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Governor: Virus cases down in 80% of Mississippi counties

JACKSON (AP) — New cases of the coronavirus are steadily declining in more than 80% of Mississippi’s 82 counties, Gov. Tate Reeves said Thursday.

The Republican governor attributed the decrease to residents’ commitment to wearing masks and social distancing but also urged residents not to become complacent and to continue their efforts to slow the virus’ spread.

“The numbers are coming down, let’s be happy about that, but not let’s not rest,” Reeves said Thursday on Facebook Live. “Let’s not ignore it. Let’s fight and continue to crush this virus.”

Reeves said the state is seeing steady decreases in more than 70 counties in the state. However, he said “there’s more work to do” in six counties — Forrest, Jones, Lee, Union, Bolivar and Panola, where officials are still seeing a considerable number of positive cases.

He called on leaders in those counties to make sure that they enforce the statewide mask mandate and his executive orders, which limit crowd sizes and restaurant capacity.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported 612 new confirmed cases and 22 deaths on Thursday, pushing the state’s total cases over the 2,000 mark, to 2,011.

Adams County’s numbers rose by five cases overnight to 647 total confirmed COVID-19 from 642 on Wednesday and the county’s death toll remains at 26. Adams County had 86 active COVID-19 cases on Monday, according to the Adams County Emergency Operations Center.

With the exception of Wednesday, when the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 1,081 new virus cases, officials have reported well under 1,000 new cases of the virus each day this week. That represents a change from the past several weeks where the state was averaging over 1,000 cases a day.

Wednesday was an outlier, a day in which officials also reported 45 deaths, one of the higher single-day death tolls the state has seen since the start of the pandemic.

Reeves said hospitalizations and deaths are a lagging indicator when it comes to measuring the spread of the virus now, because people who die from virus complications usually stay in the hospital for three to four weeks.

He added that now is the time for Mississippians to come together, regardless of political differences. He closed his remarks by saying “the virus doesn’t care who you voted for in the 2016 elections.”

“It doesn’t matter what your political affiliation is, our enemy is not one another, our enemy is the virus,” he said.

The Health Department said Thursday that Mississippi, with a population of about 3 million, has had at least 69,986 reported cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday evening.

The true number of virus infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested and studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick. For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and those with existing health problems, it can cause more severe or fatal illness.

Cumulative Cases and Deaths by County

Totals of all reported COVID-19 cases for 2020, including those in long-term care (LTC) facilities.

The numbers in this table are provisional. County case numbers and deaths may change as investigation finds new or additional information. The data provided below is the most current available.

County Total Cases Total Deaths Total LTC Facility Cases Total LTC Facility Deaths
Adams 647 26 46 12
Alcorn 445 5 10 1
Amite 242 6 14 2
Attala 539 25 89 20
Benton 157 1 2 0
Bolivar 1167 37 50 10
Calhoun 428 9 23 4
Carroll 263 11 45 9
Chickasaw 491 19 35 11
Choctaw 138 4 0 0
Claiborne 410 14 43 9
Clarke 355 28 27 9
Clay 406 14 2 1
Coahoma 798 13 43 2
Copiah 973 29 30 4
Covington 641 15 5 1
De Soto 3796 32 45 7
Forrest 1865 57 102 32
Franklin 137 2 3 1
George 605 9 5 2
Greene 262 13 35 6
Grenada 861 26 76 15
Hancock 414 15 8 4
Harrison 2663 36 148 15
Hinds 5803 124 278 55
Holmes 928 49 97 20
Humphreys 303 12 20 6
Issaquena 27 2 0 0
Itawamba 404 10 40 7
Jackson 2411 47 68 7
Jasper 412 9 1 0
Jefferson 197 7 8 2
Jefferson Davis 243 6 3 1
Jones 1945 62 172 35
Kemper 241 14 38 9
Lafayette 1025 20 90 15
Lamar 1246 16 8 3
Lauderdale 1458 94 210 56
Lawrence 332 8 13 1
Leake 804 27 4 0
Lee 1610 42 86 16
Leflore 963 68 184 44
Lincoln 849 43 124 28
Lowndes 1114 40 84 24
Madison 2503 72 206 37
Marion 692 21 47 6
Marshall 740 10 17 2
Monroe 839 55 146 44
Montgomery 346 7 1 1
Neshoba 1309 94 108 35
Newton 567 11 7 1
Noxubee 466 12 17 4
Oktibbeha 1145 39 177 26
Panola 1096 18 8 1
Pearl River 571 40 57 16
Perry 249 8 0 0
Pike 960 37 73 18
Pontotoc 866 9 5 1
Prentiss 462 10 28 3
Quitman 275 1 0 0
Rankin 2337 38 101 10
Scott 1017 20 15 3
Sharkey 209 7 42 6
Simpson 822 31 62 15
Smith 415 13 54 8
Stone 225 6 23 2
Sunflower 1086 28 16 4
Tallahatchie 550 11 7 2
Tate 753 30 33 12
Tippah 411 14 1 0
Tishomingo 453 9 34 2
Tunica 367 7 12 2
Union 732 17 35 8
Walthall 519 22 65 11
Warren 1151 36 95 18
Washington 1739 45 59 14
Wayne 790 21 58 10
Webster 250 13 52 11
Wilkinson 227 14 8 4
Winston 637 16 40 11
Yalobusha 318 10 35 7
Yazoo 874 13 28 3
Total 69,986 2,011 4,186 864