Bishop T.T. Scott was Coahoma County’s first victim of the coronavirus this week with the leader of St. James Temple of God In Christ dying Friday of the disease that has strickened this nation, state and community.
Timothy Titus Scott, 88, had been pastor of the local church since 1972. He also served as prelate of the Northern Mississippi Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ and prior to his death was the longest serving Jurisdictional Prelate in the Church Of God In Christ.
“Bishop T. T. Scott is an icon of fatherly leadership, humble servitude, and unwavering faith,” said Bishop Robert G. Rudolph, Jr., adjutant general in the Church Of God In Christ, Inc. ““During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic resulting in local and state restrictions on public gatherings to achieve social distancing, the Terry family will hold a private memorial service for this valiant soldier of the Gospel. When the restrictions are lifted, a date will be set for a Jurisdictional Memorial Service that will appropriately recognize the godly life and notable achievements of Bishop Timothy Titus Scott, Sr.”
Scott and his wife tested positive for the virus after attending a funeral in Clarksdale the first weekend in March.
Coahoma County saw the number of COVID-19 cases in the county rise by two Wednesday with 32 confirmed cases of the disease now reported.
Wednesday’s number was up from the one case daily reported by the Mississippi State Health Department over the past five days for Coahoma County.
The community reported its first case of the disease on March 18 and its first death Saturday.
The county is 22-days into the pandemic and it is apparent some of those 32 have gotten well. Federal and state officials are also hinting the peak of the disease at a national level may be approaching.
The Center for Disease Control said the typical case of COVID-19 can last up to two weeks, with those suffering severe cases being ill up to three or four weeks.
Both the City of Clarksdale and Coahoma County have issued a Shelter-in-Place order shutting down gatherings of more than 10 people, most restaurants and select businesses.
Across the state, Mississippi's coronavirus count climbed to 2,003 Wednesday, up from 1,915 reported Tuesday. There were eight new fatalities associated with the disease on each of the past four days in the state and 67 deaths have now been reported in the state.
Mississippi has a population of 2.987 million people and as of Saturday April 3, .067-percent have the disease.
The daily new case number rose by 88 and did not top Sunday’s high of 183 cases. Mississippi initially reported 50 cases on March 11. All new cases suspected by the state are being confirmed by federal health authorities
The number of tests conducted also rose dramatically as the state has started including the number of private healthcare providers tests conducted. As of today 20,370 people have been tested by the MSDH Public Health Laboratory for the disease. The state has told those who have symptoms, and have been tested, to retest in two weeks as the test indication can be incorrect up to 30 percent of the time.
County by county
Cases reported as of today in the following Mississippi counties were: Adams (25), Alcorn (6), Amite (7), Attala (15) Benton (5), Bolivar (54), Calhoun (13), Carroll (7), Chickasaw (17), Choctaw (9), Claiborne (3), Clarke (10), Clay (11), Coahoma (32), Copiah (19), Covington (7), Desoto (144), Forrest (59), Franklin (5), George (5), Greene (1), Grenada (8), Hancock (32), Harrison (88), Hinds (178), Holmes (27), Humphreys (6), Itawamba (5), Jackson (111), Jasper (4), Jefferson (4), Jones (15), Kemper (11), Lafayette (26), Lamar (19), Lauderdale (84), Lawrence (6), Leake (15), Lee (40), Leflore (28), Lincoln (26), Lowndes (17), Madison (83), Marion (14), Marshall (24), Monroe (19), Montgomery (12), Neshoba (13), Newton (7), Noxubee (5), Oktibbeha (30), Panola (19), Pearl River (60), Perry (14), Pike (33), Pontotoc (13), Prentiss (10), Quitman (12), Rankin (79), Scott (34), Sharkey (3), Simpson (6), Smith (15), Stone (4), Sunflower (27), Tallahatchie (3), Tate (18), Tippah (37), Tishomingo (1), Tunica (17), Union (6), Walthall (15), Warren (9), Washington (41), Wayne (5), Webster (13), Wilkinson (33), Winston (16), Yalobusha (11) and Yazoo (38).
County case numbers change as investigations find new information on a case's home county. Coahoma County reported its first two cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, March 18.
The state announced its first death due to coronavirus March 20. Fatalities attributed to the disease have been reported in Amite (1), Bolivar (2), Chickasaw (2), Choctaw (1), Clarke (1), Coahoma (1), Desoto (1), Forrest (1), Hancock (2), Harrison (3), Hinds (1), Holmes (3), Humphreys (1), Jackson (5), Lafayette (1), Lamar (1), Lauderdale (5), Lee (2), Leflore (4), Lincoln (1), Madison (2), Marshall (1), Monroe (1), Montgomery (1), Oktibbeha (1), Panola (1), Pearl River (3), Perry (1), Pike (1), Pontotoc (1), Rankin (2), Sunflower (1), Tippah (4), Tunica (1), Washington (2), Webster (1) and Wilkinson (3) and Yazoo (1) counties as of today.
The virus appears to be affecting the state's higher population areas such as the Gulf Coast, Jackson metropolitan area, Desoto County and Lee County more intensely. Communities that have had people travel to or from larger U.S. cities also appear to have a higher incident of the disease.
No official reason has been given as to why Coahoma County initially had a higher per capita number of cases as opposed to other counties of similar size and that number appears to be changing.
Coahoma County had a population of 22,628 according to 2018 census estimates. As of today .141-percent of the county's population has been diagnosed with the disease. Bolivar, Leflore and Washington counties have 54, 28 and 41 cases respectively, but larger populations.
Clarksdale residents have been told by city and county officials to not gather in groups of more than 10 people. City officials are urging people to wash their hand religiously and follow strict personal hygiene practices to combat the disease.
The city has also imposed a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew and ordered select businesses to close or at least alter the way they do business.
This is a rapidly changing situation that is continually being monitored by the Center for Disease Control and MSDH as more cases in the U.S. are expected. The risk of infection to the general public in Mississippi remains low, but all Mississippians are advised to take health precautions to prevent the possible transmission of disease.
The Mississippi State Department of Health is reporting presumptive positive cases of coronavirus. Presumptive cases are reports that have been MSDH lab-tested and are waiting further testing and confirmation by the federal CDC.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Your Clarksdale Press Register will keep readers posted as we learn more information and as news changes. All stories about coronavirus are being offered free to the community and will not be put behind the Clarksdale Press Register paywall.