Pike County and Mississippi are on track to hit another coronavirus peak as daily case averages rise rapidly since the beginning of October.

Pike County’s daily case average for this week was nine, which is double the week before but still half of the mid-July peak, when the county was reporting an average of 17.6 cases a day.

Hospitalizations usually lag behind rising case counts by about two weeks as people who contract the virus either get better or worse.

“We are all continuing to work hard to prepare for any surges in COVID cases that may come in the weeks and months ahead,” Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kevin Richardson said. “Our staff is well prepared.  Our ship is still very strong. We are committed to providing the highest level of care for our patients.” 

The state is also reporting a rapid growth in case rates with a daily average of 1,017 this week, up from last week’s 788. This compares to Mississippi’s   mid-July peak of 1,297 average daily cases.

This rise comes 13 days after Halloween, and the virus’ incubation period is between three and 14 days, leading Gov. Tate Reeves to theorize Thursday that the virus rising cases were linked to the holiday. Halloween was the first holiday since the Fourth of July to take place without a mask mandate or lockdown order.

The increase in infections comes shortly after the Nov. 3 elections which featured high turnout rates across the state.

In other virus numbers, Pike and Lincoln counties both reported 19 cases on Friday for a total of 1,503 and 1,587, respectively, since the beginning of the pandemic.

Amite County added seven cases for a total of  455 since February.

Franklin County reported three cases to 274, Lawrence County went up by nine to 617, Walthall County rose by five cases to 697 and Wilkinson added four cases to 359.

The state reported 1,305 cases Friday for a total  of 131,970 since the beginning of the pandemic, with five new deaths reported for a total of 3,519. No deaths were reported for area counties.

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