Mississippi sees COVID spike but health department says numbers may be deceiving

WATCH: Mississippi sees COVID spike but health department says numbers may be deceiving

HERNANDO, Miss. — Mississippi’s coronavirus numbers have been on the rise again.

The state reported more than 1,800 new cases Friday and Saturday but there were less than 600 cases reported Sunday and Monday combined.

The state says you can’t take those numbers at face value.

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According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, those spikes last week are due to data dumps and new data from tests. The state says testing from outside companies was added to the regular number over two days.

Still, Robert Felix of Hernando told FOX13 he is unnerved by the fact that the mask mandate is no longer in effect statewide and people aren’t wearing them. Felix said he was hospitalized with COVID-19.

“I think it is a big mistake and I think the mask is necessary and I think that it is keeping us from spreading the virus and it’s the only thing doing that," Felix said. "Because it is serious and I don’t think people are taking it seriously.”

It’s been twelve days since the governor let the mask mandate expire.

Felix says he is concerned about what might happen in a few days.

“I really do think the numbers are going up and you are going to see a spike because they took away the mask and the mask is the only protection that we have since we don’t have a vaccine available,” he said.

City and county leaders in North Mississippi who wouldn’t go on camera told FOX13 they will keep an eye on which way the numbers are trending in the coming days.

Sunday the state’s seven-day average of new cases hit 680 for the first time since late August.

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