More than 80% of Mississippi counties have schools reporting COVID-19 cases

Published 3:01 pm Monday, August 17, 2020

More than 400 students, teachers and staff members in Missisisppi’s schools have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, the state reported Monday.

Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said 71 of Mississippi’s 82 counties have confirmed positive cases in students, teachers or staff members.

Not all school districts are reporting to the state yet as some haven’t started and some are doing only virtual learning, Dobbs said.

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“That doesn’t mean they caught it there,” Dobbs said, adding that in most cases are of people who came to school already infected.

Dobbs said the state has identified 245 teachers and 199 students who have tested positive for the virus.

Exposure to the virus has resulted in 589 teachers or staff in quarantine. Another 2,035 students are in quarantine.

Mississippi reported 276 new cases on Monday. The amount of new cases was the lowest since early July. Mississippi has cut the total new cases in half over the last few weeks.

Dobbs said the low case count shows that virus mitigation practices are working and that people need to keep wearing masks, keeping socially distant and avoiding crowds.

“This is a remarkable opportunity,” he said. “We can have an entirely different trajectory.

“I encourage everyone to please, double down, mask up,” he said.