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November’s COVID report shows virus’ resurgence in Warren County

For Warren County, life with the COVID-19 pandemic finished its eighth full month as November came to a close. And as it did, local medical officials found themselves dealing with a level of an outbreak not seen since the summer.

For a virus that had been knocked down in September and October, it has surged once again.

In November, Warren County reported an average of 7.03 new cases per day, but the last two weeks of the month were among the worst, as more than nine new cases per day were reported.

By comparison, the average number of cases reported in Warren County during October was 5.4, while the number in September was 3.5. The worst month thus far during the pandemic was June, when the county saw an average of 16.8 new cases per day.

The final report for November from the Mississippi State Department of Health, released Monday, revealed 10 new cases in Warren County; the fourth day in the past five days where 10 or more cases were reported.

“We are seeing an increase in testing and an increase in the number of positive cases,” Dr. Dan Edney, with Medical Associates of Vicksburg, and a member of the governor’s COVID-19 task force said. “We are still seeing cases in all ages across the board, but older folks are still isolating and not as many of them are testing positive.”

But while the November numbers have shown an increase, they may pale in comparison with the numbers expected in December.

Leading up to the recent Thanksgiving holiday, health officials had urged residents to not gather in large groups, to not travel for family meals and do their best to socially distance. Despite the warnings, experts reported travel over the long Thanksgiving weekend set records for the year, which has lead health officials to brace for what is coming.

Edney said the full impact of the Thanksgiving holiday and the expected spread of the virus, will not be fully realized until the second week of December. All of this also comes at a time when the state has set daily average records in new cases and the state’s healthcare industry is feeling the most stress it has felt at any point during the pandemic.

“The scariest number is that we hit 1,008 COVID patients in the hospital and climbing,” Edney said Monday. “Today broke a record we set in August when the number of patients reached 989. Healthcare systems in the state are under significant stress.”

Last week, ahead of Thanksgiving, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. took steps to enhance the city’s ongoing mask mandate, requiring masks be worn indoors at all businesses and public buildings and outdoors when social distancing was not an option. That enhanced order began Thanksgiving morning and expired Sunday at midnight.

The city’s current mask mandate is set to expire Wednesday, but Flaggs is expected to extend the mandate. The county has a similar mask mandate, but the Warren County Board of Supervisors voted in early November to extend its orders through at least Jan. 5.

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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