Schools deal with more cases, quarantines

Mississippi’s largest school district recorded additional coronavirus cases and a host of new quarantines in its weekly report on the pandemic. DeSoto County Schools released the week’s report Monday afternoon to show 49 additional positive cases of COVID-19 had been discovered in district schools. In addition, 491 new quarantines were recorded among district children for the week ending Oct. 23. 

Center Hill High School had the most new positive cases reported for the week with nine and 48 new quarantines were recorded. The new reports included members of the school’s football team, forced to cancel last Friday’s game with Saltillo, which was homecoming at Center Hill. Homecoming activities scheduled for Friday were also canceled.  

Hernando Middle School had the dubious honor of the most new quarantines among DCS schools at 59, to go with three new positive cases of the virus.  

Lake Cormorant High School reported six new case reports with 48 new quarantines and Hernando High School had five new cases and 43 additional quarantines. The Lake Cormorant band did not play at Friday’s home football game with Grenada, reportedly because of case or quarantine reports in the band.

Twenty-two separate schools had new cases reported in the past week and 23 attendance centers reported at least one student in a new quarantine.  

In the entire district, there were 34 new positive cases among teachers and staff members.  

The entire report may be found on the DeSoto County School District website.  

Also Monday, the Mississippi State Department of Health released new coronavirus levels for the state. 

Six-hundred-seventy-five new cases were reported in Mississippi over the weekend. Of that number 228 were reported on Saturday and 447 new reports were recorded on Sunday. 

Monday’s daily update from MSDH had eight new death reports. Four of that number were reports between Oct. 11-25 and the others were reports from Aug. 29-Oct. 6. None of the eight deaths came in DeSoto County.  

Mississippi now has reported 115,763 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. There have been 3,263 victims connected to the pandemic. DeSoto County has seen 7,134 positive case reports and there have been 79 victims from the virus. Among county long-term facilities, 80 outbreaks have been found and 16 have died.  

In DeSoto County, MSDH reported 760 cases between Oct. 5-18, or 410.9 cases per 100,000 population for a 13-percent increase.  

Mississippi’s presumed recoveries from coronavirus through Sunday, Oct. 25 is now at 101,385. 

More good news for the state on Monday was Gov. Tate Reeves’ announcement in his afternoon news conference that the state has the lowest reproduction rate of the virus anywhere in the country. At the same time, seven more counties have reached the threshold to require them to be added to the list of counties under a mask mandate. DeSoto County was among the nine initial counties marked by Reeves under a mandate.  

In these counties, indoor social gatherings will be limited to 10 people and outdoor groups are limited to 50 people. 

Masks will be required indoors again and when people cannot social distance outdoors.  

Counties are in the new mandates because they had more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents over a designated two-week period or more than 200 cases total over the designated two-week period (with more than 200 cases per 100,000 residents) had cases of coronavirus.  

Although DeSoto County is still in the mandate as of Monday, Oct. 26, the two-week case numbers per 100,000 population have dropped below 500 to the earlier-mentioned 410.9 cases per 100,000. If the trend continues, that could remove DeSoto County from the mask mandate specifications.

The executive order also places a 10-percent capacity requirement for healthcare facilities. That means if hospitals cannot hold the number of coronavirus patients to no more than 10 percent of its capacity, elective procedures must be delayed.  

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