COVID numbers are on the rise locally

A month can make a lot of difference with COVID.

Mississippi anticipated an upsurge in COVID-19 cases after the July 4 weekend and the number of cases is on the rise.

Mississippi State Health Department officials said they are getting better at predicting outbreaks of the virus and they are urging people to do what they have learned to do over the past two years and to protect themselves, their family and friends from this disease,

New figures from the Mississippi State Department of Health show that college students and young adults appear to have the vigor and vitality to stave off the potentially deadly effects of the disease. These same figures also show that working-age adults are catching the disease in record numbers. COVID is deadliest for people over 55.

Last week, the Mississippi State Health Department reported 6,925 cases. compared to 6,716 cases reported on June 16.

By July 11, around 30% of the population had contracted the disease.

MSHD says 127 people have died in Coahoma County due to COVID. Coahoma County reported one death from COVID the first week of July and it was the first since early March.

With schools closed for the summer, the number of young people infected with COVID is expected to drop. Unfortunately, the number of elderly local residents catching COVID is expected to increase.

Mississippi had its second highest peak last summer and that jumped to Omicron Peak this fall which was the highest in the state. Mississippi has seen a surge in cases, and health officials attribute some of that to people being more active, socializing and out in crowds this spring.

The hot spot in the northwest part of the state was attributed to a high number of cases in Memphis, which has one of the lowest per capita vaccination rates in the country.

Coahoma County passed the 6,000 mark in February and currently has 6,471 reported cases and 126 deaths since the first locally reported case on March 18, 2020.

The state has reported 3,462 new cases in the past seven days and three deaths. Mississippi has reported 824,121 cases among the state’s 2.876 million people since the start of the pandemic. The state has confirmed 12,495 COVID-related deaths.

Vaccinations are still recommended but apparently aren’t as effective against the new Omicron variant of the disease. Vaccination has been proven to lessen the effects of the disease, especially in the elderly and those with underlying conditions.

COVID-19 vaccines are available at virtually all health facilities and pharmacies

Coahoma County reported a peak of 195 new cases in January 2021 and another peak of 179 cases in August.

Residents of Coahoma County are encouraged to call their health care provider to find out about the qualifications for getting the vaccine and where it is being administered. Residents of Coahoma County should not call the Coahoma County Health Department as they do not have the vaccine and are not answering the phone.

Coahoma County reported its first death from COVID-19 on April 4, 2020 with the death of Bishop TT Scott, 88, head of the Temple of God of St. James in Christ.

The state also calculates the infection rate in a new way with a count of confirmed and probable infections.

Nationwide, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported its 1 millionth COVID death last month.

The United States has reported 86,168,902 cases among the country’s 332.4 million people.

Center for Disease Control epidemiologists have estimated that herd immunity — the number needed to become infected, survive the disease, and become immune to its spread — would need to reach one-third to curb COVID-19. This means that 7,542 people in Coahoma County are expected to either contract the disease or be successfully vaccinated.

The CDC also says many people — especially those under the age of 19 — often contract the disease and have no symptoms. Mississippi has recorded four deaths under the age of 4 and only seven deaths between the ages of 5 and 17.

The disease has a greater impact on older people and those with underlying health conditions.

The highest death rate saw 7,636 people over the age of 65 die from the disease.

Those who test positive are asked to self-quarantine for 10 days and family members and co-workers can also be quarantined.

Several convenience stores and restaurants in the area have closed multiple times after staff were infected. Large grocery stores, retail outlets and fast food restaurants remain open and hire replacement workers to replace those who test positive.

The Mississippi State Department of Health has stepped up testing procedures statewide, and most local health care providers are offering the test for free and are reimbursed by the state.

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