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Thursday update: State reports new COVID-19 cases, deaths

NATCHEZ — The Mississippi State Department of Health reported 1,804 new COVID-19 cases and 28 new deaths statewide on Thursday.

A total of 2,188 cases and 72 deaths have been reported in Adams County since February 2020.

The state’s total now stands at 270,476 cases and 5,945 deaths since February 2020.

Ten new long-term care facility cases and seven new long-term care facility deaths were also reported by MSDH Thursday.

Currently, there are 182 active outbreaks in the state’s long-term care facilities, according to MSDH.

As of Jan. 27, 993 confirmed COVID-19 positive patients were in Mississippi hospitals with 257 COVID-19 patients in ICU.

There are now 77 ICU beds available in the state, MSDH reports.

Natchez statistician Norman Williams said the state health departments’ numbers for Louisiana, Mississippi and data from the Johns Hopkins University reflect that Adams County has an increase its COVID-19 positivity rate while Mississippi, Louisiana and Concordia Parish have a decrease.

Between Dec. 31 and Jan. 13, Adams County’s positivity rate is at 22.3 percent compared to a positivity rate of 14 percent the prior week.

For the same time period, Concordia Parish’s positivity rate decreased from 12.8 percent to 10.9 percent, Louisiana as a whole decreased from 11.6% to 8.2% and Mississippi decreased from 29.1% to 22.6%.

Williams said Merit Health Natchez had 13 COVID-19 positive patients in house on and five patients in ICU as of Tuesday.

Vaccinations

A limited amount of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed to healthcare providers around the state, including hospitals, community health centers and local health clinics.

If you are eligible for vaccination, you can contact one of these providers for an appointment, especially if travel to a drive-through site is difficult, or if you have a history of allergic reaction that prevents you from being vaccinated at a drive-through site.

Continued high demand for first and second dose vaccinations means that available appointments may be limited, however, new vaccination appointment openings are being added several times a week.

If you are having trouble finding an available appointment, check regularly for new openings.

Remember that your second dose appointment can be made on or after 21 days for the Pfizer vaccine or 28 days for the Moderna vaccine from your first vaccination. The best time to look for a second dose appointment is about two weeks after your first dose.

Adults 65 and over and those ages 18-64 with certain chronic health conditions are now eligible for vaccination at drive-through sites in addition to healthcare personnel and those aged 75 and over.

More information about COVID-19 vaccines and appointment scheduling in Mississippi can be found online at msdh.ms.gov by clicking on the “vaccinations” tab.

What you can do

Be tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms or believe you may have been exposed. See the state health department’s guide to local testing providers and free testing at http://HealthyMS.com/covid19test

Keep groups sizes small and avoid large gatherings, especially indoors. Many cases are now being spread through gatherings in homes without safety precautions.

Social distancing is still critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19. Keep plenty of distance between yourself and others.

Wearing a mask or face covering can sharply reduce the risk of passing COVID-19 on to others. Wearing a mask is strongly recommended whenever you are in public places with others around you.

Most people spreading COVID-19 do not know they are infected.

Remind others that precautions remain essential, and set an example by your actions.

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