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No new Lincoln County COVID-19 deaths, though cases continue to rise

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus COVID-19 in Lincoln County has risen by 13 since Friday to 329.

However, the death toll has not climbed and remains at 32, according to numbers published by the Mississippi State Department of Health.

Lincoln County reported four active outbreaks in long term care facilities as of Friday. A total of 93 active and resolved cases had been reported for LTC facilities — up by one case — with 25 deaths, unchanging from previous reports. Of those 93 cases, 13 were black residents, 78 were white and two were listed as unknown. Of the 25 deaths, two were black residents and 23 were white.

LTC facilities include nursing homes, personal care homes, assisted living homes and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disability.

No residential care facility in the county had an outbreak. Residential care facilities include psychiatric or chemical dependency residential treatment centers and long-term acute care facilities.

Statewide, Mississippi has reported 20,152 cases as of Tuesday — 1,639 more cases than Friday — and 915 deaths — 47 more than the end of the week.

The number of people hospitalized statewide for COVID-19 as of Tuesday was 451 with confirmed infections and 217 with suspected infections. Of these, 160 patients were in intensive care units and 98 were on ventilators.

King’s Daughters Medical Center had 253 patients who tested positive for coronavirus as of Tuesday afternoon, up by 25 from the previous Friday. At that time, 1,671 tests had been submitted to the state.

At least 15,323 people in the state are presumed to have recovered from COVID-19.

Statewide testing

As of Tuesday, the 95th day of COVID-19 cases being reported in Mississippi, 240,664 coronavirus tests had been administered across the state — 230,503 for active virus and 10,161 antibody tests to determine whether an individual had previously had the virus.

The number includes every resident and staff member at each of the 211 nursing homes within the state — 13,911 residents and 17,324 staff members — tested during a 14-day period over the last two weeks of May. Of these, 676 tested positive for COVID-19.

“We have been tracking outbreaks in nursing homes since we first saw COVID cases in Mississippi on March 11,” said State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. “That has been a very vulnerable population that has shown to be more susceptible to severe illness and death from COVID.”

Dobbs said an interesting finding from the nursing home testing was that many of the positive cases in residents presented with mild symptoms, not fever or shortness of breath.

Prevention and testing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated no vaccine is currently available to prevent coronavirus COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness, according to the CDC, is to avoid being exposed.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person, within about 6 feet.

It is believed to spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.

Both MSDH and KDMC offer testing for the virus. Anyone who wishes to be tested at an MSDH center must complete a prescreening through the department’s smartphone apps or by calling 877-978-6453.

Anyone who wants to be tested by KDMC should call 601-835-9455 prior to visiting the hospital’s testing site, located behind the emergency room.

The site is open 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Screening is for individuals age 12 and older.