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Mississippi reports no new COVID deaths, local schools report no new outbreaks

On Sunday, Mississippi reported no new COVID-19 deaths and 70 new cases across the state. There are 55 outbreaks in long term care facilities across the state.

Since the start of the pandemic there have been 132 COVID-19 deaths and 4,219 cases in Pearl River County. Across the state, there have been 6,808 deaths and 297,651 cases. The Mississippi State Department of Health reports 278,162 of those cases are presumed recovered.

After a dramatic increase from November through January, new COVID-19 cases appear to be on the decline both statewide and in Pearl River County.

As of Feb. 27, Pearl River County had a 12.5 percent test positivity rate. There were 57 cases via suspected community transmission and five cases associated with outbreaks. Three of those were cases that occurred in a long-term care facility outbreak.

Schools

None of the schools in Pearl River County reported new outbreaks the week of Feb. 22.

For that week only three schools reported 1-5 new COVID-19 cases among students: Pearl River Central High School, Picayune Memorial High School and Poplarville Lower Elementary. Between one to five new cases among teachers or staff were reported in Pearl River County School District support staff, Picayune Memorial High School and Poplarville High School.

Since the start of the spring semester, Pearl River Central Elementary School has had 15 COVID-19 positive students and six teachers, Pearl River Central High School has had 15 COVID positive students and 1-5 staff, Pearl River Central Middle has had 10 positive students and 1-5 staff, Picayune Memorial High School has had 13 students and 1-5 staff test positive, and Poplarville High School has had 8 students and 1-5 staff test positive.

Vaccines

In Pearl River County, 9,321 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered as of March 7. Across the state, 755,202 doses have been administered. Total, 486,147 people in the state have received at least one dose and of those people, 274,434 people are fully vaccinated. Over 130,000 doses were administered the week of March 6.

Broken down by age, there are 4,391 fully vaccinated 16-24 year olds; 25,482 25-39 year olds have been fully vaccinated, in the 40-49 age group 25,285 people are fully vaccinated; 58,544 50-64 year olds are fully vaccinated; 78,182 in the 65-74 age group are fully vaccinate; 77,165 of people 75 and older are fully vaccinated.

White people have received 66 percent of vaccinations, Black people have received 25 percent of the vaccines, one percent of vaccinated Mississippians are Asian and one percent is Hispanic.

In Mississippi, healthcare workers, people 50 and older, people 18-49 with underlying medical conditions, all employees in K-12 schools, preschools or childcare settings and all first responders are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccine appointments can be scheduled online at covidvaccine.umc.edu or by phone with the Mississippi COVID-19 Hotline, 877-978-6453. Locally, vaccination appointments are being offered at Highland Community Hospital, 601-358-9457; Picayune Drug Company Inc., 601-798-4846; Pearl River County Hospital, 601-240-2023; and Family Drug Market of Poplarville, 601-795-2880.