Mayor Lumumba discusses rising COVID-19 cases and why the city has a no-chase policy

Mayor Lumumba discusses rising COVID-19 cases and why the city has a no-chase policy

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - COVID-19 cases for the City of Jackson show 2,222 for the month of December and so far for Janauray, 1,279.

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba like State Health officials expected a surge in cases because of the holiday season. Thursday, Lumumba extended his executive order closing City Hall and non-essential city offices through February 12th.

He cites the continuing and increased infectious spread of COVID-19, the rise in hospitalizations and death rate.

Lumumba said, “We have to maintain our vigilance. We have to continue to wear masks. We have to continue to socially distance, wash our hands and we have to continue to be tested.”

With the confusion and frustration over the coronavirus vaccine and getting signed up for the shot, I asked the mayor when he expects more citizens and city employees to get the vaccination.

“Based on the numbers, based on the expectation of how it is administered; it is my understanding that we may be looking into the summer at conservative estimates in terms of the number of people that can be vaccinated so that we can see herd immunity or maybe even a full 12 months before that is achieved,” he responded.

Lumumba also discussed the city’s no-chase policy. He says that policy has saved lives and property, which is one of the reasons officers did not chase the street racers on I-55 earlier this month.

“You’re dealing with people who think that they are professional drivers which raises the stakes and the danger that takes place. And then, too, we’ve seen in many incidents across the city where life and property has been spared as a result of these dangerous circumstances and so we have to preserve life first and then property second and so that is why we have had a no-chase policy in the city,” said Lumumba.

There have been several arrests. Lumumba says those who participated who have not been arrested so far are not out of the woods and, as we first reported, the mayor tells us there is credible information that connects to a number of people.

Lumumba adds it is disappointing to see such disregard for life, safety and this community by the drivers and spectators involved with the street racing and drifting on I-55.

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