By Alyssa Schnugg
While the number of new COVID-19 cases in Mississippi being reported daily by the Mississippi State Department of Health has dropped slightly in the last week, the number of positive cases in the LOU community continues to climb.
Since Sunday, MSDH reported 157 new cases in Lafayette County, bringing the total to 1,335.
According to the city of Oxford’s data, there are an estimated 196 active cases in Lafayette County.
The University of Mississippi is reporting 184 new cases in the last seven days, bringing its total to 345. The first day of classes for the fall semester was Monday.
Since many students are here in Oxford but live elsewhere, those positive cases are often reported to their hometown and state, so it is unclear how many of UM’s cases are included in the MSDH’s reported cases for Lafayette County.
Most of UM’s positive cases, 147, are students, with the rest being among faculty and staff.
There are 53 students currenlty in quarantine housing on campus and 16 are in isolation housing.
Lafayette County School District has reported 10 cases of COVID-19, nine of which are teachers. The district quarantined the entire fourth-grade class last week after three fourth-grade teachers tested positive.
The Oxford School District has not reported any positive cases as of Friday morning.
There have been 34 deaths in Lafayette County associated with the virus – 24 being patients in a long-term care facility with 22 having occured at the Oxford State Veterans Home.
According to MSDH’s weekly county report, 23 of the deaths occurred in people 70-89 years old. The youngest patient to die from COVID-19 in Lafayette County was in their 40s.
Most positive cases – about 472 – are among the 18-29 age group. About 70 cases have been reported in children under 18 years old.