Oxford Board of Aldermen vote to remove mask mandate

Published 2:35 pm Tuesday, September 28, 2021

With case numbers declining and hospital numbers stabilizing, the city-wide mask mandate for Oxford ended on Tuesday.

During a special called meeting, the Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to end the temporary mandate that was re-instated on Aug. 24.

The latest seven-day average of new cases dropped to 22, according to Oxford’s emergency management director Jimmy Allgood. Allgood presented the Board with the latest COVID-19 numbers prior to the vote.

According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, Lafayette County reported 30 new cases as of 3 p.m. on Monday. The county’s total number of cases since March 19, 2020 is 8,298 and 137 COVID-related deaths have been reported.

As of Tuesday, Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi had 27 patients for COVID-19 with nine of those in the intensive care unit. The number of COVID patients in ICU dropped under 10 for the first time on Monday.

Allgood said BMHNM had one transit, or admission, on Monday.

“It shows what a great job our hospital has done in managing effective care when they’re a regional health center,” said Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill. “We certainly can’t thank our hospital staff, physicians, nurses enough for all of the hard work that has gone into managing a patient load that includes people from several different states in our community.”

As of 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Lafayette County had 49 percent of its residents (26,460) who were fully vaccinated and 53 percent (28,725) who have received at least one dose of the vaccine, including the Johnson & Johnson one dose vaccine.

Alderman Rick Addy made the motion to end the mandate. Addy also made the motion on Aug. 24 to reinstate the city-wide mask mandate.

The motion also included that all city employees who are not fully vaccinated must still wear a mask while inside city buildings.

On Monday, Oxford School District superintendent Bradley Roberson extended their mask mandate through Oct. 15.