Amid the current surge in virus activity, Alcorn County had several newly reported deaths in the latest daily COVID statistics.

Among 91 deaths statewide reported on Tuesday, Alcorn and Prentiss counties had two each that occurred between Dec. 30 and Jan. 4. Alcorn and Prentiss counties had an additional one each for the period of Dec. 10 to Dec. 30 that have been identified from death certificate reports. No new deaths were recorded in Tishomingo and Tippah counties in the numbers reported Tuesday.

Magnolia Regional Health Center had 29 patients currently hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19 as of Tuesday afternoon.

Stress on hospital capacity continues to be a concern across the state.

“We had more patients with COVID in ICU beds at the end of last week than we have had at any other period through this pandemic,” Gov. Tate Reeves said during Monday’s COVID briefing.

The number hospitalized for COVID across the state was 1,369 on Monday – a “phenomenal number,” said State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs.

The state had 355 in ICU with approximately 210 on ventilators.

“Be patient if you are waiting in the ER, because it may take many, many hours to get care,” said Dobbs.

The Mississippi State Department of Health on Tuesday reported 1,767 new COVID cases.

For the period of Dec. 10 to Dec. 23, Alcorn County had a test positivity rate of 17 percent, compared to 16.2 percent in the period of Dec. 3 to Dec. 16. The county had 114 new confirmed cases via suspected community transmission and two via outbreaks in the period of Dec. 20 to Dec. 26.

The latest reported positivity rates for neighboring counties are 15.8 percent in Tishomingo, down from 18.3 percent in the prior frame; 20.9 percent in Prentiss, up from 19.7 percent; and 16.3 percent in Tippah, up from 14.9 percent.

The state has not yet confirmed any cases of the new, more transmissible variant of the virus that was first detected in the U.K. The new strain, according to Dobbs, increases the number of people who need to be vaccinated in order to reach herd immunity.

“The more we do to contain the spread of the virus, the less likely we are to encounter these new mutations,” he said. “The things that we do which prevent transmission – and they’re simple and they work – we’ll need to keep that up.”

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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