More cases in state health virus report

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) Monday reported an additional 365 cases of coronavirus on Sunday, making for a total of 120,865 cases discovered in the state since the pandemic started in March.  MSDH did not report any additional deaths, however, and the statewide total of deaths related to coronavirus remained at 3,348.  

The latest report shows DeSoto County at 7,632 cases and 81 deaths. There have been 82 outbreaks in long-term care (LTC) facilities and 16 LTC deaths.  

The DeSoto County total continues to put the county as having the second-most number of cases for the virus in Mississippi, behind Hinds County with 8,207, which also has seen 180 coronavirus-related fatalities.  

Lauderdale County has had 135 COVID-19 fatalities, Neshoba has had 111, and Washington County has had 100 deaths related to the virus.  

Statewide, there have been an estimated 101,385 recoveries and testing figures are at just over 1 million as of the end of October. The figure includes tests at the state public health laboratory and from other providers.  

DeSoto County continues to have the most number of new cases in the state for coronavirus over a two-week period. MSDH figures for the period between Oct. 12-25 had DeSoto County with 921 new positive cases, or 498.0 per 100,000 population.  

The rapid rise and high positivity rate were among the reasons why on Oct. 23, Gov. Tate Reeves put the county under a special mask mandate, making it one of 17 counties in the state where face coverings were required in public.  As of Oct. 24, the latest date where information is available, DeSoto County had a test positivity rate of 15.9 percent putting it as a red flag to state officials who implemented the mask mandate.  

To continue to help fight the virus spread, MSDH has now begun free COVID-19 testing on Tuesdays and Fridays, between 11 a.m.-6 p.m. each day, at the County Health Department office, 3212 Highway 51 South, Suite A, in Hernando. The service is for people who may or may have symptoms.  

Appointments are requested by calling the state health department at 601-496-7200 between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, or by completing the UMMC COVID-19 online Patient Screening Form.

People can also pick up free facemasks with shields at the health department.

Free Rapid Testing is also now available at the Health Department in DeSoto County for people who have COVID-19 symptoms or possible exposure.

Monday saw the latest report on cases from the county’s public school district and DeSoto County Schools (DCS) reported a growing number of cases and quarantines among its students last week. 

The weekly report indicated 52 new positive cases and 508 new quarantines during the school week Oct. 26-30.

Schools with the most new cases are Center Hill High School with 12, Hernando Elementary with seven, and Hernando High School with six.

Hernando Elementary had the most new quarantines with 68 students, followed by Center Hill High School with 58, and Hernando High School with 47 new quarantines. 

Staff members in the district with new positive tests for coronavirus in the past week numbered 34.  

The complete weekly report for the state’s largest public school district is found on the official DCS district website.  

(Contact desotocountynews@gmail.com)

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