NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Mississippi’s number of new coronavirus cases is almost double the national average. The spike is especially severe in Harrison county along the Gulf Coast.
It’s been less than a month since Mississippi’s governor lifted his safer at home restrictions and reopened casinos and new coronavirus cases are spiking.
At one Gulf Coast testing site 8.7 percent of those being tested are positive for coronavirus nearly double the national average of 4.5 percent.
“I think a lot of the relaxing we’re seeing up and down the coast is starting to drive our results,” said Dr. Matt Walker, with Memorial Hospital Gulfport.
Some Mississippi college towns have seen big spikes with fraternity social activities being blamed. But Harrison County which is home to more than 14 Casinos is the county with the third-highest number of new coronavirus cases in the state of Mississippi.
“I think it’s the new normal,” said Brandi Kallas, of Biloxi.
“We’re doing our part offering masks and gloves if they so choose,” said Lu An Pappas, with the Scarlet Pearl Casino.
A random check of several Biloxi businesses Found 90% of patrons not wearing masks.
“I just went to the store patrons came in without a mask employees should’ve told him something,” said Doris Jones of Biloxi.
The coronavirus Spike is being watched closely by Mississippi governor Tate Reeves, who has indicated
He may call for more stringent measures in an effort to bring them down.
“It is very possible that we may sit down with him officials and say we need to enforce more measures in certain areas of the state,” Reeves said.
Many say they are taking precautions.
“I have masks I bring sanitizer wipes and alcohol everywhere I go,” said visitor Charlita Key, from Louisiana.
For some it’s personal.
“I know someone who recently died from the coronavirus,” Jet said.
And Doris Jones says it may be time to clamp down with tighter prevention measures.
“I am military and I think we need stricter controls ...mandatory,” said Jones.
She and medical professionals say it’s all about saving lives.
Mississippi has seen nearly 21,000 coronavirus cases and 943 deaths. Some project the state’s June number of new cases will be triple what they were in May.