City officials are asking local businesses and residents to step up their safety efforts as COVID-19 numbers continue to rise.

The number of confirmed cases in Alcorn County grew from 71 at the beginning of the week to 100 through Saturday. As of Friday morning, the hospital listed four in-patients as currently being treated for coronavirus. The state had 1,031 new cases reported on the day ended at 6 p.m. Wednesday with 11 additional deaths.

“Our cases in the city and county are spiking, and we need everyone working together to help slow the virus,” Mayor Tommy Irwin told the Daily Corinthian on Friday. “I do not want to go back to the executive orders that we put in place back in March. This is serious and we desperately need everyone helping.”

Social distancing of six feet and business employees wearing face masks should be observed.

“Wearing the face mask under your nose does not protect the customer,” said Irwin.

For restaurants, the governor’s order requiring no more than 50 percent capacity and for employees to wear face masks continues to be in effect.

Irwin said anyone who is heading out to the store should wear a face mask and make sure that everyone who is with them, including children, does the same.

City Hall continues to require visitors to wear a face mask, and people entering to conduct business are checked for temperature.

Gov. Tate Reeves on Thursday announced new restrictions for 13 counties in south and west Mississippi.

“Please take this as an alarm,” said Reeves. “Our numbers are getting worse. We need your cooperation. I know that no orders will be effective if we do not have the participation of our people.”

The governor and state health officer have increasingly expressed frustration with residents going about their business and not taking safety precautions such as wearing a face mask while in public.

“The spread of the virus is occurring everywhere in our state,” said Reeves.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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