While COVID-19 is still out there, Mississippi is reporting single digit fatality numbers again and Coahoma County has only had six new cases in a week.
The Clarksdale Board of Mayor and Commissioner will consider making people in the public wear masks at it regular board meeting Monday.
“I want to remind everyone to continue to wear masks, practice social distancing and remember the disease is still out there and people continue to die from it,” said Clarksdale Mayor Chuck Espy at a noon meeting recently.
The wearing of masks has become a politically charged issue with Republican President Donald Trump hesitant to don a mask and Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden wearing a mask when he goes out in public.
There is no firm data saying a mask prevents a person from getting the disease. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has suggested wearing masks does have a limited effect in preventing an infected person from spreading the disease. CDC said close physical contact with those infected with the disease is the prime method of transmitting COVID-19.
The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reported five deaths due to coronavirus on Sunday. Coahoma County has reported six deaths due to COVID-19 since it reported its first case on March 18.
The state has reported 20,641 cases of the disease. Mississippi has a population of 2.987 million and as of today 0.69 percent have contracted the disease and MSDH said Sunday 15,232 of those appear to have recovered.
The state has recorded 938 deaths since it started counting on March 12 but only five new deaths today.
Coahoma County has a population of 22,628 and has reported 156 cases or an infection rate of 0.69 percent.
Again, while the numbers indicate the number of new cases appear to be dropping, the disease continues to be a threat for nursing homes, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
Warmer weather may be a factor in the lower new case numbers.
The CDC website says generally coronaviruses survive for shorter periods at higher temperatures and higher humidity than in cooler or dryer environments. It did clarify there is not yet a clear temperature or humidity level that hinders the disease
The number of new cases being reported locally also indicates many – especially young people -- may have the disease and just don’t know it.
Demographics from across the state and country also show the disease is more prevalent and under reported – for a variety of reasons – in minority communities.
Health officials have warned of spikes in the case count as the state reopens businesses, restaurants, movie theaters and gym.
Gov. Tate Reeves has said he will clamp back down on the economy if he sees a resurgence of the disease. Reeves issued Executive Order 1492 last week that he said fully opened Mississippi’s economy and it took effect Monday morning.
The statistics continue to confirm data that mid-sized communities with lower populations but adequate healthcare are handling their fight against COVID-19 better than others. It should be pointed out all cities and towns have unique factors affecting their numbers.
Gov. Tate Reeves has said not all areas of the state have reported high numbers and local officials should be willing to make their own decisions.
The Center for Disease Control said the typical case of COVID-19 can last up to two weeks, with those suffering severe cases being ill up to three or four weeks.