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COVID-19

Reeves announces expansion of rural broadband to support distance learning

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(Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay)

Monday, Gov. Tate Reeves announced $130 million will be going to expand broadband internet service to rural areas in Mississippi.

Reeves made the announcement during a live news conference on COVID-19. Half of the funds, $65 million, will be allocated as a grant to 15 rural electric cooperatives, who will match the grant dollar-for-dollar to achieve the total amount.

The legislature allocated the grant funds to expand internet service in support of distance learning in the state. The funds are part of the $1.25 billion in federal COVID-19 aid awarded to Mississippi earlier this year. In all, $275 million were allocated to broadband expansion and K-12 distance learning initiatives.

 

COVID-19

USM interim head coach tests positive for COVID-19

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Scotty Walden (photo courtesy USM Athletics)

The University of Southern Mississippi’s interim head football coach Scotty Walden has tested positive for COVID-19.

“Earlier this morning I tested positive for COVID-19,” Walden said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon. “I am fine and have mild to no symptoms. I am quarantining back home until it is safe to rejoin the team. I want to thank Golden Eagle Nation for all of their support for our program during this difficult period. I want to thank our players and staff for continuing to be incredibly resilient during such an unstable time.

“Our team will continue to work diligently in preparation for our game this Saturday against Liberty.”

Walden is self isolating at his home and will continue to oversee the program remotely.

The Golden Eagles last two games were postponed due to COVID-19 concerns but as of now their game against Liberty this coming Saturday is still on schedule.

 

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COVID-19

Vicksburg Warren School Districts reports nine new COVID-19 cases and 64 in quarantine

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The Vicksburg Warren School District reports nine new COVID-19 cases in its schools for the week of Oct. 12 through Oct. 16.

In addition, 64 students, teachers and staff members are newly quarantined due to possible exposure to the virus during in the same time period.

Cases and quarantines were reported in the following schools:

Academy of Innovation
10 quarantined – students

Beechwood Elementary
2 new positive cases – staff
1 new positive case – student
5 quarantined – student

Bovina Elementary
1 new positive case – student

Dana Road Elementary
1 new positive case – teacher/staff
1 new positive case – student
12 quarantined – students

Warren Central High School
1 new positive case – student
20 quarantined – students

Warren Central Junior High
2 new positive cases – teachers/staff
7 quarantined – teachers/staff
10 quarantined – students

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COVID-19

Warren County reports 55th COVID-19 death

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The Mississippi State Department of Health reported six new COVID-19 cases Tuesday in Warren County and one new death, a resident in one of the county’s long-term health facilities. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,527, and the county’s death toll is 55.

Statewide, MSDH reported 730 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 111,322. The seven-day average of new cases is 769, higher by 270 cases from a month ago.

Most new cases are seen in younger people recently, and they are more likely to survive the virus than those 65 and older. By far, the age group reporting the most cases in Mississippi are young people from 18 to 29 years old.

MSDH reported Tuesday that 31 additional Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,202. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.9%.

Deaths are a lagging indicator. While July saw the highest number of new cases since the crisis began, August saw the highest number of deaths. The highest number of deaths in any one day was 67 reported Aug. 25.

Of the 31 deaths MSDH reported Tuesday, 22 occurred between Aug. 6 and Oct. 18 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Tuesday
Attala 1
Bolivar 1
Chickasaw 1
Clarke 1
Grenada 1
Harrison 2
Hinds 1
Jackson 3
Jasper 1
Leflore 1
Lincoln 1
Noxubee 1
Panola 1
Pearl River 2
Pike 1
Tippah 1
Tishomingo 1
Warren 1

Nine COVID-19 related deaths occurred between Sept. 18 and Oct. 10 and were identified from death certificate reports.

County Deaths reported on death certificate reports
Adams 1
Bolivar 1
De Soto 1
Greene 1
Hinds 1
Lauderdale 1
Leake 1
Madison 1
Simpson 1

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19. MSDH usually reports statistics on the COVID-19 coronavirus each day based on the previous day’s testing and death reports.

The primary metric concerning state health officials are the numbers of people hospitalized, and that number rose steadily with the rise of new cases in July and August. On June 6, the number of Mississippians hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 was at 358. Hospitalizations nearly tripled by late July. They leveled off in early August and began noticeably dropping in the middle of the month including critical cases and numbers of people requiring ventilators. Hospitalizations continued to drop in September but levelled off at the middle of the month. They dropped again through Oct. 3; however, hospitalizations have been showing a rise since then.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, is 653, more than half of the late July peak of about 1,200. The number includes 541 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 112 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 151 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 70 were on ventilators.

Source: MSDH

MSDH has estimated the number of people who can be presumed recovered from COVID-19 in Mississippi. That number is 97,675 through Sunday, Oct. 11. This figure is updated weekly. It represents about 87.7% of the cumulative 111,322 cases reported Tuesday, Oct. 20.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Tuesday, Sept. 29, was 1,415, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,360, or about 89.1% of the 1,527 cumulative cases reported as of Tuesday, Oct. 20. The county has an estimated 112 active cases.

These estimates are based on MSDH’s guidelines for calculating estimated recoveries when hospitalizations are not known, using the number of cases 21 days ago, less known outcomes (deaths).

The total number of Mississippians tested for COVID-19 (PCR and antigen tests identifying current infections) as of Thursday, Oct. 15, is 900,479 or about 30.3% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. Mississippi’s positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average) was 17.7% Monday according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate is 5.3%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities is 127 Tuesday. About 40.3%, or 1,289, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities.

A total of 26 deaths in Warren County were residents of LTC facilities.

MSDH is no longer reporting outbreaks in individual long-term care facilities in Mississippi and has replaced it with access to a database from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. You can access and search the data here. The latest data available is for the week ending Oct. 4.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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