City’s mask mandate likely to be extended into December following one-day spike

Published 11:54 am Friday, October 16, 2020

Where the numbers are coming from is not yet known, but the COVID-19 report Friday by the Mississippi State Department of Health has already had ramifications locally.

In the report released Friday morning, state health officials reported 30 new cases in Warren County, the largest single-day number of new cases since Aug. 8.

“These numbers have shown me that we must keep the mask mandate in place for at least an additional month,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said after seeing the latest report. “I am convinced now that we need to keep the mandate in place through at least — at least — Dec. 2.”

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The city’s mask mandate, along with the mandate in place by county officials, requires anyone entering a business and public building in the county to wear some kind of face covering. The city’s current order, and the order recently extended by county officials, is set to expire Nov. 2.

Flaggs also said Friday he hopes Friday’s spike in numbers is a one-time occurrence and that he will be watching the numbers closely over the coming days.

“If this is the start of a higher trend, then we might need to consider bringing back some restrictions,” he said.

Earlier this week, when the number of new cases locally began to creep slightly higher, Flaggs said he was considering extending the mask mandate, and talked about how the masks may still be required through the first of the year.

“It only makes sense to keep the mandate in place through the cold and flu season,” Flaggs said. “During a time when everyone is coughing and sneezing, it only makes sense to keep it in place.”

That idea was floated in an earlier interview by The Post with Dr. Dan Edney, of Medical Associates of Vicksburg, who said the mask mandate through the cold and flu season — along with the flu vaccine — could ultimately lead to a less active flu season.

Friday’s report, in addition to surprising many, broke a three-week period of daily reports with cases below 10. Overall, the county has now seen a total of 1,511 total cases since the first local case was reported on March 11.

As far as the state, Friday’s report was yet another day of more than 1,000 new cases with 1,116 new cases and nine deaths.

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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