The death count increased for Alcorn and two neighboring counties this week as the number of fatalities from COVID-19 reaches new peaks.

On Tuesday, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported two deaths in Alcorn County that occurred between Aug. 19 and 23, bringing the county’s total deaths to 80. Tishomingo County and Tippah County each had one death identified by death certificate reports that occurred between June 25 and Aug. 20.

On Monday, MSDH reported two Tishomingo County deaths that happened between Aug. 12 and Aug. 22.

The state reported 111 new deaths on Tuesday, the highest to date during the pandemic. The previous high was 98 in January.

Positive test rates are approaching 20 percent in area counties, and Alcorn County’s weekly case count nearly doubled in the latest reported week. The county had 230 cases via suspected community transmission for Aug. 8 – 14, rising from 117 the previous week. The positive rate was 18.2 percent.

Tishomingo County had 71 new cases, rising from 46, with a positive rate of 17.4 percent. Prentiss County had 178 cases, rising from 86, with a positive rate of 19.2 percent. Tippah County had 172 new cases, rising from 101, with a positive rate of 18.7 percent.

On Wednesday, the state reported 3,385 new cases and 22 deaths, including a death in a child less than five years old. It is the sixth pediatric death to date as a result of COVID-19.

The state currently has seven children hospitalized in intensive care and three who are on a ventilator.

“I think this highlights one of the things we have been seeing recently as far as a trend in where we are seeing most of our cases now,” said State Epidemiologist Paul Byers, with an increasing proportion of cases in children 5 to 17.

While the vast majority of children recover, some will have complications. He highly recommends vaccination for those 12 and older.

Students quarantined locally during the week of Aug. 16 – 20 numbered 30 at Alcorn Central Elementary; 12 at Alcorn Central Middle School; 63 at Corinth Elementary School; 18 at Corinth High School; 93 at Corinth Middle School; 19 at Kossuth Elementary School; and 8 at Kossuth Middle School.

New positive cases among students for the week of Aug. 16 – 20 totaled 13 at ACES; 8 at ACHS; 16 at ACMS; less than 5 at BES and BHS; 9 at CES; less than 5 at CHS; 8 at CMS; less than 5 at KES and KMS; and 7 at KHS. Counts less than 5 are not given by MSDH for identity reasons.

In other developments:

Individuals who are immunocompromised may now get a third shot at the county health departments. To make an appointment, visit the vaccine scheduler at covidvaccine.umc.edu.

Magnolia Regional Health Center and hospitals in Booneville and Ripley are among those receiving additional medical personnel through the state’s deployment of doctors and nurses to assist overburdened hospitals across Mississippi.

As of Tuesday, 808 nurses, three certified registered nurse anesthetists, 22 nurse practitioners, 193 respiratory therapists and 20 paramedics were deployed to 50 hospitals. The state is contracting with H&S, Snapnurse, GQR and Maxim to provide staffing.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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