Story at a glance
- The mayor of Jackson, Miss., announced the city will be under curfew for the next five days.
- The state is seeing a surge in new cases.
As coronavirus case numbers continue to spike in Mississippi, the state’s capital city, Jackson, announced that it will issue a curfew beginning on Thursday, according to the Clarion-Ledger. The formal announcement came on Wednesday.
Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba (D) ordered that residents must remain at home from midnight to 5 a.m., meaning no driving or walking will be allowed during these hours. Essential employees, such as health care workers, law enforcement officers, first responders and government employees, will be exempt from this mandate.
The order will also mandate that essential businesses provide its employees with documentation proving their employment, in case they are stopped by police during curfew hours. The curfew will reportedly be in effect until Aug. 11.
“We know that staying home and physical distancing are important ways to keep each other safe,” Lumumba said. “We also understand that staying in can be challenging, which is why we are encouraging residents to use the 'warm line' and other mental health supports during these trying times. We will get through this together.”
This comes as Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) issued the state’s first mask mandate, signing an executive order requiring masks to be worn by people while in public for the next two weeks.
Hospitalizations are also rising at this time, with local physicians saying that intensive care units across the state are full, forcing health care workers to send patients out of state for treatment.
Lumumba was among the first mayors in Mississippi to order citywide mandatory face coverings on June 30, per the Clarion-Ledger.
Statewide, there are 64,400 confirmed COVID-19 infections in Mississippi, according to state health data, along with 1,825 fatalities. As of Wednesday, Aug. 5, 956 new cases were reported.
Hinds County, the home county to Jackson, leads the state in new coronavirus cases, showcasing 407 new cases from July 20 to July 26, bringing its total to 5,487 cases — the highest in Mississippi.