Two more residents of long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19 in Carroll County, according to Saturday’s update from the Mississippi State Department of Health.
And for the first time in the two-county area that includes Leflore, the victims of the respiratory disease were white.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. Nursing homes or other long-term care facilities are particularly vulnerable.
Five of the six COVID-19 deaths in Carroll County have been of residents of long-term care facilities, according to the Health Department. The only nursing home in the county with a known outbreak is Vaiden Community Living Center.
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Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have become a major point of emphasis in Mississippi’s effort to curtail the spread of the highly contagious virus. This past week, Gov. Tate Reeves announced that the state, in keeping with a recommendation from White House health officials, would test all residents and staff at long-term care facilities for the virus over the next two weeks. The testing is to be handled free of charge by the Department of Health, with assistance from the Mississippi National Guard.
In Leflore County, long-term care facilities have accounted for 50% of its 22 COVID-19 deaths. Statewide, the breakdown is only slightly less, 243 out of 510 deaths, or 48 percent.
The Health Department reported Saturday 322 new cases and 17 new deaths in Mississippi. More than 11,000 have been confirmed with the virus in a state of about 3 million people.
No new deaths were reported for Leflore County.