Fewer than 100 new Covid-19 cases in county

Published 2:46 pm Tuesday, February 9, 2021

For the first time in months, Panola County’s new cases of Covid-19 in the Monday-to-Monday week long period dropped to fewer than 100. Just 94 initial infections were reported from Feb. 1 to Feb. 8 in the county, although two additional deaths were recorded from the disease.

Mississippi State Dept. of Health data for Panola County lists 4,128 cases since March 11 with 88 attributable deaths.

Statewide 282.969  Mississippians have been diagnosed with Covid-19 with 6,342 of the cases proving to be fatal. Those statistics also show a drop in the number of reported new cases around the state – about 6,500 new cases and 210 deaths occurred during the past seven reporting days.

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Late last year, and earlier this year, Mississippi had almost double those numbers for a week’s period.

Vaccinations are also continuing at the Batesville Civic Center four days a week, and this week many people began receiving a second dose. The Mississippi Army National Guard is overseeing the local vaccine effort.

Shots in arms are the goal at vaccination spots across Mississippi and the nation, and while some locations are struggling with logistical shortcomings, the Batesville site is working well.

Many people receiving the vaccine in Batesville have made social media posts and called the newspaper with glowing reports of the professional manner local nurses and members of the Guard are handling Covid-19 shots.

Some citizens and groups have taken snacks, sandwiches, and hot drinks on the cold days for refreshments to support the workers standing long hours in the weather directing traffic, sorting paperwork, and administering shots.

MSDH said Tuesday that 271,310 Mississippians have received a first dose of the vaccine and 62,690 second doses have been administered. The state said 2,836 Panola County residents had been vaccinated, at least with a first shot, as of Feb. 8.

The Civic Center location is vaccinating people from other counties because of Batesville’s central location. The stats indicate that 574 of the shots administered in the city last week were to Panola County residents.

More than 1,500 shots in arms are being delivered in Batesville, including at Panola Medical Center, but the majority of those are from people from neighboring counties and even some from out-of-state.

Because the vaccination process is a federal undertaking (using state resources) people from other states are able to make appointments for Batesville, which is reportedly one of the fastest vaccination locations in the region.

Long lines plague the larger sites such as those in Memphis and Jackson.

Neighboring counties vaccination reports, as gathered by the MSDH, show 6,686 for Lafayette, 1,573 for Tate, 358 in Quitman, 772 in Tallahatchie, 1,391 in Yalobusha, and 9,969 in DeSoto County. Statewide, data shows by race that Whites have received 70 percent of the vaccinations, 19 percent for Blacks, and 12 percent for Asian, Hispanic and others.

South Panola School Districts makes available its breakdown of Covid-19 cases, and quarantines became of close contacts, to the MSDH each Monday.

The week of Jan. 25-29 the district reported six cases of students, and five teachers or other staff with positive infections. District wide, about 90 students or staff were under quarantine, but not tested positive.

North Delta School is a private business and voluntarily reports the status of Covid-19 cases and quarantines as needed to the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools, but not to the State Dept. of Health.

There have been several cases of teachers and students infected with the virus, and some out following close contact protocol, but the school has continued to operate and hold in-class instruction with extracurricular activities following strict safety measures and cleaning regimens.