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Governing offices remain open locally, but call before visiting

A sixth death attributed to COVID-19 has been reported statewide, while state officials now say six positive cases of the novel coronavirus were reported in Lincoln County Thursday.

The Mississippi State Department of Health confirmed 108 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday. The state’s total number of cases is 485.

Government offices remain open in the city and county, though many are adapting to safer practices during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Please be aware that Brookhaven City Hall offices and all departments remain open to the public for the operation of city government and to provide vital services to our community,” said Brookhaven Mayor Joe Cox. “As a precautionary measure to further protect the health of our city employees and residents during the COVID-19 crisis, we ask that you limit access to city services to phone, fax, mail and email, instead of in-person walk-ins, as much as it is permittable.”

Office and department contact information may be found at brookhaven-ms.gov.

Per federal and state guidelines, Cox is asking individuals to practice social distancing of 6 feet and limit group gatherings to a maximum of 10 people. Those who are sick, coughing, sneezing or have a temperature should stay home and contact their physician’s office.

As an additional precaution, all city parks and the Jimmy Furlow Senior Center have been closed, and all Brookhaven Recreation Department activities have been cancelled through April 19. 

“The COVID-19 Steering Committee for Brookhaven/Lincoln County is doing their utmost to prevent further spreading of the virus,” he said.

Members of the committee include city and county officials as well as the Brookhaven Police Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Mississippi State Department of Health, King’s Daughters Medical Center, Lincoln County Emergency Management, Brookhaven School District and Lincoln County School District.

“They will continue monitoring mandates by federal and state leaders as well as official reports and provide necessary updates to the community,” he said. “Local official announcements will be made on behalf of the committee by appointed spokesperson, Clifford Galey, Lincoln County Emergency Management director.”

Cox said Brookhaven remains his priority.

“During these difficult and trying times, my top priority remains the health, safety and welfare of our residents,” he said. “Brookhaven is a strong, resilient community filled with caring individuals. Together, we will work through this crisis and continue to move Brookhaven forward in a positive direction.”

The latest death reported was of a Rankin County man in his early 80s with underlying conditions, according to the health department. He died while hospitalized.

The state previously reported the deaths of three men in their 60s, from Hancock, Holmes and Webster Counties, and a man 85-90 years old from Wilkinson County. All of the patients had underlying health conditions, officials said.

MSDH said Wednesday that a Tunica County woman, 75-80 years old, died in a long-term care facility.

Illnesses that began on March 18 or later may not yet be reported, according to MSDH.

The agency said it has tested 2,776 and is able to process approximately 185 samples in an eight-hour shift.