District 2 Supervisor Derrell Washington gladly handed out sanitizer and masks Friday morning.
Washington tested positive COVID-19 in early July and said he never had a symptom. He quarantined and has now been given a clean bill of health.
“I never had a headache, sore throat, didn’t feel bad and never ran a temperature,” said Washington. “I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I think I worried more about giving it to my kids and family than anything else.”
So handing out masks and hand sanitizer last week was one way Washington and other county officials decided to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
“People need to wear their mask, use hand sanitizer and get tested if they have symptoms,” said Board of Supervisors President Johnny Newson. “It affects people differently. You never know. It’s out there and it can be fatal.”
County Administrator Morgan Wood said more than 2,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and more than 20,000 masks were handed out before noon Friday.
“I was very pleased with the turnout,” said Wood. “There is not a doubt those masks and sanitizer will keep someone from getting sick.”
Wood said the county is doubling down on its fight against a resurgence of COVID-19 in the community. She pointed out all county employees were tested a couple of weeks ago. She added county building custodians are busy wiping surfaces and employees who have symptoms are being sent home.
A flurry of testing in Coahoma County has seen the number of cases being reported explode over the past 30 days.
The county reported just 201 cases as of July 6 and that number has rocketed to 677 cases Tuesday afternoon. But while the number of people who have tested positive has risen, the county has only reported 10 fatalities.
Coahoma County has a population of 22,628 and 2.94-percent have been diagnosed with the disease since the community’s first case was reported on March 18. Coronavirus only makes people sick for about 10 days, so most of those 677 people have gotten well.
Coahoma County’s fatality rate of 0.44-percent is way below the fatality rate of counties reporting a similar number of cases. Tate County has reported 665 cases and 34 deaths. Carroll County has reported 10 deaths but only 248 cases. Greene County has reported 11 fatalities and 232 cases. Humphreys County has 11 deaths and 274 cases. Itawamba has 10 deaths and 317 cases.
Coahoma County is one of 37 counties deemed a “hot spot” by the state. It was also named only one of 10 counties allowed to delay the opening of school because of the recent rise in COVID cases.
The rise in cases has also filled up beds at Northwest Mississippi Medical Center, with serious cases sent to Memphis.
That designation has prompted the state to mandate the wearing of masks in public. Governor Tate Reeves said people should not attend funerals or weddings and should not gather in groups of more than 10 people.
According to the Mississippi State Department of Health there were 62,199 cases of coronavirus reported in Mississippi as of Tuesday with 1,753 deaths blamed on coronavirus. The pandemic began in the state 140 days ago and 2.08-percent of the population has tested positive for COVID-19 with 2.8-percent of those infected dying from the disease.
According to the Center for Disease Control there have been 4,698,818 cases reported in the U.S. or 1.43-percent of the nation’s 328.2 million people have contracted the disease and 155,204 or 3.3-percent of those infected have died.