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New COVID-19 cases on a decline, no new school outbreaks reported

COVID-19 drive-thru vaccination sites were closed Monday due to winter weather, but appointments were automatically rescheduled to new days.

The state reported 544 new COVID-19 cases on Feb. 14, and two new deaths. Across the state, there have been 287,980 cases and 6,464 deaths since the pandemic began. The Mississippi State Department of Health reports 253,140 cases are presumed recovered.

There have been 126 total COVID-19 deaths among Pearl River County residents. MSDH reports 3,969 cases in the county since the start of the pandemic. New cases in the county increased dramatically from November to mid-January, and appear to be declining.

For the week of Feb. 6, Pearl River County had a 10.2 percent test positivity rate. In that week, there were 95 cases in the county from suspected community transmission.

No new COVID-19 outbreaks were reported in schools in Pearl River County for the week of Feb. 2. An outbreak occurs when three or more students in one group, like in a classroom or on a sports team, test positive for COVID-19. Since Jan. 2021, there have been three outbreaks in local schools—one at Picayune Memorial High School, one at Pearl River Central Elementary and one at Pearl River Central Middle School.

Picayune Memorial High School had 85 students and two staff members quarantined due to potential COVID-19 exposure. Since January, nine students and 1-5 staff members have tested positive.

Pearl River Central Middle School has 24 students and one staff member quarantined. Since January, 10 of the school’s students and 1-5 staff members have tested positive.

Pearl River Central Elementary School had 81 students quarantined. Since January, the school has reported 12 COVID positive students and 1-5 staff members.

Pearl River Central High School and Picayune Junior High School have not reported outbreaks so far this semester. Both schools did have over 20 students quarantined due to COVID-19. Pearl River Central High School had 22 students and two staff members quarantined, and since January has reported eight COVID positive students and 1-5 staff members. Picayune Junior High had 23 students quarantined and has reported 1-5 COVID positive students since January.

Eight schools in the county reported new COVID-19 cases for the week of Feb. 2. All of the reports were for 1-5 cases.