By Caleb McCluskey
McComb’s city board will vote today on whether to extend the city’s mask ordinance as local cases see a sharp increase after the lifting of a statewide mandate.
Pike County’s daily case average more than doubled from 2.7 from Sept. 26 to Oct. 2 to 5.7 last week. The increase comes one week after Gov. Tate Reeves’ decision to lift the statewide mask mandate.
Local mandates in McComb, Magnolia and Summit have remained in effect, and restaurants and businesses are required to make sure employees wear masks. They can require them for customers as well.
The state saw a much smaller increase in daily cases the same amount of time, from 580 to 589, which is less than half of the mid-July peak of 1,298.
Lincoln County, which does not have a mask mandate, has rapidly taken over the top spot for infection rates and, like Pike County, almost doubled its daily average from 6.6 between Sept. 26 and Oct. 2 to 10.4 last week.
Last week’s daily virus average for Lincoln is the highest average for the surrounding counties since early August.
Overall, Pike County has cases than Lincoln County, 1,300 compared to 1,247, but Lincoln County’s per capita case count is higher, 3,619 compared to Pike County’s 3,301.
On Saturday and Sunday, Lincoln reported 54 new cases, while Pike reported just six for the two days. Lincoln County had 27 new cases each day — the highest number of infections in a day for the county since July’s peak.