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COVID-19

First child under 18 dies of COVID-19 in Mississippi

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(Image by Felipe Esquivel Reed, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=87846813)

In the governor’s live COVID-19 update Wednesday, State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs reported the first COVID-19 death in Mississippi of a child under the age of 18.

The otherwise healthy child was between the ages of 1 and 5-years-old. The child died of COVID-19 and Multisymptom Inflammatory Syndrome, a related condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs.

It’s a reminder that although most people recover from the virus, even young, healthy people can die of it, Dobbs said.

Gov. Tate Reeves emphasized that although statistics headed in the right direction for the past few weeks — new cases and hospitalizations in particular are down — this is not the time to start behaving as if everything is back to normal.

Especially with the Labor Day holiday coming up, Reeves warned Mississippians against big social gatherings like those that happened over the Memorial Day and Independence Day weekends.

“We cannot give up the gains and improvements we’ve made over the last two months with Labor Day weekend before us,” he said.

The governor asked Mississippians to “be on your guard,” keep gatherings within immediate families, and “do your best to avoid huge gatherings.”

Reeves also announced a program for medical facilities other than hospitals, including assisted living facilities, ambulatory surgery centers, and Alzheimer’s and dementia care facilities. The program will reimburse the facilities for personal protective equipment and COVID-19 testing. The $19 million program is funded through the federal government’s COVID-19 relief funds.

The effort, administered through the Mississippi Development Authority, is designed to begin allowing the most vulnerable Mississippians access to their loved ones in a safe manner, Reeves said.

“Loneliness is a powerful disease,” he said. “It can be deadly.”

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