JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - While Mississippians wait to hear whether mask requirements in sixteen counties will be extended to curb the spread of the coronavirus, a positive test within the state’s First Family postponed a press briefing on the issue Tuesday.
The briefing, abruptly canceled for Tuesday afternoon less than an hour before it was scheduled to begin, would have likely included a new executive order, given the current one for sixteen counties ends Wednesday at 5 p.m. and the seven-day rolling average of new coronavirus cases has jumped to a three-month high in recent days.
Gov. Tate Reeves posted on social media Tuesday afternoon that his youngest daughter had tested positive, and the rest of the family would be isolating for the time being.
“She feels okay, but could still use prayers!” Reeves said in the post. “Please pray for her momma too!”
Reeves said the entire family would also be tested again.
A 3 On Your Side analysis of reported coronavirus cases in the sixteen counties with mask mandates within a two-week period ending Nov. 1 -- the same week-old analysis Reeves has previously used to help determine hot spot counties -- reveals ten of those have high numbers of cases despite mask mandates being in place since late October.
Those counties -- DeSoto, Forrest, Harrison, Jackson, Lamar, Lee, Marshall, Benton, Carroll and Itawamba -- have more than two hundred cases or five hundred per 100,000 residents over that two-week span.
In addition, nine other counties statewide show those elevated COVID-19 cases, suggesting that those areas could also be added in a new executive order expected Wednesday.
Those nine counties are Hinds, Lauderdale, Rankin, Humphreys, Lawrence, Leflore, Perry, Tippah and Yalobusha.
Of the sixteen mentioned, DeSoto continues to have more new cases than any other county in the Magnolia State, despite being placed under a mask mandate October 21.
In the last two weeks, Mississippi State Department of Health data shows more than a thousand new reported cases in DeSoto County.