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Now is not the time to let down our guard against COVID-19

Where other counties have not succeeded, Warren County has — for now.

Where other schools have not been as fortunate, those in Warren County have — for now.

Where other communities have had to face more restrictions, shutdowns and cancellations, our community — for the most part — has been spared. Again, for now.

Friday afternoon and evening provided a stark contrast between Vicksburg and Warren County and other areas of the state and region. 

While other portions of the state have had to see schools that were recently reopened shutter once again, the schools in Warren County have remained opened and without a significant number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among staff or students. 

While other communities in the state have had to see segments of their economies once again restricted, Vicksburg and Warren County have been able to ease restrictions. On Friday, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. lifted more restrictions, this time on barbershops and salons. 

Where some schools have had to see some of their teams forced into quarantine and cancel games, those in Vicksburg and Warren County have seen their seasons start and continue without many hiccups. And, those hiccups that have been faced have been because of health concerns with other schools and teams.

But a return to normal it is not. In what should have been a packed stadium at Warren Central High School Friday night, for the football game between Vicksburg and Warren Central, only a handful of parents and supporters were able to see it in person due to social distancing and crowd control restrictions.

We have previously applauded the pre-emptive and early steps taken by city and county leaders during this pandemic. It is our belief, and that of experts, that the steps taken on a city and county level kept the county from being declared a hot spot. More importantly, curtailed the number of residents infected and likely reduced the number of fatalities.

But while these easing of restrictions and welcoming of high school football games is reason to celebrate, it is not a time to let our guard down.

The Labor Day weekend has the potential to drive our numbers higher again.

Our community has been blessed, it has worked hard and it has done what is necessary. It is our hope that the lessons we have all learned in these nearly six months will give us even more drive to continue to push the numbers lower and, further, to a feeling of normal.