New orders in place as virus cases grow

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves is putting into place new measures with the end of the current executive orders in his effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

The current orders are to expire on Friday, but new guidelines will be in place and DeSoto County will be impacted by the new orders that will be continued through Jan. 21, 2021, unless rescinded, modified, or extended. 

Where social distancing is not possible, crowds are now to be limited to a group of no more of 10 in a single space indoors. For outdoor social gatherings, the limit is no more than 50 people in close proximity.  

Face coverings are to be required in schools statewide whenever social distancing is not possible. 

In DeSoto County and the other counties Reeves listed in his latest orders, masks will be required inside and when interacting with the public. 

The list of counties that Reeves is putting under the latest orders is as follows:  

Adams, Alcorn, Amite, Attala, Bolivar, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clarke, Clay, Coahoma, Copiah, Covington, DeSoto, Forrest, Franklin, Grenada, Harrison, Hinds, Holmes, Itawamba, Jackson, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Kemper, Lafayette, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lee, Leflore, Lincoln, Lowndes, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Montgomery, Neshoba, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Panola, Pearl River, Perry, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Rankin, Scott, Simpson, Stone, Tate, Tippah, Tishomingo, Union, Washington, Webster, Winston, Yalobusha and Yazoo.

Regarding sporting events in indoor venues that involve K-12 student athletes, such as high school basketball games, the limits will be no more than four spectators per student participant to a limit of 250 spectators. 

Other indoor arenas will be limited to a limit of ten percent seating capacity or 1,000 attendees. 

“All of these measures are important, and I hope that the people of Mississippi will make an honest effort to participate in slowing the spread of the virus,” Gov. Reeves said.

Wednesday’s update from the Mississippi State Department of Health showed an increase of 234 positive cases in DeSoto County, but no new deaths from coronavirus.

DeSoto County’s total number of cases is now at 11,375 with 110 deaths, according to MSDH. 

Mississippi Wednesday recorded a new daily high of cases of 2,746 positives for a state total of 170,672 with 4,041 deaths, per the MSDH. 

In the county, hospital beds continue to be at a premium. Methodist Olive Branch increased the number of intensive care unit (ICU) beds available at its hospitals on Dec. 3 to 20 from 12 before. The hospital has eight adult COVID-19 patients in the ICU units and has eight beds available. 

The Olive Branch hospital has just five available hospital beds available and Methodist Olive Branch had 21 coronavirus patients being treated. 

The other major hospital in DeSoto County, Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto in Southaven, did not report any available hospital or ICU beds at its facility on Wednesday. Baptist-DeSoto reported 65 COVID-19 patients in hospital beds and 11 COVID-19 patients in its ICU unit.  

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