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Pearl River County added to mask mandate

This week, Gov. Tate Reeves added more counties in the state to his most recent mask mandate, including Pearl River County, bringing the total to 61.

The updated mandate goes into effect Dec. 11 and remains in effect until Jan. 15.

Executive Order No. 1536 requires face coverings inside businesses, schools, buildings or other indoor spaces open to the public when it is not possible to maintain six feet of social distancing. There are 12 exceptions to the mandate outlined in the executive order, including for communicating with the hearing impaired, giving a speech to an audience and while engaging in fitness activities.

Reeves also updated other COVID-19 requirements by repealing Executive Order 1525 and replacing it with Executive Order 1535.

Mississippi reported 2,283 new COVID-19 cases and 42 deaths on Dec. 9, bringing the state total to 172,955 cases and 4,083 deaths. There have been 1,871 COVID-19 cases reported in Pearl River County and 73 deaths. Of those cases, 128 were reported in long term care facilities, resulting in 25 of the county’s COVID-19 deaths.

Across the state 136,627 people are presumed recovered from COVID-19.
As of Nov. 25, Pearl River County had a test positivity rate of 7.2 percent, making it a ‘yellow’ county. For the week of Nov. 22 to Nov. 28, there were 83 COVID-19 cases via community transmission and four via a long term care facility outbreak in Pearl River County.

COVID-19 cases in Mississippi by age group are: 3,600 cases and one death in ages 0-4; 17,676 cases and one death in ages 5-17; 22,293 cases and 12 deaths in 18-24 year olds; 38,453 cases and 77 deaths in the 25-39 age group; 25,584 cases and 165 deaths in 40-49 year olds; 35,398 cases and 730 deaths in the 50-64 age group; 28,346 cases and 3,094 deaths in people 65 and older.

There have been 59,492 COVID-19 cases and 1,719 deaths among white Mississippians. Black Mississippians account for 49,394 COVID-19 cases and 1,547 deaths.

There was one new COVID-19 outbreak reported at the Pearl River Central High School and one reported at the Pearl River Central Middle School for the week of Nov. 30 to Dec. 4. Five schools in the county, Poplarville High School, Picayune Memorial High School, Pearl River Central High School, Pearl River Central Middle School and Pearl River Central Elementary School, reported new student cases that week. Pearl River Central Elementary, Pearl River Central High School, Pearl River Central Middle School and Poplarville Upper Elementary all reported new staff cases that week.

The week of Nov. 30 to Dec. 4, Picayune Memorial High School had 34 students quarantined, Pearl River Central Middle School had 38 students quarantined, Pearl River Central High School had 52 students quarantined and Pearl River Central Elementary School had 52 students quarantined.