The list of nine counties Gov. Tate Reeves put under restriction Monday did not include any Southwest Mississippi counties, nor did the smaller list of likely additions include any. But by the state’s criteria, Lincoln County could be heading for those restrictions if the virus isn’t controlled soon.
As of Thursday, Lincoln County had 190 cases in 14 days, meaning it is just a few high days away from being on the governor’s chopping block with restrictions that include a mask mandate and restricting social gatherings to 10 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.
The other criteria for the measures is 500 cases per 100,000 residents, which Lincoln surpassed on Thursday at 556.
Brookhaven currently has no local mask mandate in place.
Amite County only had 57 cases in two weeks, but it hit 465 cases per 100,000 on Thursday, making it only about five cases short of meeting the guidelines for the restrictions.
Pike County, on the other hand, is doing much better than its northern and western neighbors with just 94 cases reported in two weeks as of Thursday and a per 100,000 rate of 239.
Lincoln County had been lagging behind Pike County in cases since the area's peak in mid-July, with a difference of around 250 cases in September, but Lincoln finally took the lead back Thursday.
State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said this week that te state is seeing a rise in cases particularly in majority white rural communities where masks are less likely to be worn.
“In one week, 24.3% increase in COVID patients in hospitals. 7.5% increase in ICU. We know what to do ... We just need to do it,” he posted on Twitter Wednesday.
Pike County, which still has mask mandates in McComb, Magnolia and Summit, rose by five cases to 1,377 total cases since the beginning of the pandemic, while Lincoln County went up by 17 to 1,385.
Lincoln County also leads the area in deaths with 57 since the beginning of the pandemic. Pike County lags by just one at 56. Lincoln also recently saw a rise in deaths over the last few weeks. The county added four deaths over the past two weeks, which is double the number of deaths it had for the month of September.
The state reported 958 cases Thursday for a total of 113,081 since the beginning of the pandemic. The state added eight deaths to 3,231 total.
Amite County added one case to 420 on Thursday, Franklin County stayed at 237 Lawrence County reported three cases to 507, Walthall County went up by three cases to 636 and Wilkinson rose by four to 355 cases since mid-March.