35 new cases of COVID-19 in Lauderdale County; Mississippi reports 52 additional deaths

Mississippi COVID-19 map posted July 31, 2020.

State health officials reported Mississippi's highest daily increase in COVID-19 deaths Friday, 52, for a total of 1,663 deaths, as the state's epidemiologist compared the fight against the coronavirus to “turning the Titanic.”

The agency reported 1,168 new cases statewide, for a total of 58,747. 

“That's still a lot of cases,” said State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs in a conversation with the Mississippi State Medical Association shared via Facebook video Friday afternoon. “It’s kind of depressing when that’s a good number, to have over 1,100 cases.”

MSDH reported 35 new cases of COVID-19 in Lauderdale County Friday, for a total of 1,316 and 88 total deaths.

As of Friday's update, 989 Mississippi patients were being hospitalized with COVID-19 and 240 more were being hospitalized with suspected infection.

MSDH reported 297 cases and 25 deaths in Clarke County, 223 cases and 15 deaths in Kemper County, 1,186 cases and 87 deaths in Neshoba County and 514 cases and 11 deaths in Newton County.

There were 201 active outbreaks of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities, the health department said.

“The long-term care outbreaks are completely out of control right now,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers, who joined Dobbs with the Mississippi State Medical Association.

He said the infections were the direct result of transmission within the community and were affecting the ability to staff some facilities.

Records released Friday afternoon show cumulative totals for ongoing outbreaks at four nursing homes in Lauderdale County, two in Neshoba County and one in Clarke County.

Diversicare of Meridian reported one case among residents and two cases among staff, North Pointe Health and Rehabilitation reported one case among staff, James T. Champion Nursing Facility reported two cases among staff and Reginald P. White Nursing Facility reported one case among staff.

In Neshoba County, Hilltop Manor Health and Rehabilitation reported 11 deaths among residents, 44 cases among residents and 11 cases among staff.

Neshoba County Nursing Home reported two cases among staff.

Lakeside Health and Rehabilitation Center in Clarke County reported one case among staff.

One inmate in the Lauderdale County Detention Facility has tested positive for COVID-19, according to Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun.

He said the inmate was tested at a prison and moved to the jail before the results were received.

One detention officer and two sheriff's deputies have also tested positive out of the 10 detention officers and five deputies who were tested, Calhoun said.

After the state reported a record 1,775 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, Gov. Tate Reeves extended social distancing measures under his Safe Return order until Aug. 17 and added eight counties to a list ordered to follow tighter restrictions. They include Carroll, Coahoma, Jones, Lee, Leflore, Lowndes, Noxubee and Pontotoc counties.

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