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Leflore County has recorded its 83rd death from COVID-19.

The death, reported Sunday by the Mississippi State Department of Health, is the first to occur this month. The victim was white, but other information about the individual was not immediately available.

Meanwhile, Pillow Academy has announced that it would be closing down its kindergarten building for the coming week after several staff members tested positive for the coronavirus.

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In an email Sunday to parents of the 4K and 5K students, Barrett Donahoe, the head of school, said that three teachers and one assistant in the kindergarten program had tested positive for the virus since Monday. Two of those positive tests came back Friday and another on Saturday.

Donahoe wrote that the school was temporarily closing the kindergarten in keeping with “protocols concerning the number of positive cases in a particular group, and out of an abundance of caution.”

The entire approximately 800-student school was already scheduled to be closed Monday for fall break.

During the shutdown, he wrote, the kindergarten building would be cleaned and disinfected while the school continues to work to “contact trace the origins of the outbreak.”

The email does not say whether any kindergarten students have tested positive but asks the parents to monitor their children for symptoms of the illness and report to the school if anyone in their family tests positive.

Pillow is the first school in the greater Greenwood area that reopened in August for in-person instruction but has had to shut down partially due to an outbreak of the coronavirus. The 12 public schools in the Greenwood Leflore Consolidated District have kept their campuses shut all semester and continue to use only distance learning.

Leflore County is tied with Rankin County for the sixth-most deaths from COVID-19. Hinds County, at 167, has the most. The death count statewide is now at 3,101 with the five deaths recorded Sunday.

In Leflore County, Blacks have accounted for 67 of the deaths, or 81%, exceeding the estimated overall Black population of 75%. White deaths number 15, or 18%. One death has been listed as “other.”

The overall infection rate in Leflore County continues to remain above the state average. For the week ending Friday, the county’s infection rate was the 18th highest of the state’s 82 counties, averaging 2.53 new cases daily of COVID-19 per 10,000 residents, according to data tracked by the Harvard Global Health Institute and the Brown School of Public Health.

Mississippi, averaging 1.98 new cases daily per 10,000 residents, ranks 18th in the nation overall.

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