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Mayor Tannehill: Low number of reported COVID-19 cases giving “false sense of security”

On Friday, the Mississippi State Health Department announced Lafayette County had at total of 11 COVID-19 cases, but Oxford mayor Robyn Tannehill said she does not want residents to get complacent.

In a video update posted to her Facebook page, Tannehill noted there is a lag in reported positive cases and has been made aware by clinics and other individuals of “numerous” positive cases not yet reported.

“I tell you this, because I believe the low number of cases that is being reported is giving people a false sense of security,” Tannehill said. “COVID-19 is in our community, and it is spreading and you must take it seriously. Unfortunately, there still seems to be those in our community who are not heeding our request to stay at home unless you absolutely must be out for essential services.”

During her video, Tannehill noted there were six reports of noise violations on Thursday for people holding parties at homes throughout Oxford.

The University of Mississippi is not holding in-person instruction for the remainder of the spring semester. While most students returned to their family home, many students are staying in Oxford. In her video, Tannehill offered a message to those students.

“If your irresponsible behavior only affected you, that would be one thing. But, your dangerous behavior puts us all at risk,” Tannehill said. “Please stay at home. … If you are a student who remains in Oxford, you are simply not just a student at Ole Miss. You are a resident of Oxford, Mississippi. Please act like one. Please be responsible and if you don’t like those rules, please go home.”

In her update, Tannehill said Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi is prepared to utilize other areas of the hospital to care for COVID-19 patients if they need to. Two area hotels have also offered up their rooms to serve as overflow hospital beds if necessary, she said.

Watch Tannehill’s full video update below: