By Alyssa Schnugg
After seeing a slight dip in December, active cases of COVID-19 in Lafayette County have hoovered around 400 daily for most of January.
As of Jan. 26, there were 382 active cases in the county, according to the city of Oxford’s website.
Since March, there have been 5,442 cases and 105 deaths. About 20 people died in January from COVID-19-related illnesses in Lafayette County, with seven deaths since Jan. 23.
According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, from Jan. 11-24, Lafayette County had the 12th highest number of new cases – 509 – in the state with an 11 percent increase over the previous two weeks.
Since Dec. 13, there have been 243,890 doses of the COVID-19 vaccination given to Mississippi citizens – 217,443 have received their first shot and 26,447 received their second shot and are now fully vaccinated.
The rise in cases has been felt in local schools as well.
According to the Lafayette County School District, there were 21 news cases of COVID-19 – one staff member and 20 students – reported for the week of Jan. 18-24. Four cases were at Lafayette Elementary; one was at Lafayette Upper Elementary; nine were at Lafayette Middle and seven were at the high school.
The Oxford School District reported 22 new cases between Jan 25-31, with eight teachers/staff and 14 students testing positive. Six teachers and 268 students are in quarantine.
The University of Mississippi reported 85 new cases since the spring semester began on Jan. 19. Since March there have been 1,194 cases on campus.
Despite the high number of new cases, Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi has plenty of available beds.
As of Friday, there were 24 people in the hospital with COVID-19. Of the hospital’s 181 staffed beds, there were 47 available. There was one patient in the ICU with COVID-19. Of the 24 total ICU beds, 13 were available on Friday.
Mississippi’s total of COVID-19 cases for the year now stands at 276,531, with 6,132 deaths.