Sunflower County is one of 13 that will soon be under stricter social distancing guidelines.
According to Gov. Tate Reeves, he will sign an executive order that will restrict the number of people gathering indoors in Sunflower County, and 12 other counties, to 10 people, and he will restrict outdoor gatherings to 20 or fewer.
People going out to buy groceries or to attend public gatherings will have to wear masks, Reeves said.
The order is set to take effect next week.
Hinds, DeSoto, Madison, Harrison, Rankin, Jackson, Washington, Grenada, Claiborne, Jefferson, Wayne and Quitman are the others that will presumably be under this new order.
These counties have drawn scrutiny due to recent spikes in cases. Sunflower County’s positive cases jumped to 452 on Thursday.
There are eight confirmed deaths in Sunflower County from the novel coronavirus, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health, but Sunflower County Coroner Heather Burton said this week there are actually nine known deaths.
Although the county did record its first cases inside long-term care facilities this past week, there have been no recorded deaths from those entities related to COVID-19.
The E-T reported in this week’s print edition that despite the recent jump in numbers, our two county hospitals are stable when it comes to hospitalizations, ICU beds and ventilator usage.
Both South Sunflower County Hospital and North Sunflower Medical Center told The E-T this week that they have seen a rise in the number of hospitalizations in the past couple of weeks, but they are nowhere near capacity, and that uptick is not entirely due to the coronavirus.
NSMC is facing a nursing shortage during this recent spike in COVID-19 cases, though that shortage was not caused directly by the novel coronavirus.