After going more than a month without a death from COVID-19 at a long-term care facility in Leflore County, two have been reported this past week.

The latest to die was a Black resident, but other details about the person were not immediately available.

The death brings the county’s total fatality count from the virus to 104. It was one of 48 reported statewide Thursday by the Mississippi State Department of Health. Another 40 deaths were reported Friday.

Early during the pandemic, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities had experienced a large share of deaths from the virus. Because of their age or poor health, nursing home residents are especially susceptible to bad outcomes if they contract the respiratory disease.

Deaths from COVID-19 at nursing homes, though, have moderated in recent months as the facilities have continued their stringent controls, including banning or heavily restricting visitation. Of the 5,101 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Mississippi, 1,773 of the victims, or 35%, had been living in a nursing home or other long-term care facility. In Leflore County, long-term care facilities have accounted for 50, or 48%, of the deaths.

Three long-term care facilities in the county have active outbreaks of the virus, which the Department of Health defines as at least one infected resident or more than one infected employee in a 14-day period. The Department of Health does not publicly identify the facilities experiencing outbreaks, instead referring inquiries to a federal nursing home database that runs more than a week behind.

Meanwhile, the infection rate in Leflore County keeps rising.

For the week ending Wednesday, the county averaged 10.09 new cases of COVID-19 daily per 10,000 residents, according to the data tracked by the Brown School of Public Health. That rate is higher than the state average of 7.29 and ranks 11th out of Mississippi’s 82 counties. During the same time period, Carroll County averaged 5.74 new cases of COVID-19 daily per 10,000 residents, ranking No. 66.

As of Friday morning, Greenwood Leflore Hospital was treating 11 patients with COVID-19, according to Christine Hemphill, a hospital spokeswoman. None were on ventilators.

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