Adams County Coroner: Four people died with COVID-19 here in last four weeks

Published 3:57 pm Thursday, August 5, 2021

NATCHEZ — Two more people died this week with COVID-19 at Merit Health Natchez, Adams County Coroner James Lee said.

Lee said an 80-year-old man from Franklin County died Tuesday, Aug. 3, followed by an 84-year-old woman from Adams County on Wednesday, Aug. 4.

Lee said he counted two more local victims of COVID-19 who died in July — a 70-year-old woman from Adams County who died July 19 and an 83-year-old woman from Adams County who died July 23 — for a total of four local COVID-19 deaths in a little more than three weeks.

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Lee did not provide any of the victims’ names who succumbed to the illness to protect their families’ privacy. Lee said he did not know if the victims were vaccinated or not.

“That is one thing I would definitely encourage everyone to do,” Lee said of getting vaccinated against COVID-19. “My main concern now is that everyone that can be vaccinated go ahead and get vaccinated and that we follow all of the CDC guidelines. We all have to do the right thing to make sure we don’t infect anyone else. COVID is not totally gone.”

Lee said he and many are concerned by the continuing spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 throughout the county and the state, especially as school age children returned to in-person classes earlier this week.

Natchez Adams School District Public Relations Director Tony Fields confirmed Wednesday that two bus drivers had tested positive with COVID-19.

In June, NASD officials approved a new bus contract with Ecco Ride bus company based in Appleton, Wisconsin, that went into effect on July 1.

“We were informed that two drivers tested positive for COVID-19. Neither driver was in close contact with children. They were both masked at all times with at least six feet of distance between drivers and students so there was no need to notify anyone for exposure,” Fields said, adding, “We’ve been in close contact with the health department for guidance.”

Fields said the drivers went home to quarantine after testing positive and their bus routes would be given to other drivers. Fields said he is not aware of any other bus drivers having COVID-19 or being exposed to it.