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COVID-19: County numbers are up

Walthall County’s death toll had risen to eight and the number of cases was up to 270 over the weekend as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, and numbers from both the state and the U.S. continue on the upswing. Medical officials are warning the disease is placing a strain on the nation’s health system stressing the capability of the nation’s hospitals to care not only for coronavirus patients, but to provide care for the normal flow of patients due to other health issues.
Neighboring counties also show increases in numbers. (These figures were reported over the weekend, and are not the latest, which were to be released at midday Monday.)
Pike County showed 505 cases, 20 deaths; Lincoln, 533 cases, 35 deaths; Lawrence, 213 cases, two deaths; and Marion, 345 cases, 12 deaths.
Mississippi’s death toll and case numbers continue on an upward swing as 36,287 residents are reported as being affected with 1249 state residents dead as the result of COVID-19.
Meantime, the Mississippi State Department of Health and national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to closely monitor the outbreak of the respiratory illness caused by the novel (new) coronavirus COVID-19.
With the increase in numbers there are increasing concerns related to the opening of school sessions for the new school year, set to begin in August, and officials are still deciding what form school sessions may take: Split sessions during the day; students attending on alternate days, use of on-line classes or even providing computers or tablets to students for use at home. At press time, no hard, fast solution has been ironed out, although the school session is approaching. Local officials say they are exploring all possibilities and looking to the state Department of Education for guidance.
The governor has issued a stricter set of social distancing guidelines for use in 13 counties considered COVID-19 “hotspots” in the state.
Face coverings recommended
While stricter guidelines are required in some counties, state officials recommend that Mississippi residents should wear non-medical grade masks or homemade cloth face coverings when shopping, running errands, or otherwise away from home. Face covering is especially important when a distance of at least 6 feet cannot easily be maintained between persons. This recommendation does not include manufactured (surgical) or N95 masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers and first responders. (In certain counties, face coverings are now required, not just recommended.)
Practice social distancing whenever possible
Keep at least 6 feet apart from others when you are outside your home.
Avoid large social gatherings and community events. Follow restrictions on indoor and outdoor gathering sizes. If you are sick, especially with shortness of breath, severe cough, fever or severe chest pain, stay home, call a doctor or healthcare provider for instructions on how to visit them safely.
If you have been tested for COVID-19, stay home and away from others until you get your test result.
If you are 65 or older, or in poor health, stay home as much as possible.
Practice protective hygiene
Cover your coughs and sneezes. When possible, cough, sneeze or blow your nose into a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, especially after coughing or sneezing, blowing your nose, and using the bathroom. Effective handwashing takes at least 20 seconds, and includes cleaning under fingernails, between fingers, and washing the back of hands as well as the front.
Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are touched often.
Stay in good overall health by eating right and staying active. If you are living with diabetes, heart disease or other medical condition, keep in touch with your doctor and stay current with your treatment.

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