High school football kicked off last week with jamborees at area schools and as the official season begins this week, Governor Tate Reeves has revised his executive order which limits spectators at extracurricular events. The previous order only allowed two spectators per participating athlete, band member, or cheerleader. The revised order now allows 25 percent capacity in the stadiums. The same order applies to other extracurricular activities like band concerts, soccer games, etc. with the 25 percent rule applying to the various venues. The same 25 percent rule applies to collegiate athletics.
At the same time on Monday the governor extended his statewide mask mandate for two weeks. It now expies September 14.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said Monday that preliminary data for this week shows there are now 123 teachers/staff members diagnosed with COVID-19 in Mississippi schools with 450 teachers/staff members quarantined. As for students, 251 have tested positive for the virus and around 3,500 students are currently in quarantine.
Although the Mississippi State Department of Health does not break down the school by school COVID-19 numbers it does provide a county by county breakdown. As of press time Tuesday, the most current numbers released by MSDH were through August 21. Those numbers show that in Scott County there have been 12 teacher/staff members to test positive for the virus since the beginning of the year with five teacher/staff members quarantined. Five students have been reported to have tested postive with 61 students in quarantine.
As of Tuesday’s MSDH COVID-19 report, statewide there were 634 new cases of the virus reported with 20 new deaths bringing the total number of positve cases in Mississippi since March 11 to 83,584 with a total of 2,493 deaths. In Scott County there have now been a total of 1,099 positive cases reported since the virus began and 22 deaths. That is an increase of 25 cases and one additional death since the same time last week.
As a reminder, in early August State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs MD, MPH, issued a statewide order for the Isolation of Individuals Diagnosed with COVID-19. That order remains in effect. It stipulates that anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 must immediately isolate at home.
Persons infected with COVID-19 should limit exposure to household contacts. No visitors should be allowed in the home. They should stay in a specific room away from others in the home and use a separate bathroom if available. If they have to be around others in the home, they should wear a facemask.