Alcorn County’s Covid-19 death total rose by four in a short period as activity continues on an upward trend.

Since Dec. 20, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported one Alcorn County death that occurred last Wednesday; one that occurred between Dec. 17 and 21; one between Dec. 15 and 17; and one that occurred between July 18 and Dec. 14.

Tishomingo County has an additional death that happened between July 18 and Dec. 14 and another that occurred on Oct. 3, as identified from death certificate reports. Prentiss County had one death between Dec. 17 and 21. Each death is attributed to the county of residence, not where the person died.

On Monday, Magnolia Regional Health Center had 12 patients hospitalized for treatment of Covid-19. Of those, seven were in the ICU and two were on a ventilator. Ten of those patients are unvaccinated, and the other two are fully vaccinated.

On Monday, the state reported a substantial number of new positive cases – 7,058 – and five deaths for the four-day period of Thursday through Sunday.

While there has been some indication that Omicron variant infections are perhaps milder than Delta infections, “I don’t want people to take this lightly,” said State Epidemiologist Paul Byers. “The reality is that we still may see an impact of severe infections and death as a result of the emergence of this new variant strain.”

The latest weekly snapshot of Covid-19 data showed a 10 percent increase in new positive cases across the four-county area, with 190. Alcorn County had the largest increase, with 66 new cases for the week of Dec. 5 to 11, up from 48 the prior week. Prentiss County had 55, rising from 45. Tishomingo County was nearly unchanged with 42, versus 43 the prior week, while Tippah County had 27, down from 37 the prior week.

Byers, speaking in a recent roundtable discussion with the Mississippi State Medical Association, said it is “looking pretty evident” that one of the best protections against Omicron is to get the booster dose. He also encourages residents to continue to practice the precautions that work, including avoiding big indoor crowds and having gatherings outdoors, if possible.

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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