Mayor of Mississippi’s largest city closes city hall, other offices amid virus surge

Published 10:24 am Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The mayor of Mississippi’s capital city has ordered the closure of city hall and other offices due to a surge in new confirmed coronavirus cases, particularly the highly contagious delta and omicron variants.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba’s new executive order closing offices went into effect Wednesday. Only essential employees will continue to work in person, he said. The order will stay in place until at least next Wednesday.

“The infectious spread of COVID-19 through both the Delta and Omicron variants has continued and dramatically increased in the City of Jackson, with a corresponding increase in hospitalizations and death rate,” the mayor said in a statement. “The City of Jackson does not have the luxury of a wait-and-see approach to the continued threat.”

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A total of 400 people were hospitalized with a confirmed coronavirus infection in Mississippi on Monday, compared with 239 people on Christmas Eve, the Department of Health reported. Health officials said Tuesday that 48% of Mississippi residents were fully vaccinated, and 29% had received a booster shot. About 63% of people nationwide are fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University.