Coronavirus super spreader: Single person at Mississippi funeral infected 21 people, state health expert says

Published 2:56 pm Thursday, May 28, 2020

Mississippi health officials say one person with the COVID-19 coronavirus appears to have infected 21 other people at a Mississippi funeral recently.

“These are the scenarios that we’re terrified of,” said Dr. Thomas Dobbs, Mississippi State Health Officer said Wednesday.

“That funeral happened in Northeast Mississippi,” Dobbs said. “It’s a good narrative to let us understand what the risks we’re talking about.”

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Dobbs said one person who was showing symptoms of COVID-19 coronavirus attended a funeral and after-service in the City of Baldwyn.

“There was an event that was indoors, that was not at a church. There were over 50 people indoors. And within that group there was one symptomatic person and 13 cases and 8 suspects.”

A press release the state issued Thursday afternoon suggested as many as 100 people were at the event. The press release suggested only seven people from Mississippi were tested COVID-19 positive along with two from outside the state. The news release suggested many more were suspected cases.

“Looking at one individual case and now 21 new cases,” Dobbs said.

“It’s so important for us to honor these social distancing rules because they work. They really work,” Dobbs said.

“This is the same kind of stuff that we saw at the beginning of the outbreak,” he said. “We can’t let our guard down.”

“Please, honor the rules. Please maintain the six-foot social distancing and wear your masks when you’re around other people because there are real-world implications of this.”

Dobbs said the funeral event affected people, who then traveled to other areas.

“There were not only people from throughout the area, but people from out of state who came in,” he said.