Tribe under curfew to battle virus


The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians re-instituted a curfew and have transitioned to virtual learning full-time at schools in the latest battle against COVID-19 after infection numbers continue to rise on the Reservation and throughout Neshoba County. 

“We must be vigilant as COVID-19 is spreading in our community and throughout this country,” Chief Cyrus Ben said in a video released Saturday. 

Ben said that last week the Tribe saw 47 positive cases of COVID-19.

Neshoba County’s overall COVID-19 numbers continue a roller coaster ride with ups and downs over the last couple of months, according to a The New York Times database.

The county on Tuesday was no longer under a mask order after Gov. Tate Reeves “reset” counties again.

The Philadelphia-Neshoba Choctaw COVID-19 Task Force released a statement on Friday that “strongly emphasizes and asks” residents to “exercise all necessary precautions and be diligent” with respect to guidelines to minimize the spread.

A report from the Mississippi State Department of Health released on Nov. 10 shows a total of 52 COVID cases in the Neshoba County School District since classes began in August. This is an increase of two cases in one week.

Sixteen cases have been reported at the elementary school, 11 at the middle school, and 25 at the high school. 

For the week of Nov. 2-6, the district had 19 students quarantined. The week prior there were no quarantines.

Philadelphia High School and Philadelphia Elementary have had no increase of cases with 18 total reported since August at the high school and 1-5 at the elementary school.  

The total cases here, as of Tuesday, was 2,075, an increase of 102 in a week. The state reported 111 COVID-related deaths in Neshoba County and no increase from last week.

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians has reported a total of 1,301 positive cases among Tribal members. The Tribe saw an increase of 48 positive cases within the last week. 

The Tribe has tested 7,230 members, with 5,817 negative . Of the positive cases, 1,160 have recovered, 86 have died and four remain hospitalized.

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