hospital crisis in our state, and we are going to continue working to ensure the integrity of our health care system,” Reeves said. “I want to underscore again: even if you do not personally fear coronavirus, the overwhelming of the system affects everybody. If you get in a car wreck, you don’t want to be treated in a tent like we saw in other parts of the country. You want to get the best possible care.”

Reeves also announced eight additional counties in Mississippi had reached the “hot spot threshold” set by state health experts.

Effective Monday, Carroll, Coahoma, Jones, Lee, Leflore, Lowndes, Noxubee and Pontotoc counties have been added to county-specific executive orders with tighter distancing measures. The total number of counties under tighter restrictions is now 37, including Claiborne and Sharkey.

The state has said that any county that reports more than 200 cases in a 14-day period, and more than 500 per 100,000 residents, would be a candidate to be declared a hot spot. Warren County reached and surpassed those thresholds on July 24, but has not yet made the list.

In the past two weeks, the period most scrutinized by health officials, Warren County has reported 281 new cases and a ratio of 576 cases per 100,000 people.