RALEIGH, MS - As Mississippi begins to slowly open back up, we wanted to take a few moments and update you on where Smith County stands, and what restrictions are currently still in place, and what ones are not.
Currently, as of 6:00 PM on May 18th, Smith County is reporting 120 active cases of coronavirus, 9 deaths, and 29 cases of coronavirus within a long-term care facility, and six deaths from a long-term care facility. Those 120 active cases of the virus represent about 0.746% of the total population of the county. Compared to the rest of the state, and neighboring counties, this number is quite low, and the rate of transmission from person-to-person is lower as well. This is due to the stringent measures that were put in place by your Board of Supervisors and Emergency Management team to help slow the spread. Remember the goal was to never stop COVID-19 spreading, it was to avoid a surge of cases that could overrun hospitals in our area.
On April 24th, Governor Tate Reeves allowed the statewide shelter-in-place order to expire, and replaced it with a new Safer-At-Home order. This executive order encouraged people to stay home, avoid essential travel, and continue to socially distance. At the time, the Board of Supervisors felt it was in the best interest of the citizens of Smith County to continue our local order that implemented a curfew, restrictions on age within public spaces, public gatherings, and more.
As Governor Reeves has begun phasing in a reopening plan over the past several weeks, the Board of Supervisors has allowed the local order to expire, and we are pleased to announce that the only restrictions that Smith County is currently enforcing are those that may be set by the state.
It is imperative that individuals use common sense when traveling, shopping, or going to work. No government order can replace your best judgement for what is right for you and your family. We still encourage you to socially distance, travel only when needed, and maintain proper hygiene. Continue to follow CDC guidelines for wearing face coverings.
Just because our orders have been rescinded, doesn't mean that the threat of COVID-19 is gone. COVID-19 is here to stay until a treatment or vaccine is found. It is imperative that we all use common-sense, and the best health practices to continue to curb the effects of this disease.