By Alyssa Schnugg
The Mississippi State Department of Health is asking people to avoid large indoor crowds this holiday weekend as cases of COVID-19 continue to climb.
“The Delta and Omicron variants are active in the state right now and indoor gatherings this weekend carry a high risk of rapidly spreading COVID-19,” states the MSDH on social media Friday.
There are no state-wide or local mask mandates in place currently.
Lafayette County has had about 657 new cases since Dec. 1, according to the MSDH.
As of Wednesday, Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi reported 29 patients were in the hospital with COVID-19, with two in the ICU unit.
There have been no recent deaths in Lafayette County associated with COVID-19 since late November. There have been a total of 9,542 cases since March 2020 and 143 deaths in Lafayette County.
Despite the increasing number of cases, most local bars and restaurants are moving ahead with their New Year’s Eve plans; however, Ajax Diner posted on social media they would only be doing take-out and delivery orders for the remainder of the week.
“The safety of our staff and customers is of the utmost importance and we are sorry for any inconvenience,” Ajax Diner posted on Thursday.
The Oxford Board of Aldermen will discuss “current Covid regulations” during its Jan. 4 meeting at 5 p.m. at City Hall, according to the agenda.