COVID-19 cases in Mississippi increase significantly

Health officials watching 'heavy burden' of COVID-19 cases in DeSoto Co.

DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - Mississippi is experiencing an increase of COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Thomas Dobbs was in DeSoto County Wednesday and talked about the recent increase and where DeSoto County stands.

On Tuesday, Mississippi reported 975 new cases. On Wednesday, that number went down to 563.

Dr. Thomas Dobbs with the Mississippi State Department of Health says delayed reporting contributed to that high number of cases but warns about the increase in hospitalizations.

He also says DeSoto County has a “heavy burden” of cases.

“DeSoto had a 5% increase week over week from the previous, so that increase is certainly concerning. You guys have the highest numerical number of new cases in the past week at 175 and your percent positivity rate for testing is 9%, which is higher than average,” said Dr. Thomas Dobbs.

DeSoto County schools are also seeing an increase in the number of cases and students quarantined.

The district released data from last week which shows 136 students under quarantine.

“Cases two weeks ago were the second lowest ones of the school year and then this past week the cases went back up,” said Cory Uselton, DCS Superintendent.

The district considers three cases in a classroom or athletic team as an outbreak.

Uselton says there hasn’t been an outbreak inside a classroom, but can’t say the same about sports.

“What happened with our two football teams over the last two weeks they had multiple cases within the team,” said Uselton.

As a result both Southaven and DeSoto Central high schools suspended all football activities for two weeks.

One parent says her son is doing in-person learning and is also part of the baseball team and has had no COVID-19 scares.

“Yes he is in school and we will keep it that way. I believe that DeSoto County Schools are keeping the way that they are handling it is manageable for the cases they’ve had,” said Deana Sides.

Usleton says the district also monitors the number of cases in the county and the state and says they’ve noticed that when cases go up statewide they also see an increase in the district.

He also said some parents are switching their children from online to in-person learning.

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