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Reeves adds Warren County to list of COVID-19 virus hot spots

Gov. Tate Reeves announced Wednesday that Warren County is now among the counties in Mississippi considered a hot spot for the COVID-19 virus.

But even though the county has been added to that list, there is little that will change in the fight to mitigate the spread of the virus. Warren County is one of 78 of the state’s 82 counties to receive the designation.

By being declared a hot spot, the state now requires face coverings and stricter social distancing guidelines. But the guidelines put in place by the state are in some cases less stringent than those already put in place by the Warren County Board of Supervisors and the city of Vicksburg’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

“I think we have been ahead of the curve for a number of weeks and remain ahead of the curve now,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said.

On Monday, the Warren County Board of Supervisors extended their existing mask mandate and social distancing orders through Feb. 1, while the city’s mask mandate, which requires masks to be worn outdoors when social distancing is not possible, among other restrictions, is set to expire Jan. 4.

The governor’s order Tuesday expires on Jan. 15 at 5 p.m. Flaggs said the city will extend its orders through Jan. 15 to match the state’s timeline.

“We were well-positioned to handle the governor’s new order in this county,” Warren County Board of Supervisors President Dr. Jeff Holland said. “We have been prepared. We had seen the possibilities and unfortunately they have become a reality. We are prepared to handle it.”

To be considered a hot spot by the state, a county must have reported at least 200 new COVID-19 cases over a two-week period or a ration of 500 new cases per 100,000 residents. In Warren County’s case, the county has been well above both thresholds since Dec. 8.

The numbers in December have been the worst of the 9-month pandemic, with more than 23 new cases per day being reported. December is also among the deadliest months of the pandemic in Warren County, with 17 deaths reported. The deadliest month for Warren County was in August when 21 virus-related deaths were reported.

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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