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Satartia gas rupture hospitalizes 46 and displaces 300

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The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is assisting the Yazoo County Emergency Management Agency after a 24-inch pressurized pipe ruptured, Feb. 22, 2020, around 8 p.m. The rupture happened in a heavily wooded area near Highway 433 near Satartia.  More than 300 residents were evacuated. At this time, 46 people are being treated at area hospitals.

The pipe contained Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S). Residents in the area complained of green gas and a noxious odor. The pipeline belongs to Denbury Enterprises.

Currently, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality is working to determine if the area is safe so residents can return home. Meanwhile, a shelter is open at Yazoo County Junior High School, located at 116 Panther Drive, Yazoo City.

Through an initial investigation, the rupture could be a result of recent weather events. It appears the ground caved into a ravine damaging the 24-inch pipe.

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Mississippians end Jim Crow era voting law

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Mississippi voters overwhelming chose to end a Jim Crow era voting restriction Tuesday.

More than 78% of the state’s voters said ‘yes’ to Initiative 47, which proposed ending the state’s system of electing statewide officials.

Under Mississippi law, candidates don’t only have to win the majority of votes, they also have to win in the majority of the state’s House districts. In a race where no candidates win both, the decision then goes to the Mississippi House of Representatives. The law was put on the books to ensure majority Black voting districts would not hold sway in the selection of the state’s high offices.

Under Initiative 47, this pseudo Electoral College will be abolished, and the popular vote will decide the winner in statewide races. If no candidate wins the majority of votes in the state, a run-off election will be held.

The initiative came about as a result of legislation that proposed amending the state constitution, House Concurrent Resolution 47. A constitutional amendment proposed by the legislature requires a majority of Mississippi voters approve the change, which they did Tuesday.

The last time an election for a statewide office was disputed under the old law was the governor’s race in 1999. Neither candidate, Democrat Ronnie Musgrove nor Republican Mike Parker, earned a clear 50% plus one popular majority (although Musgrove had a slight lead), and they split the House districts evenly at 61 each. The Mississippi House of Representatives, then in Democratic control, put Musgrove into office.

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Mississippi reports 766 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven in Warren County

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On Election Day, the U.S. reported more than 92,000 new COVID-19 cases and at least 1,130 deaths as the viral surge continues from coast to coast. Especially hard hit are the northern tier of Midwest states including Wisconsin — with a seven-day new case average nearing 5,000 cases daily — North and South Dakota, Montana and Iowa. The death rate in these states is also climbing.

Across the nation, the new case rate has risen 46% and the death rate 14% over the past two weeks.

In Warren County, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported seven new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,591, and the county’s death toll is 56.

Statewide, MSDH reported 766 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 122,275. The seven-day average of new cases is 665.4, about 167 cases higher than 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 Wednesday that 13 more Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,397. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.8%.

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.

The 13 deaths MSDH reported Wednesday occurred between Oct. 13 and Nov. 3 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Wednesday
Amite 1
Benton 1
Clay 1
George 1
Jackson 1
Lamar 1
Marion 1
Washington 2
Yalobusha 3
Yazoo 1

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3. 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 tripled by late July.

Hospitalizations then steadily dropped through Oct. 3 when they began rising again along with increased cases. The last week in October, hospitalizations began levelling off.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2, was 672, more than half of the late July peak of about 1,200. The number includes 576 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 96 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 168 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 73 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 105,839 through Sunday, Nov. 1. This figure is updated weekly. It represents about 88.1% of the cumulative 122,275 cases reported as of Wednesday, Nov. 4.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Wednesday, Oct. 14, was 1,481, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,425, or about 89.6% of the 1,584 cumulative cases reported as of Wednesday, Nov. 4. The county has an estimated 110 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 Saturday, Oct. 31 (the latest statewide testing results reported by MSDH), is 1,049,479 or about 35.3% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. Without daily updated number of tests, it is impossible to accurately calculate Mississippi’s positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average), however, the rate was 4.5% Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate is 6.7%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities was 131 Wednesday. About 39.4%, or 1,339, 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. 18.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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Medical marijuana becoming a reality in Mississippi

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(Photo by angie3888 from Pixabay)

Mississippi will be joining the majority of U.S. states that allow the use of medical marijuana by its residents.

Almost three-quarters of the state’s voters approved Initiative 65 Tuesday, putting the use of the herb into the state constitution and its control into the hands of the Mississippi State Department of Health.

The proposal gained the signatures of more than 228,000 Mississippians to put the initiative on the ballot after years of inaction by state legislators.

Under the proposed amendment, doctors will be able to prescribe marijuana for a number of debilitating conditions, including cancer, Parkinson’s disease, PTSD, glaucoma and more.

MSDH is tasked with implementing and administering the rules and regulations for dispensing marijuana.

You can read the entire proposal here.

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