Seven new deaths from COVID-19 in county

Tuesday’s report on coronavirus cases in Mississippi grew the number of positive cases in the state by 825 and there have been 76 additional death reports connected with COVID-19, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health’s (MSDH) daily update. 

In DeSoto County, the number of positive coronavirus cases are at 18,450, an increase of 42 as of 3 p.m. Monday, but there were seven more death reports from the county. Four of that number are from the time period of Jan. 8-Feb.1 and the other three victims dated back from between Jan. 7-28. There have been a total of 209 victims from the virus since the pandemic was declared last March.  

The DeSoto County case figure is the highest in the state, but the county with the most deaths from coronavirus remains Hinds County with 357. Harrison County on the Gulf Coast has had 237 virus victims, as had Rankin County. 

As a state, Mississippi has recorded 276,351 cases of coronavirus and there have been 6,132 virus-related victims, according to the MSDH.  

The 7-day, daily average of new cases dropped to 1,419 on Tuesday. It was the lowest average number of new cases in a 7-day period since Dec. 1.

The 14-day, daily average of new cases dropped to 1,529 with Tuesday’s update. It was the lowest 14-day average since Dec. 5.

At last report, the test positivity rate for coronavirus in DeSoto County had fallen from a high earlier in January of 23.0 percent for the two-week period of Dec. 24-Jan. 6, to 16.3 percent as of Jan. 23, for the two-week period from Jan. 7-20.  

The 16.3 percent figure keeps DeSoto County in the “red zone,” however, a basis for continuing the county in a mask mandate order. It is part of an extension of Gov. Tate Reeves’ executive order that is to expire Wednesday unless amended or further extended. The latest executive order is found on Secretary of State Michael Watson’s website at: https://bit.ly/2L9NG1T.

Gov. Reeves has scheduled an update news conference for Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. where he would be expected to announce any continuance or modification of the mask mandate orders. 

The governor did report on social media Tuesday morning that 30,000 new appointments for coronavirus vaccinations were made available through the state health department. 

He urged those who qualified to act quickly for appointments because the slots have been filling up quickly.  

To make the appointment, go to www.covidvaccine.umc.edu or call 877-978-6453.

Those eligible and seeking first dose vaccines should go to the same website or call the same number to schedule appointments, however appointments go quickly and you’re encouraged to keep trying if not successful at first.  

Additional doses, as many as 800 a day, were to be made available for the DeSoto County vaccination site at Landers Center this week. 

In a news release Tuesday morning, the Mississippi Insurance Department warned Mississippians of COVID-19 vaccine fraud scams that have appeared in other states.  

The following are signs of potential scams, according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud:

1.       You are asked to pay out of pocket to get the vaccine.

2.       You are asked to pay to put your name on a list to receive the vaccine or asked to pay to get early access to the vaccine.

3.       You receive unsolicited emails, phone calls and text messages. Scammers may pretend to be vaccine centers or insurance companies to steal your information.

4.       You are asked to visit a fake vaccine website. Scammers uses phony sites to steal your information and money.

5.       When in doubt about anything vaccine-related, call your state or local health department.

If you have a COVID-19 or insurance-related question or complaint, call the MID Consumer Services division at 601-359-2453 or email consumer@mid.ms.gov.

Mississippians were also reminding those in long-term care facilities that stimulus money does not go to the facility and does not affect a resident’s Medicaid benefits.

“Stimulus money belongs to the recipient and should not go to the nursing home or other facility where they are staying,” said Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney on Tuesday. “While my office has not received complaints about this, there have been complaints in other states. Mississippians should know stimulus checks do not count as income and should not be given to facilities to pay for services.”

Long-term care residents should decide for themselves, or with a trusted family member, how to spend their stimulus money. The money also does not change what Medical Assistance a person may receive based on income.

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