Bradford: Adams County COVID-19 task force to resume meetings in response to delta variant spread

Published 1:21 pm Monday, July 19, 2021

NATCHEZ — Adams County Emergency Management Director Robert Bradford said the Adams County COVID-19 task force would resume meetings in response to cases rising due to the spread of the delta variant in Mississippi.

The task force monitors COVID-19 spread in Adams County and makes recommendations to officials about how to mitigate the spread, which in the past has including mask mandates and mask and hand sanitizer distributions and restricting social gatherings in public spaces.

Bradford said the task force stopped meeting in May after the Adams County Board of Supervisors would not renew a resolution requiring masks in public. Because numbers were going up locally, Bradford said he saw a need for the task force to resume meeting and has plans to do so in August.

“In the event that we get another high number of COVID cases, we’ll be looking at things we could implement locally,” he said. “We will see how everything goes next month. Our numbers are going up and we want to continue to be proactive in the event we get another surge this fall. We want to be ahead of the game.”

Bradford said the “driving force” behind whether the county receives a COVID surge or not is vaccination.

“Get vaccinated, if you haven’t been. That is doing to be the driving force,” he said.

Supervisors Angela Hutchins and Ricky Gray, who both voted in favor of keeping the mask mandate in May, thanked Bradford for taking the initiative to reinstate the COVID-19 task force.

Gray said he was particularly concerned for children who are not old enough to be vaccinated.

“A lot of people want to pretend that nothing is happening. This is not the time to be quiet. This virus is serious,” Gray said.  “Our children are unvaccinated and unprotected. I don’t want to wait until someone’s kid gets this virus and dies from it to do something about it.”

Hutchins agreed.

“We need to start a task force up again and do something before this gets out of hand,” she said.

Other supervisors who were not in favor of requiring masks in May still strongly encourage Adams County residents to be vaccinated. Health officials said cases are surging among nonvaccinated people and the vaccines have been effective against new COVID variants.

“I am surprised at the number of people who will not get vaccinated,” said Supervisor Kevin Wilson. “I’ve seen some strong people get this thing and wind up being put on a ventilator for months. Please go get vaccinated if you have not.”

The State of Mississippi saw a leap of 2,326 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health. The cases were recorded between Friday and Sunday, MSDH reports.

Adams County saw an increase by 32 cases between Friday and Sunday with the state reporting a total of 3,259 cases in the county since the start of the pandemic on Friday and a total of 3,291 cases on Monday. Seven new cases were added for Adams County Tuesday for a new total of 3,298.

MSDH recommends that those who have not been vaccinated or have health issues that put them at risk should continue wearing masks and practice social distancing.

COVID-19 vaccinations for Mississippians age 12 and older are available at no cost from MSDH sites around the state and from local pharmacies and healthcare providers. A parent or guardian must accompany minors to their vaccination. Call the Mississippi COVID-19 Hotline at (877) 978-6453 for appointment assistance. No documentation or identification is required.

If you are homebound and need assistance getting your COVID-19 vaccination, send e-mail to COVIDHomebound@msdh.ms.gov or call 877-978-6453.