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County to distribute 15,000 masks Friday

Supervisors announce giveaway sites as COVID-19 numbers increase in Panola

Panola County’s Emergency Management office has obtained almost 15,000 protective masks this week and director Daniel Cole wants to make them available to county citizens quickly. He asked the board of supervisors Monday to plan a county-wide giveaway for Friday, June 12.

Cole said the masks are high quality and can be washed with soap and water and reused. “We have rising numbers of COVID-19 in Panola County and we need to do everything we can to help the citizens,” he said. “One of the best things we can do is get masks out to everybody that will take one and hope they wear it and continue to follow CDC guidelines.”

Cole said the ability to distribute 3,000 masks in each of the five supervisor districts would be a big step in his office’s goal of providing a mask for each of the approximately 34,000 residents of the county.

“Every county in the state has struggled to get masks and the ones we have aren’t doing anybody any good in my office. I need the supervisors to each give me some locations they would like to use so we can get the word to the public,” Cole said.

Families interested in getting a mask can use the following locations on Friday and will not have to exit their vehicles. The locations and times are as follows:

District 1: Union Volunteer Fire Dept. and Como Volunteer Fire Dept. from 9 a.m. to noon.

District 2: Crenshaw Town Hall from 9 a.m. to noon. Supervisor Earl Burdette said any church leaders in his district who would like to have masks for their congregations should call him at 662-519-1290.

District 3: Pope Fire Station on Hwy. 35S next to the Tocowa voting precinct and the Courtland Fire Dept. from 9 a.m. to noon.

District 4: Mt. Olivet Fire Dept. and Bethany Baptist Church (corner of Eureka and Hubbard Rds.)  parking lot from 9 a.m to noon.

District 5: South Panola High School visitor’s parking lot from 9 a.m. to noon. Cars should enter from the north and exit in the south driveway.

The county has seen an increase in confirmed coronavirus infections since last week with state numbers indicating more than 20 new cases have been recorded in Panola. The county passed the 100 cases mark on Monday, still a relatively low number when compared to some other counties in North Mississippi.

There have been no new reported deaths locally in almost three weeks with that number remaining at three, even as neighboring counties have seen growing fatalities reported.

There have been no reported cases in the long term care facilities located in Batesville and Sardis, a testament to the diligent efforts of staff and management to prevent the spread in that vulnerable segment of the county’s population.

Statewide, more than 2,100 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, resulting in 438 deaths.

Cole, echoing the pleas of Gov. Tate Reeves and other state officials, said Panola residents should continue to use caution as more public events and gatherings are scheduled, remembering that the pandemic causing virus has not disappeared from the local populace, and will only be kept to a minimal rates of infection by people who discourage the spreading of the deadly virus by frequent hand washings and limiting close contact with others.