JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - As more opportunities for the coronavirus vaccine trickle into the Magnolia State, community transmission of the virus seems to be decreasing in several counties, according to a 3 On Your Side analysis of daily average coronavirus cases.
However, there are growing concerns from health experts that the drop, which took place nearly three weeks after the last major holiday, could be short-lived.
After nearly four months of rising cases, DeSoto County’s daily seven-day average declined sharply over the last week, now averaging a little over a hundred cases a day.
Our analysis shows peaks and valleys in Hinds and Rankin counties, but overall, cases are dropping there, too. In Madison County, COVID-19 cases are also going down, doing so at a slower rate than its neighbors.
Warren County’s daily average cases soared right after Thanksgiving despite being relatively quiet for months, yet has also decreased in recent weeks.
It’s hard to say whether these drops are associated with the governor’s mask mandate, which expanded to most of the state December 22. Despite those restrictions, Christmas and New Year’s holidays still led to record coronavirus cases across Mississippi.
“If we were asking people to go lockdown and be economically destroyed, I could understand some of their consternation. We’re not,” said Mississippi State Medical Association President Dr. Mark Horne.
Horne said he’s concerned about increasing bouts of COVID fatigue among Mississippians, a reluctance to wear masks or socially distance, because people are tired of it.
Horne compares that reluctance to people driving around in a hurricane instead of waiting for the winds to die down.
“We’re asking for simple, basic things. A lot of folks are simply thumbing their nose, including very good, honest people, but they’re making terrible decisions,” Horne said.