Two more Mississippi residents died in the coronavirus pandemic, state health officials reported Wednesday morning. The total is 22.
Amite County is one of seven counties statewide where health officials are investigating an outbreak in a long-term care facility, the Mississippi State Department of Health announced.
“Long-term care facilities like nursing homes are considered high-risk locations because their residents are older or in poor health. Even one case of COVID-19 in these facilities is considered an outbreak,” a MSDH release said.
Outbreak investigation involves work to identify anyone who may have had close enough contact with someone with a confirmed infection to have potentially contracted the virus.
The Liberty Community Living Center in Amite County has one confirmed coronavirus infection among its residents, a man in his 80s who fell ill almost two weeks ago and never developed a high fever.
The Liberty Community Living Center is managed by Eldercare Services in Tupelo. Company spokesperson Rachel Ethridge said the patient was placed into isolation amid an ongoing facility lockdown that bars outside visitation.
Bolivar, Jackson, Lauderdale, Smith, Tunica and Warren counties also have confirmed outbreaks within long-term care facilties. Those outbreaks are under investigation by MSDH officials.
And Gov. Tate Reeves implemented a mandatory shelter-in-place order in Lauderdale County Tuesday afternoon until April 14.
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The Mississippi State Department of Health reported 1,073 confirmed coronavirus infections and 22 deaths statewide Wednesday.
Confirmed infections in Pike County increased to 22 Wednesday.
City of Magnolia Mayor Anthony Witherspoon signed an executive order Tuesday evening ordering citizens to shelter in place from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. until at least June.
Amite County still reported four confirmed infections and one death, but Wilkinson County, a possible flashpoint, had 16 confirmed infections and two deaths Wednesday morning.
Wilkinson County has the most infections per capita in Mississippi at 155.7 cases per 100,000 people, according to data from the New York Times. That data may be skewed because of a statewide lack of testing.
Lincoln County had 13 confirmed infections, Lawrence County had five, Walthall County had seven and Franklin County had three.
Statewide, deaths are reported among patients in Amite, Bolivar, DeSoto, Hancock, Harrison, Holmes, Humphreys, Lafayette, Lee, Leflore, Montgomery, Panola, Perry, Rankin, Sunflower, Tippah, Tunica, Webster and Wilkinson counties.
Hinds County has the most confirmed infections statewide at 109. DeSoto County had 94 Wednesday morning.
The Jackson metro area is experiencing a large outbreak. Madison County had 53, and Rankin County had 48.
4,785 people have been tested by the Mississippi State Department of Health public health lab in Jackson, 451 of whom saw positive results. An unknown number of people have been tested by private labs.
In neighboring Louisiana, which is experiencing a severe outbreak of disease, the number of confirmed infections increased to 6,424 Wednesday.
273 have died and 1,498 were being treated in hospitals. Of those patients, 490 were on ventilators in ICU.
The New Orleans metro area is one of the hardest-hit in the United States, with Orleans Parish reporting 2,270 infections and 115 deaths.
Nearby Washington Parish had 39 infections and two deaths, and Tangipahoa Parish had 33 infections and two deaths.
“I remind all parish residents to be cautious of coronavirus scams. these scams can come in the form of an email, telephone calls or misinformation posted on social media,” Washington Parish Sheriff Randy “Country” Seal said in a statement. “Con-artists may also create fraudulent online donation accounts or investment scams.”
Seal said people can protect themselves from emergency scammers by being wary of email and text message attachments, vetting companies before shopping online and don’t do so while connected to public Wi-Fi and don’t share posts on social media from sources one doesn’t know.
“Do use common sense when interacting with other persons over the internet, any form of social media and the telephone,” Seal said. “Be extra careful at all times and continue to maintain social distancing.
The United States stood as the country with the most confirmed infections worldwide with 190,740 Wednesday morning. 4,127 people died, 1,096 in New York City alone.
Monday marked the greatest single-day increase in confirmed infections worldwide since the recorded start of the outbreak in January with over 75,000 new infections identified. There were more than 887,000 confirmed infections worldwide Wednesday afternoon.