COVID restrictions continue, schools update case numbers

Mississippians will have to wear masks in public for a little bit longer but more people may congregate in retail stores That’s a highlight from Monday’s announcement from Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves office regarding restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19.  

Reeves announced a continuance of the social distancing requirements, including wearing masks in public, under his Safe Return executive order, which now remains in effect until Sept. 30 at 5 p.m.

While the mask mandate remains in effect, Reeves announced that group gatherings may now be up to 10 people inside and 50 people outside when social distancing is not possible.  If people can social distance, the limitations become 20 people inside and 100 people at outside gatherings.  

Retail stores, restaurants, gyms, and seated dinners at reception halls and conference centers may now number 75 percent of its capacity. Party sizes in restaurants are now limited to 10 people per table, and gyms can be open 24 hours a day.

You can view the signed Executive Order No. 1522 here

Meanwhile, DeSoto County Schools (DCS) Monday updated the district’s list of schools with new positive cases of COVID-19 and the number of new student quarantines during the week Sept. 8-11.  

Lewisburg High School had the highest number of new cases during the past week with 14. Thirteen of those were identified as being student-athletes from one unidentified sports team. Hernando High School had three new cases and there were two new cases each at Lewisburg Middle and Lake Cormorant High schools, for a total of 23 new virus cases found in the district. 

While not saying which specific team was involved it’s possible the volleyball team may be where the added cases lie. At least one match, with DeSoto Central, was postponed to Wednesday, Sept. 23 late Monday afternoon.

Of new quarantines, 76 students were placed in quarantine at Lewisburg High School, 36 at Lewisburg Middle, and 27 at Hernando High School. There were 12 at Lewisburg Primary, and 10 new quarantines at DeSoto Central High School.  

Eleven DCS staff members were found to have COVID-19 in the past week.  

The entire rundown is found on the DeSoto County School District website.  

DCS noted that it is possible to have quarantine situations on a campus without a confirmed student case, such as at DeSoto Central High School, where there were no additional positive cases but 10 new students are now in quarantine.  Hernando Middle is where there are three new quarantines but no additional student positive cases.  

Those situations can be due to contact with an employee who has coronavirus. 

Private schools, such as Northpoint Christian and Sacred Heart schools, are not included in the DCS report, so reported numbers from the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) may be different from what DCS reports.  

There may also be cases where MSDH has quarantined a student for situations not related to school.  

Monday, Sept. 14, the MSDH reported 145 new positive cases of COVID-19 and nine new deaths connected to the virus, although none of them are from new reports. The nine reported victims are COVID-19 related confirmed by death certificate reports between the dates of Aug. 26-Sept. 24, MSDH reported.  

In DeSoto County, there are now 5,173 reported positive cases of the coronavirus and 53 residents have died. There have been 63 reported cases of the virus in county long-term care facilities and 13 deaths.  

The latest numbers are found on the Mississippi State Department of Health website.

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