Mask and social distancing orders extended


Mask and social distancing orders were extended by Gov. Tate Reeves on Wednesday.

The governor extended his COVID-19 executive order that includes Kemper County until Wednesday, March 3.

The number of cases of COVID-19 in Kemper County has increased by 30 this past week, according to statistics provided by the Mississippi Department of Health website.

Kemper County has 840 reported cases as of Monday, an increase of 30. The county has 21 reported deaths, an increase by one from last week.

Vaccinations are in high demand, and appointments may not be available in in all areas. Appointments for second doses should be available.

Free COVID-19 vaccinations for Mississippians are available at drive-through sites around the state and from some local healthcare providers. As of Monday, no new appointments were available according to the health department

Adults aged 65 and older can be vaccinated at any of our drive-through locations, or at some private healthcare providers.

Anyone 16 to 64 years old with a chronic health condition that may put them at higher risk from COVID-19. (18 or older at our drive-through sites.) Qualifying health conditions: cancer, Chronic kidney disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), Down Syndrome, heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies, immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant, obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but less than 40 kg/m2), Severe Obesity (BMI 40 kg/m2 or higher), Pregnancy, Sickle cell disease, Smoking, diabetes, or other medical conditions as determined by your medical provider

Note that your physician or medical provider may advise that you be vaccinated even if you do not have a health condition listed.

Vaccine supplies and vaccinations sites are expected to increase by February.

COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus that causes flu-like illness ranging from mild to severe, with symptoms of fever, coughing, fatigue and difficulty breathing. Like the flu, COVID-19 spreads person-to-person by close contact (within 6 feet) and by coughing or sneezing. COVID-19 may also spread by touching surfaces contaminated by the virus.

The number of new cases has continued to grow across the state. According to health department numbers, there were 10,560 new cases in Mississippi in the past week. There have been 275,056 cases reported in Mississippi since March 2020, and 6,056 reported deaths, an increase of 279 since last week.

If you are feeling unwell, you are urged to go and get tested. A site is set up in DeKalb at the old health department on Monday and Wednesday.

MSDH urgently recommends that all residents of Mississippi avoid any social gathering that includes individuals outside of the immediate family or household. MSDH recommends that Mississippians only participate in work, school or other absolutely essential activities, and avoid gatherings such as social events, sporting events, in-person church services, and weddings and funerals unless they involve only close family (preferably outdoors).

Gov. Tate Reeves in an executive order has included Kemper County on the list of counties with special restricts. Residents are limited to 10 people indoors, and 50 outdoors in situations where social distancing is not possible. Masks must be worn indoors in public places when a distance of six feet cannot be maintained between groups from different households. This order will expire January 15.

A county-wide mandate has been reissued by the Kemper County board of supervisors requiring that masks be worn in public. It goes through January 4. Anyone who violates the ordinance, upon conviction, could face a $500 fine and/or six months in jail.

The ordinance also closes county owned parks, walking trails and access to Kemper Lake.

Offices in the Courthouse will be operated with minimum staff and elected officials are encouraged to do as much business online as possible.

With the number of cases growing, health officials urged people to avoid large holiday gatherings during the Christmas season.

In order to protect the more vulnerable population, health department officials have strongly suggested that travel be avoided and for people to stay home.

People at risk for serious illness from COVID-19 are adults 65 and over, those who are obese, those with a chronic illness such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease, and anyone receiving treatments which may compromise their immune system.

 According to the health department, these people should take precautions at all times to limit their exposure to others who may be ill:

Stay home as much as possible.

Limit your contact with others when you are away from home, especially in indoor settings.

Limit your contact with visitors and with other members of your household who are frequently in public places.

Keep more space (6 feet if possible) between you and others as you go through the day.

If you do go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, and practice consistent social distancing. Pay closer attention to hygiene and cleanliness.

Wash your hands often, especially after being in public places. 

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