By Alyssa Schnugg
Due to a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases in Lafayette County and fewer patients in the local ICU, the Oxford Board of Aldermen voted Tuesday to end the mask mandate in Oxford.
However, unvaccinated city employees will still be required to wear a mask while working indoors.
Emergency Management Coordinator Jimmy Allgood said the city’s seven-day average of new cases last week was at about 22.86 cases per day, the lowest it’s been for several weeks.
“We’re starting to trend down now,” Allgood said.
Mayor Robyn Tannehill said the number of COVID-19 patients at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi has also come down in the last week.
“We can’t thank our hospital staff, physicians, nurses enough,” she said.
As of today, there are 27 patients with COVID-19 in the hospital and nine patients in the ICU. Two weeks ago, those numbers were double.
“Vaccinations are keeping people out of the hospital,” Tannehill said.
Alderman Ricky Addy said when he made the motion in August to reinstate the mask mandate it was due to his concern about the hospital being in dire straights.
“With our numbers coming down,” he said.
He made the motion to remove the mandate for the community but leave it there for city employees who are not vaccinated.
The motion passed unanimously.