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COVID-19 Cases Dip Slightly in Lafayette County; Deaths Rise

While the state of Mississippi is still seeing big numbers for new cases of COVID-19, there has been a decline in the number of active and new cases in Lafayette County over the last week.

In the last seven days, there have been 159 new cases reported in Lafayette County, down from 200 new cases the week prior.

However, 10 people in Lafayette County have died over the last seven days, up from eight the week prior. There have been a total of 70 deaths in Lafayette County caused by COVID-19.

From the city of Oxford website.

Active cases of the virus have been on the decline. As of Wednesday, there were an estimated 220 active cases in the county. Last week, there were 316 active cases.

On Tuesday during the Oxford Board of Aldermen meeting, Emergency Management Coordinator Jimmy Allgood said that due to the restrictions that are in place in Oxford – the mask mandate, occupancy restrictions at restaurants and restrictions on large gatherings – Lafayette County is fairing better than many of its neighboring communities.

“As of today, we are the fourth lowest occurrences of cases per 100,000 (population),” he said. “We are running at about 36 per 100,000. On the upper end, some communities are seeing 115-120 occurrences per 100,000.”

Mayor Robyn Tannehill said one number that should cause all community members to pause is the 70 people who have died from COVID-19.

“Those are Lafayette County community members we have lost since March,” she said. “I don’t want that fact lost on us. There are people who won’t get to spend the holidays with their loved ones because they are in the hospital, or because they’ve lost them to COVID-19. I don’t want us to become where we’re just looking at numbers – we’re looking at people, people who have lost their lives to this terrible virus.”

Allgood reported to the Board that the new COVID-19 vaccine is in Mississippi, and vaccinations are currently being administered to Level 1 facilities, which are hospitals, healthcare facilities and nursing homes.

“We are being told it will take several months to get to the general population because we have to protect our critical infrastructure, our hospitals, our nursing homes and healthcare facilities first,” Allgood said.

More information on the delivery and administration plans for the COVID-19 vaccine can be found on the Mississippi Department of Health website.

Despite reports that many hospitals in Mississippi are full with little or few ICU beds available, Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi is still reporting available beds both in general rooms and in the ICU.

Graphic via the MSDH.

As of Wednesday, there were 46 people in the hospital with COVID-19. Of the hospital’s 181 staffed beds, there were 39 available. There were five patients in the ICU with COVID-19. Of the 24 total ICU beds, 10 were available on Wednesday.

According to the Lafayette County School District, there were 13 cases of COVID-19 – eight staff members and five students – between Dec. 7-13.

The Oxford School District reported nine new cases last week – three staff members and six students.

The University of Mississippi reported 16 new cases in the last week, despite students having left campus the previous week for the winter holidays. Nine of the new cases were among faculty/staff members and students. The campus has had 1,026 cases since August.

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