Dobbs urges wearing masks despite mandate removal

The mask mandate has been lifted in the state of Mississippi, but state health officials are continuing to urge that residents wear face coverings to stem the spread of coronavirus. 

DeSoto County is considered one of the hot spots for continuing growth of COVID-19, said state health officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs, who is urging residents to keep wearing masks despite the mandate’s removal. Dobbs made an appearance this week at the DeSoto County Health Department in Hernando.  

Dobbs said health officials are worried numbers are going up. It’s too soon since the removal of the mask mandate lifting to say that it is the reason for the higher numbers, but did say DeSoto County should be on a higher alert for case numbers and hospitalizations to increase. He is also concerned about a nine-percent positive rate in DeSoto County between Sept. 10-23, also among the highest in Mississippi.

Wednesday, DeSoto County saw an increase in coronavirus cases to 5,994 cases with 71 deaths that were connected to the virus. In long-term care facilities, DeSoto County had 73 cases and 14 deaths connected to COVID-19. 

DeSoto County Government provided information on its Facebook page to put some figures into perspective, noting that the heightened number of positive cases was because one lab released a full week’s worth of results in one day, calling that the reason for the elevated numbers. 

When asked in the comments about recovery, it was noted that as of Oct. 6, there were an estimated 470 active cases and an estimated 5,407 recoveries/no longer infected. 

While stating that “any cases of COVID is concerning,” residents are cautioned to look at seven and 14-day trends to see a more accurate view of the virus’ progress. The DeSoto County “snapshot” on the state health department website listed the week of July 11 as the week with the most number of new cases at 485 cases and three deaths for the week. The last reported week, the week of Sept. 26, indicated 215 new cases and one additional death, showing a lower trend since July.

Numbers of additional cases since the start of October are as follows: Oct. 1 (26), Oct. 2 (32), Oct. 3 (37), Oct. 4 (23), Oct. 5 (14), Oct. 6 (122), Oct. 7 (47). The Oct. 6 figure is what county officials point to as the report where one lab put a week’s worth of results together in one day. 

The Board of Supervisors is encouraging people to continue following state guidelines regarding COVID-19 precautions and mask wearing.  

DeSoto County, at 5,994 positive cases, has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in the state of Mississippi. Hinds has the most at 7,346. Hinds also has had 166 related deaths during the pandemic to DeSoto’s 71. 

You can view the state health department’s “snapshot” of DeSoto County coronavirus figures when you CLICK HERE.

UPDATE: The Mississippi State Department of Health Thursday morning updated its figures to indicate 578 new case reports and 23 new deaths in Mississippi. DeSoto County did not have any new deaths, but had exceeded the 6,000 mark in cases, now at 6,019. The MSDH reports is found when you CLICK HERE.

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