JACKSON (AP) — The state of Mississippi reported its highest-ever single-day increase of coronavirus fatalities on Friday, with 52 deaths. This comes as Gov. Tate Reeves has expanded mask requirements to eight new counties, including Leflore and Carroll, set to go into effect on Monday.
People are already required to wear masks in public in 29 of the 82 counties of Mississippi, covering more than half of the state’s population. Reeves has resisted ordering a statewide mask mandate, saying he thinks targeted restrictions are more effective.
Mississippi has a population of about 3 million. The Health Department said Friday that the state has had at least 58,747 confirmed cases and at least 1,663 deaths from COVID-19 as of Thursday evening.
At least 3,570 cases of the virus have been confirmed in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, with at least 744 virus-related deaths in those facilities, the Health Department said. The true number of virus infections is thought to be far higher.