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Vicksburg face mask mandate begins Saturday



In response to the surge of new COVID-19 cases in Mississippi, Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. has mandated face coverings/masks in the city.

The new order, announced Wednesday during a live news conference, goes into effect Saturday, July 18, at 8 a.m. and remain through Aug. 3 at 8 a.m.

Summary of the new order:

For retail businesses such as grocery stores, building supply stores, convenience stores or any other store that sells items to the public, the business owner or manager shall adopt and enforce the following measures:

  • Face coverings / masks for employees and customers
  • Hand sanitizer for employees and customers
  • Social distance – 6 feet between customers in line
  • Sanitize carts and baskets after each use
  • Post notification that face covering/mask is required

For all other businesses or organizations, including governmental offces, the owner or manager of the business shall require:

  • All persons who enter the premises to wear a face covering
  • Post a sign notifying persons who enter that they are required to wear a face covering.
  • Businesses shall screen employees
  • Employees shall wear a face covering while on duty if they are not able to maintain a minimum of 6 feet of separation from other employees while on duty, and such face coverings shall be cleaned or replaced at least daily.

For indoor gatherings such as indoor worship services, indoor funeral or wedding services, and any other indoor event or gathering, including indoor entertainment venues, all persons must wear a face covering.

Exceptions to the face covering requirements (Face coverings do not apply to the following):

  • Any individual who will not come in contact with any other individual (outside of their immediate household members) or who will be able to maintain strict social distancing of 6 feet apart from any other individual (outside of immediate household);
  • Any child under the age of 8; however, all children between the ages of 2 and 7 years old are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering as set forth in Sec. 2, 3 and 4;
  • Any individual with a medical condition that prevents the wearing of a face covering;
  • Any individual who is consuming food or drinks;
  • Any individual seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing impaired;
  • Any individual giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience; and
  • Any individual temporarily removing his or her face covering for identification purposes.

Any business that sells alcohol or allows alcohol for on-premises consumption, other than those under the jurisdiction of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, shall close by midnight each night. This includes restaurants, bars, BYOB, or other entertainment venues that sell or allow consumption of alcohol on the premises.

Special Law Enforcement Task Force: In order to prevent, reduce and respond to crime during this time, police patrols shall be increased Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., during this time.

There shall be a minimum of 11 patrol officers on duty along with a watch commander and deputy chief. The deputy chiefs are scheduled as follows:

  • Deputy Chief Stewart is working Thursday, July 16, thru Sunday, July 19.
    Contact number: (601) 831-1168
  • Deputy Chief Jones is working Thursday, July 23, thru Sunday, July 26.
    Contact number: (601) 218-4379
  • Deputy Chief Paymon is working Thursday, July 30 thru Sunday Aug. 2.
    Contact number: (601) 218-1495

Concession stands at outdoor sports complexes are allowed to open with restrictions.

Violations of the face covering regulations, including the failure of a business owner or manager to enforce the face covering regulations, will be subject to misdemeanor prosecution pursuant to Sec. 45-17-9 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended, Sec. 33-15-7 and Sec. 1-9 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Vicksburg and will be as follows:

  • Violations for individuals:
    • first offense – warning
    • second offense – $100.00 fine
    • third offense and up – $300.00 fine per each separate violation

Violations for businesses:

  • Violations subject to misdemeanor prosecution and/or a fine of up to $1,000 and 90 days in jail.

Watch the complete news conference on the Vicksburg Daily News Facebook page.


New COVID-19 cases in MS top 1,000 Thursday for the first time in nearly two months



New COVID-19 cases reported in Mississippi topped 1,000 for the first time in nearly two months. The last time the state reported more than 1,000 cases on any one day was Aug. 19. As new cases rise, so do hospitalizations, and both have been rising steadily since the beginning of October.

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 1,486, and the county’s death toll is 54.

Statewide, MSDH reported 1,322 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 108,139. The seven-day average of new cases is 760, higher by 311 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 12 additional Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,152. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.9%.

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.

Of the 12 deaths MSDH reported Thursday, 11 occurred between Oct. 3 and Oct. 14 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Thursday
Forrest 1
Hinds 2
Jackson 1
Lee 1
Marshall 1
Neshoba 1
Perry 1
Tippah 1
Union 1
Washington 1

One additional COVID-19 related death occurred in Washington County Aug. 23 and was identified from a death certificate report.

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14. 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 continued to drop through Oct. 3; however, hospitalizations have been showing a definite rise since then.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, is 633, about half of the late July peak of more than 1,200. The number includes 500 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 133 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 143 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 72 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 94,165 through Sunday, Oct. 11. This figure is updated weekly. It represents about 87.1% of the cumulative 108,139 cases reported Thursday, Oct. 15.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Thursday, Sept. 24, was 1,402, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,348, or about 90.7% of the 1,486 cumulative cases reported as of Thursday, Oct. 15. The county has an estimated 84 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 Sunday, Oct. 3 (the latest date available from MSDH), is 863,957 or about 29% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. The positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average) was 6.3% Sunday according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate is 5.1%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities is 128 Thursday. About 40.4%, or 1,273, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities.

A total of 25 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 Sept. 27.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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Alabama’s coach Nick Saban and Greg Byrne test positive for COVID-19



Nick Saban (photo courtesy UA Athletics)

University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban and UA Athletic Director Greg Byrne have tested positive for COVID-19.

“I found out earlier this afternoon that I had tested positive for COVID-19,” Saban said Wednesday in statement from the university. “I immediately left work and isolated at home. At this time, I do not have any symptoms relative to COVID, and I have taken another PCR test to confirm my diagnosis.”

Byrne also released a statement Wednesday.

“Today, I received notice that my COVID-19 test from this morning came back positive,” Byrne said. “Upon hearing the news, I immediately entered self-isolation and will remain at home and follow all guidelines. We’ve been diligent about mask wearing and social distancing from the start and want to continue to encourage you all to take the necessary precautions to help stop the spread of this virus for yourself and those around you.”

No. 2 Alabama is set to play No. 3 Georgia Saturday. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will fill in as interim head coach during Saban’s absence.

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Vicksburg police arrest a knife-wielding suspect for meth possession



Joshua Lisk (photo courtesy VPD)

A knife-wielding South Carolina man was arrested Wednesday in Vicksburg.

Police officers responded to a report of a man waving a large knife in the 3300 block of Clay Street. They found that Joshua Lisk, of Westminster, South Carolina, was in possession of methamphetamine.

Lisk appeared in Vicksburg Municipal Court Wednesday on charges of meth possession. Judge Penny Lawson set his bond at $50,000 and bound him over to the Warren County grand jury.

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