Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba is slowly re-opening the Capital City following months of lockdown due to COVID-19, while acknowledging that data does not yet reflect that Jackson or the State of Mississippi has experienced a decline in the rate of new COVID-19 cases. Photo courtesy City of Jackson
Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba sent out a robocall to Jackson residents today warning them to be safe through the Memorial Day weekend as so many businesses open up.
"COVID-19 is still infecting people in our community here in Jackson, so it is important that you remain vigilant," Lumumba said in the recording.
He pointed to new numbers from the Mississippi State Department of Health that show no decrease in infections; in fact, this past week had a higher average of daily cases than the previous week, the Jackson Free Press reported today, with an average of 269 new cases a day, up from 249 last week. The average the previous week was 277.
"This past Friday we saw 402 new cases of coronavirus," he said, calling for safe choices. Today, MSDH announced 381 new confirmed cases yesterday.
"I ask everyone to resist attending any large gatherings such as cookouts or block parties this holiday weekend. We want you to enjoy yourselves, but we are not out of the woods, yet," the mayor said in the robocall.
He then called for residents to remember safety precautions such as hand- and surface-washing, 6-feet social distancing and always wearing a face covering anytime out in public.
Lumumba urged people to call the City's COVID-19 hotline for assistance at 601-566-3067 or visit the City's website for resources.
COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting African Americans in Mississippi and beyond. Mississippi is about 38% black, but as of today, the black community is suffering about half the coronavirus infections in the state and 51% of the deaths.
Hinds County has seen 877 cases and 24 deaths. Jackson is 82% black.
Lumumba recently loosened stay-at-home restrictions in the capital city, saying Gov. Tate Reeves' efforts to reopen the state gave him no choice. He also extended an overnight curfew for another seven days
“[T]he Governor's hasty reopening of the State of Mississippi has forced the City of Jackson to lift the Stay-at-Home Order and begin the precarious process of reopening the City,” the mayor stated in his most recent order extending the curfew.
Read full coverage of COVID-19 in Mississippi at jacksonfreepress.com/covid19.