The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) on Wednesday reported 2,791 new cases of COVID-19 in the state and 38 deaths, including 37 new cases in Hancock County.

“Thirty-four deaths occurred between Dec.19 and Jan. 5, and four occurred between Dec. 4 and Dec. 31, identified from death certificate report,” according to the agency’s statement Wednesday. “Mississippi's total of COVID-19 cases for the year now stands at 228,235, with 5,013 deaths.

“Among cases and deaths already reported, MSDH has identified 89 new cases in residents of long-term care facilities, and 12 deaths. There are currently 226 ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities.”

As of Wednesday morning, Hancock County had a total of 2,204 cases of coronavirus with 56 deaths, including 70 cases and 14 deaths in long-term care facilities.

Also as of Wednesday, Harrison County had 11,518 cases with 168 deaths, including 473 cases and 58 deaths in long-term care.

Pearl River County had 2,821 total cases with 87 deaths, including 157 cases and 31 deaths in long-term care.

As of Jan. 3, the MSDH estimates that 182,103 Mississippi residents who had tested positive for COVID-19 are presumed recovered.

As of Jan. 4, 1,444 Mississippians were hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 infections, including 369 patients in an ICU and 223 patients on ventilators. There were also 74 patients hospitalized with suspected COVID infections.

“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.”

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs is still recommending that Mississippi residents curtail social gatherings as much as possible.

“Due to rapidly rising COVID-19 cases, all residents of Mississippi should avoid any social gathering that includes individuals outside of the immediate family or household,” Dobbs said. “MSDH recommends that Mississippians only participate in work, school or other absolutely essential activities, and avoid gatherings such as social events, sporting events, in-person church services, and weddings and funerals unless they involve only close family (preferably outdoors).”

Additionally, according to MSDH, “Home isolation is mandatory if you have tested positive for COVID-19 by order of the State Health Officer. (If you are awaiting results of routine testing not related to exposure, you may return to work and follow the safety guidance of your employer.)

“Quarantine is mandatory for household members of someone who has COVID-19. Home quarantine permits working under certain circumstances.”

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