Mississippi reports 10 more COVID-19 deaths

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Ten more people have died of the novel coronavirus in Mississippi, bringing the state’s death toll to at least 291, state health officials announced Saturday.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported 229 new cases of COVID-19 in the state, pushing the state’s total to 7,441. Nearly 400 new cases were reported statewide Friday — the state’s highest single-day increase since the pandemic began.

As the number of cases continues to rise, the state’s health department is warning those who have been tested and still waiting for results to remain at home.

“Stay in a specific room at home and avoid contact with other family members as much as possible,” the department said. “These steps are important to prevent the possible spread of disease.”

Meanwhile, some cities are announcing the end of their mandatory curfews put in place as the pandemic grew.

Biloxi Mayor Andrew “Fofo” Gilich announced Friday that the city’s nightly curfew — from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. — would end Sunday morning. Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes said the citywide curfew ended at 5 p.m. Friday.

And in Hattiesburg, Mayor Toby Barker has signed an order requiring people entering businesses to wear a mask to help slow the virus’s spread.

“The benefit of a mask is if everyone wears them we protect each other,” Barker told WDAM-TV.

The order went into effect Friday and will remain until 8 a.m. May 31.