Mask order lifted but encouraged

Mask order lifted but encouraged


Neshoba County recorded 71 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and three new COVID-19 deaths over the past week, according to statistics released Tuesday by the Mississippi State Department of Health.

Gov. Tate Reeves on Tuesday lifted mask orders effective 5 p.m. today (Wednesday, March 3) but encouraged facial coverings, but left them in effect for K-12 schools.

Mississippians are encouraged, though not ordered, to wear a face covering and practice social distancing, he said.

K-12 schools, however, will still require a mask where social distancing is not possible. 

Seating for K-12 extracurricular activities at outdoor venues is now set at 50% capacity and 25% maximum seating capacity inside. Seating capacity for indoor bowl and arena seating is now increased to 50%.

Neshoba County’s confirmed COVID-19 cases now total 3,817 up from last week’s total of 3,746, and the death toll is now 169 since the pandemic began last March.

The numbers show an increase in cases and deaths over last week’s report, which could have been hampered by winter storms the week before.

In last week’s MSDH report Neshoba County recorded only 34 confirmed new COVID-19 cases and one new death.

This week’s schools COVID-19 report showed six students quarantined and between one and five students testing positive for COVID-19 at Neshoba Central Middle School from Neshoba County’s combined public and private schools between Feb. 22 and 26.

During the past week, 1,315 people were vaccinated for COVID-19 in Neshoba County for a total of 5,061 total vaccinations administered in the county, according to the MSDH.

The state, however, does not designate in what county the recipients reside, and the Democrat has numerous reports of residents from other counties coming here for the vaccination.

The state of Mississippi is currently giving COVID-19 immunizations for the following:

• All healthcare workers and EMT/paramedics

• Persons age 65 or older or those with pre-existing conditions.

• Teachers, first-responders

Vaccinations are currently being administered in Neshoba County at the Coliseum, 12000 Mississippi 15 north, Philadelphia.

Sign up online at or call 1-877-978-6453. The website is the best option, officials have said.

Selected Walmart pharmacies and local clinics and hospitals are now offering a limited number of COVID-19 vaccinations. Go to to check availability.

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians reported 19 new COVID-19 cases in the past week for a total of 1,808 positive cases, up from 1,789 in last week’s report.

The Tribe reported two new deaths from COVID-19 in the past week for a total of 109 deaths from the virus, with six current hospitalizations.

Some Tribal deaths may also be included in the Neshoba death total, but officials make no distinction.

Mississippi’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases now stands at 183,206 with another 112,131 probable cases for a total of 295,295 COVID-19 cases and 4,698 confirmed deaths and 2,026 probable COVID-19 deaths for a total of 6,724 COVID-19 deaths, since the pandemic began last March.

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