By Alyssa Schnugg
Reports of new COVID-19 cases in Oxford continue to slowly decline; however, the highest number of cases continue to come from those who are 18 to 24 years old.
In the second week of September, there were 167 new cases reported in Lafayette County. In the last seven days, 134 new cases have been reported.
Lafayette County School District has also seen the number of new cases slow down. Last week, only two new cases were reported in the district – one student at the middle school and one student at the high school. There have been a total of 21 cases in the district since August.
“We are doing everything we know to keep our students and staff as safe as possible,” said LCSD Superintendent Adam Pugh. “We continue to require our students to wear a face-covering that covers both the nose and mouth. We are socially distancing our students when possible.”
On Monday, the Oxford School District reported six new cases – one teacher and five high school students. The teacher works at Della Davidson Elementary. The district has had a total of 17 cases since classes started on August 24.
The University of Mississippi has also seen a downward trend of positive cases of COVID-19 over the last several days. On Monday, the school reported 50 new cases in the last seven days, down from the week prior where there were 64 new cases during the first week of September.
Sixty-two percent of Oxford’s new cases were in people in the 18 to 24 year-old age group.
Mayor Robyn Tannehill said Tuesday that she’s heard from teachers and parents that some UM students are not getting tested even if they have symptoms or have been exposed, out of fear of being quarantined and made to leave campus.
“You’re not doing your community any favors,” she said. “Our goal here is to get everything back open so it can be the Oxford we all love.”
There have been 686 cases at Ole Miss since August.
Since many students are here in Oxford but live elsewhere full-time, 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.
There have been 39 deaths in Lafayette County associated with the virus – 28 being patients in a long-term care facility.
As of Monday, there were about 197 active (less than 14 days since diagnosis) cases in Lafayette County, bringing the county’s total to 2,092 since March.