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City and county officials update provisions for COVID-19 shelter-in-place order



Dr. Carlos Latorre speaks from the steps of the Warren County Courthouse on April 2, 2020. (Photo via video screen grab)

Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. opened a press conference held on the steps of the Warren County Courthouse on Thursday afternoon to update the public on additional provisions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

He announced that in the wake of Gov. Tate Reeves shelter-in-place order of Wednesday, the City of Vicksburg will have new orders that will go in effect at 5 p.m. Friday, April 3, until 5 a.m. on Monday, April 20.

Flaggs summarized the new provisions for the City of Vicksburg:

  • Juvenile curfew for residents 17 years and younger from 7:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m.
  • Day-care facilities will reopen in the city of Vicksburg
  • No more than 10 people in any one place at any one time
  • No unnecessary travel except to groceries, pharmacies and curbside pickup
  • Restaurants cannot have seating inside or outside

Warren County Board of Supervisors President Jeff Holland spoke on the restrictions going into effect for Warren County, including that all county offices will be operational, but closed to the public and behind locked doors. Residents should call the offices to make an appointment if they need county services.

Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace reminded everyone that law enforcement will enforce the shelter-in-place rules and that these rules are for public safety. He went on to say no citations had been issued in the county for violation of the new rules.

Warren County Emergency Management director John Elfer said that he was still distributing personal protective equipment. He also emphasized the need to get information from valid sources and made a point to dismiss the idea of National Guard troops staging to enforce COVID-19 rules

Dr. Carlos Latorre, a member of the Mississippi COVID-19 task force, said that the number of hospital beds will become inadequate over the next couple of weeks. The requests for everyone to stay home, wear masks and observe hygiene are working, he said, and we need to stay with them for a couple more weeks.

Latorre said there is an increase in patients because of more testing. Spring break was two weeks ago, and the number of people infected during spring break is significant.

The doctor went on to congratulate Warren County and Vicksburg for their diligence in minimizing the spread of the virus.

One of the people infected in Warren County is located in an unnamed long-term care facility. Heavy testing has been done in that facility with no additional infections to date. The Mississippi State Department of Health is emphasizing that patients in these facilities, which include nursing homes, are at high risk due to their age and poor health.

For more information, read the city’s proclamation in full here.

Watch the press conference on our Facebook page.

Also, go to the MSDH website or call the COVID-19 hotline at 877-978-6453 with your questions.




Mayor to hold news conference Friday on COVID-19



Mayor George Flaggs Jr. at a news conference Oct. 8. (photo via video screen grab/Video by Thomas Parker)

 Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. will hold a news conference Friday at 2:30 p.m. in the Robert M. Walker Building Board Room regarding COVID-19.

The current proclamation expires Monday, Nov. 2 at 8 a.m.

Look for updated information and plan to watch the news conference live on the Vicksburg Daily News Facebook page.

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Bethune-Cookman cancels all sports due to COVID-19



Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (photo courtesy BCU Athletics)

Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona, Florida, has opted out of all sports for the remainder of the 2020-2021 academic year including football and basketball due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The university has ceased all student athletic activities until further notice out of an abundance of caution.

“In the face of a surging COVID-19 spike across much of the country and the State of Florida, we have concluded that the risks are too great for our student-athletes and staff to travel and compete at this time,” university President E. LaBrent Chrite said in a Thursday press release. “The health and safety of our student-athletes, as well as our coaches, staff and fans will always be our top priority.”

Bethune-Cookman is in its final year playing in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and will be joining the SWAC conference in July 2021.

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Mississippi adds another 970 new COVID-19 cases Thursday



With 970 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Mississippi Thursday, the state’s seven day average continues to creep upward toward 800. The Magnolia State is among the majority of U.S. states with rising case counts. Nationally, 81,457 cases were reported Wednesday, with the seven-day average rising 41% in the last two weeks. Deaths rose by 9% over the same period, with 1,016 deaths reported Wednesday.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported five new COVID-19 cases Thursday in Warren County and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,566, and the county’s death toll is 56.

Statewide, MSDH reported 970 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 118,587. The seven-day average of new cases is 787, higher by 270 cases from a month ago.

Most new cases are seen in younger people recently, and they are more likely to survive the virus than those 65 and older. By far, the age group reporting the most cases in Mississippi are young people from 18 to 29 years old.

MSDH reported Thursday that eight additional Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,310. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.8%.

Deaths are a lagging indicator. While July saw the highest number of new cases since the crisis began, August saw the highest number of deaths. The highest number of deaths in any one day was 67 reported Aug. 25.

The deaths MSDH reported Thursday occurred between Oct. 23 and Oct. 27 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Thursday
Benton 1
Chickasaw 1
George 1
Hinds 1
Itawamba 1
Marion 1
Newton 1
Panola 1

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28. MSDH usually reports statistics on the COVID-19 coronavirus each day based on the previous day’s testing and death reports.

The primary metric concerning state health officials are the numbers of people hospitalized, and that number rose steadily with the rise of new cases in July and August. On June 6, the number of Mississippians hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 was at 358. Hospitalizations nearly tripled by late July. They leveled off in early August and began noticeably dropping in the middle of the month including critical cases and numbers of people requiring ventilators. Hospitalizations continued to drop in September but levelled off at the middle of the month. They dropped again through Oct. 3; however, hospitalizations began rising since then. They have leveled off this week.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, is 666, more than half of the late July peak of about 1,200. The number includes 577 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 89 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 157 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 62 were on ventilators.

Source: MSDH

MSDH has estimated the number of people who can be presumed recovered from COVID-19 in Mississippi. That number is 101,385 through Sunday, Oct. 25. This figure is updated weekly. It represents about 85.5% of the cumulative 118,587 cases reported as of Thursday, Oct. 29.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Thursday, Oct. 8, was 1,452, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,396, or about 89.1% of the 1,566 cumulative cases reported as of Thursday, Oct. 29. The county has an estimated 114 active cases.

These estimates are based on MSDH’s guidelines for calculating estimated recoveries when hospitalizations are not known, using the number of cases 21 days ago, less known outcomes (deaths).

The total number of Mississippians tested for COVID-19 (PCR and antigen tests identifying current infections) as of Saturday, Oct. 17 (the latest testing results reported by MSDH), is 949,085 or about 31.9% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. Without an updated number of tests, it is impossible to accurately calculate Mississippi’s positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average), however, the rate was 13.8% Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate is 6.3%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities was 134 Thursday. About 39.8%, or 1,317, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities.

A total of 26 deaths in Warren County were residents of LTC facilities.

MSDH is no longer reporting outbreaks in individual long-term care facilities in Mississippi and has replaced it with access to a database from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. You can access and search the data here. The latest data available is for the week ending Oct. 11.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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