Stone County sees 23 new COVID-19 cases in a week; gov. extends 'Safe Return'

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves last week extended his "Safe Return" program again after a recent statewide spike in COVID-19 cases -- including 23 new cases in Stone County in the past week.

"Safe Return" was set to expire this past Monday, but Reeves on Thursday extended it to July 20 at 8 a.m.

As of Monday, 65 cases of the novel coronavirus were reported in Stone County, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health, up from 42 the previous Monday. Stone County still had only one death from the virus, as of Monday, with no cases or deaths in long-term care facilities.

The MSDH on Monday reported 357 new cases of COVID-19 in the state and three new deaths.

Mississippi's total of COVID-19 cases since March 11 now stands at 31,028 confirmed cases and 229 “probable” cases, for a total of 31,257; and 1,096 confirmed deaths and 18 “probable” deaths, for a total of 1,114.

As of July 5, the MSDH estimates that 22.167 Mississippi residents who had tested positive for COVID-19 had recovered.

As of 6 p.m. on July 5, 327,087 people had been tested for the virus statewide, including 58,154 by the MSDH Public Health Laboratory and 268,933 by other providers around the state.

MSDH on reported 226 cases on Sunday and five new deaths; 990 new cases of COVID-19 in the state and four new deaths on Saturday; 914 cases and 11 deaths on Friday; 870 cases and 10 deaths on Thursday; 653 cases and nine deaths last Wednesday; and 680 cases with 14 deaths last Tuesday.

“Anyone with symptoms of fever, severe cough or severe chest pains – especially those who are older or in poor health – should make arrangements for testing with their doctor or one of the many healthcare providers now performing testing,” according to MSDH. “Healthcare providers can assess your health history and symptoms, and perform testing for COVID-19 as needed. MSDH is also helping conduct free drive-up testing sites in many parts of the state. Always call ahead to the testing provider for instructions on safely being examined before you visit for your test.”

Memorial Hospital at Stone County does conduct COVID-19 testing.

Call 228-867–5000 before visiting to allow the staff to determine the next steps and to prepare for your arrival.