By Matt Williamson | Enterprise-Journal

Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center reported its first COVID-19 death on Sunday, as Mississippi’s death count from the virus rose to 14.   

Hospital CEO Charla Rowley said in a Facebook post that the 48-year-old man had been in ICU. 

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family members of our patient,” she wrote. “Despite the valiant efforts of our Critical Care specialists and respiratory support team, he was unable to recover from his infection. We ask that you keep him and his family members close to your heart.” 

The man’s death was the only one reported statewide on Sunday, with state health officials saying someone in their 40s from Wilkinson County had died.

Rowley said the hospital is treating four people who have the virus and four others whose cases haven’t been confirmed. 

Health officials reported 95 additional cases on Sunday for a total of 758. 

Pike County now has 14 cases, while Amite County jumped up to four. 

Wilkinson County, with a population of about 8,800, appears to be hard hit, with12 cases, almost as much as Pike County, which has nearly 40,000 residents. Wilkinson County also has reported the death of two residents, both of whom died while hospitalized. 

Lincoln County now has nine cases of the virus, Lawrence and Walthall both have five and Franklin has three.  

Mississippians in their 40s and 60s are seeing the most infections of the coronavirus, according to state health data, with people in their 60s having more hospitalizations than any other age group. 

The Mississippi Department of Health says that of Sunday, 40-somethings had the highest rate of infection, at 144, and those in their 60s had slightly less at 141. 

With the exception of the death reported at Southwest, the 13 other deaths reported in the state have been in people aged 60 or older. 

Patients 70 and above are extremely at risk. As of Sunday, they were the third-highest age group in infections, with 130, but the highest in deaths at nine. 

Many of the patients who have died from the virus had underlying health conditions and were hospitalized, health officials have reported.

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