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COVID-19

Watch: Governor announces additional COVID-19 measures

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Gov. Tate Reeves during a news conference Oct. 19, 2020. (photo via video screen grab)

In the wake of a recent spike of new COVID-19 cases in Mississippi, Gov. Tate Reeves announced additional measures Monday to slow the spread of the virus.

A new executive order places a 10% capacity requirement on health care facilities across the state. If hospitals cannot maintain 10% of their capacity for COVID-19 patients, they must delay elective procedures. This was a vital part of the effort to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed during the summer wave. Mississippi’s COVID-19 cases have increased over the past few weeks—part of a global and national trend of increasing cases.

The governor also announced additional targeted measures for counties that meet the standards established during the summer wave. In these counties, indoor social gatherings should be limited to groups of 10. Outdoor social gatherings should be limited to groups of 50. Face coverings are required while indoors and interacting with the public without social distancing.

“We’ve seen this before,” Reeves said during a live news conference Monday streamed on Facebook. “We know what can happen if we allow this to get out of control, and so we want to be proactive to prevent that from happening. None of these elements are silver bullets. None of them will totally eliminate the virus. We have to allow for life to go on in the meantime. As we wait for a vaccine, our mission is the same as it ever was: to prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed. That has to be the focus.”

Counties must meet the following criteria for additional measures: more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents over a designated two-week period or more than 200 cases total over the designated two-week period (with more than 200 cases per 100,000 residents).

The counties that currently meet the criteria for additional COVID-19 safety measures are Chickasaw, Claiborne, DeSoto, Forrest, Itawamba, Jackson, Lamar, Lee and Neshoba.

View a copy of the executive order here.

“You’re smart. You know what you need to do to keep safe,” Reeves wrote in a Facebook post Monday. “We’ll keep trying to set policies that mitigate rampant spread while respecting everyone’s individual rights.

“Please stay watchful and be careful. We can get through this together.”

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Crime

VPD reports two business burglaries including one at a church

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The Vicksburg Police Department reports that two business burglaries occurred this past weekend, one at a church.

The first occurred Friday, Oct. 16, at the Plaza Self-Storage, 3207 Plaza Drive. Officers responded to the site at 10:45 a.m. where the victim reported someone cut the lock off his storage unit, stealing an Echo chain saw valued at $500 and an Echo trimmer valued at $350.

The second burglary was discovered Saturday, Oct. 17, at 6:34 a.m. when an officer patrolling the area of 1117 Clay Street noticed the door of Mount Heroden Baptist Church had been kicked in. The key holder stated that the PA system was missing from the church.

If you have information on either of these burglaries, please call the Vicksburg Police Department at 601-636-2511.

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Crime

Vicksburg police recover stolen handgun

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Jeremy Johnson (photo courtesy VPD)

Vicksburg police officers recovered a stolen handgun after responding Sunday to a call of shots fired.

On Sunday, Oct. 18, at 11:24 p.m. officers responded to the 1000 block of Stadium Drive after receiving a call that shots had been fired in the area. The officers saw a dark colored Honda leaving the area and stopped the vehicle.

Noticing the strong smell of marijuana coming from the Honda, the officers searched it and found a Springfield .45-caliber pistol that had been reported stolen from an address on Cain Ridge Road Aug. 3.

Officers arrested Jeremy Johnson for possession of a stolen firearm.

Johnson appeared before Judge Angela Carpenter in Vicksburg Municipal Court Monday, Oct. 19. Carpenter set his bond at $75,000 and bound him over to the Warren County grand jury.

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