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Texas cracking down on motorists traveling from Louisiana



(Photo source: Louisiana State Police)

Texas is screening motorists traveling west from Louisiana to comply with new COVID-19 rules starting Sunday, April 5.

In a Facebook post on Sunday morning, Louisiana State Police advised motorists to use caution and expect delays as they cross into Texas. Traffic and individuals related to commercial activity, military service, emergency response, health response or critical-infrastructure functions will not be stopped.

“Checkpoints and screening of vehicles leaving Louisiana related to the COVID-19 pandemic may result in traffic backups in westbound lanes of travel,” the LSP posted. “The screening of vehicles applies to all roadways crossing the LA/TX border including interstates.”

The warning to motorists is in response to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order of March 29, which states: “Every person who enters the State of Texas through roadways from Louisiana, or from any other state as may be proclaimed hereafter, shall be subject to mandatory self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into Texas or the duration of the person’s presence in Texas, whichever is shorter”

“Using a form to be prescribed by [the Louisiana Department of Public Safety], each covered person shall designate a quarantine location in Texas, such as a residence or a hotel, and provide a full name, date of birth, home address, telephone number, and driver license or passport information,” the order continued. “DPS Troopers, or other approved peace officers, will collect a completed form from a covered person and verify it against the person’s driver license or passport.”

There is no indication that motorists will be tested for COVID-19; however, anyone showing symptoms of the virus will be escorted to their designated quarantine location by a Texas trooper.

To read the executive order, visit the Texas governor’s website.

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Mississippi reports third consecutive day of more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases Friday



Mississippi reported a third consecutive day of more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases Friday.

Nationwide, hospitalizations have nearly doubled in the past two weeks, and hospitals in many areas are reporting they’re at or near a breaking point. This is the situation every effort at containing the virus has sought to avoid: overloading the nation’s health care system beyond its capacity to cope with the pandemic.

The surge in cases across the country has exceeded that of the surge this summer, with records being shattered nearly every day. Thursday’s cases exceeded 160,000 and at least 1,172 Americans died.

In Warren County, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported four new COVID-19 cases Friday and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,638, and the county’s death toll is 56. So far, the county has not been affected by the surge in Mississippi and across the nation. The last reported death in Warren county was Oct. 26.

Statewide, MSDH reported 1,305 new COVID-19 cases Friday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 131,970. The seven-day average of new cases is 1,016.6, two and a half times higher than the seven-cay average a month ago, and on par with numbers in late July and early August.

At the beginning of the crises, the age group with the most COVID-19 cases were those over 65. Now, most new cases are seen in younger people who are more likely to survive the virus than those 65 and older. In September, the age group reporting the most cases in Mississippi were 18 to 24 years old. That has shifted to a slightly older group. In November, the age group reporting the most cases in Mississippi are from 25 to 39 years old followed by those 50 to 64 years old.

MSDH reported Friday that five more Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,519. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.7%.

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 five deaths MSDH reported Friday occurred between Nov. 10 and Nov. 12 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Friday
Desoto 1
Grenada 1
Jackson 2
Yalobusha 1

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12. 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; however, the past week has seen a steady rise in hospitalizations once again.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11, was 774, about 65% of the late July peak of about 1,200. The number includes 683 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 91 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 194 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 86 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 111,430 through Sunday, Nov. 8. This figure is updated weekly. It represents about 84.4% of the cumulative 131,970 cases reported as of Friday, Nov. 13.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Friday, Oct. 23, was 1,543, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,487, or about 90.8% of the 1,638 cumulative cases reported as of Friday, Nov. 13. The county has an estimated 95 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, Nov. 7 (the latest statewide testing results reported by MSDH), is 1,105,638 or about 37.2% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. Without daily updated numbers of tests, it is impossible to accurately calculate Mississippi’s positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average), however, the rate was 15.6% Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate is 9.1%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities was 140 Friday. About 38.9%, or 1,368, 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 by provider here. The latest data available is for the week ending Nov. 1.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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Corey Wilson is Warren Central’s Teacher of the Year



Warren Central's Principal Eric Green, left, presents teacher and coach Corey Wilson Sr. with a basket of goodies. (photo courtesy WCHS)

Warren Central High School teacher and football coach Corey Wilson Sr. has won the WCHS Teacher of the Year award for the 2020-2021 school year.

Wilson has been teaching at Warren Central for 19 years and has helped educate thousands of students over the years. He teaches introduction to architecture construction mechatronics and engineering.

Wilson is also a football coach for the school and has helped a plenty of young athletes gain athletic scholarships. He is well respected by his students, colleagues and the Vicksburg community.

“A well deserved award for a guy that goes beyond the limit. Proud to be mentored and work with him. Great coach,” said fellow teacher and coach Ced Jackson in a text message.

Wilson will help lead the Vikings football team Friday as they travel to face Tupelo High School.

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UMMC beginning trial of COVID-19 vaccine



(Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

The University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson will begin a trial for a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as next week.

As many as 60,000 participants worldwide will take part in the trial, with up to 2,000 from Mississippi, WAPT reports.

“The great news is that we’re actually launching enrollment for our trial the first part of next week. We’ve been preparing extensively,” Dr. Gailen Marshall, executive director of the Mississippi Clinical Research and Trial Center, told the station.

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