By Alyssa Schnugg
Oxford and Lafayette County are seeing a downward trend in the number of COVID-19 cases in the last couple of weeks, which is on par with what is happening in most areas of Mississippi.
However, while deaths associated with COVID-19 remain high in the state overall, with the Mississippi Department of Health reporting 41 deaths Monday, Lafayette County has not had a COVID-19-related death in more than two weeks. That number stands today at 137 total deaths since March 2020.
As of Monday, Lafayette County has had 8,457 cases of COVID-19 since March 2020.
Fifty-four percent of Lafayette County residents have received at least the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccination and 50 percent have been fully vaccinated.
Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi reported 15 people in the hospital with COVID-19 and four people in the ICU as of Monday. In late August and early September, the hospital was operating a “max capacity,” not unlike most hospitals around the state due to the Delta variant of COVID-19 wreaking havoc on the healthcare system.
The Oxford School District reported that last week, Oct. 4-10, there were 16 cases of COVID-19, with 13 being among students and three teachers. There were 45 students in quarantine. The OSD currently has a mask mandate in place. The Board of Trustees will be meeting at 11 a.m. On Friday to review the mandate.
Lafayette County School District reports its COVID-19 cases via the MSDH website and are about a week behind. If a school has one to five cases, MSDH reports new cases as 1-5 to protect the identity of those who are positive.
From Sept. 27-Oct. 1, Lafayette reported at least one case at all schools (or as much as five per school). Lafayette Upper had 1-5 teachers test positive. There were 58 students in quarantine.
Lafayette County School District does not have an across-the-board mask mandate but rather the district reviews case data on a weekly basis and informs parents on Fridays whether a school in the district will have a mask mandate for the coming week. This week, no schools are requiring masks.
Cases at the University of Mississippi have also declined. Over the past seven days, there have been just eight new confirmed cases, compared to the week before when there were 12 new cases.