Past week sees fewer new COVID cases in Golden Triangle




Tess Vrbin



All four Golden Triangle counties are seeing fewer new COVID-19 cases per week after several weeks of sharp spikes, according to Mississippi State Department of Health data.


Lowndes County still leads the region in cases and deaths, with 5,463 total cases and 119 deaths as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, the most recent update to the MSDH website. The 277 cases in a week decreased from 355 new cases the week before that, according to archived MSDH data.


Oktibbeha County has 4,016 cases and 81 deaths, with 174 new cases in the past week compared to 176 the week before.



Clay County has 1,627 cases, with 71 new ones in a week, and 35 deaths. Noxubee County has seen 1,114 cases, with 25 new ones in a week, and 25 deaths. Clay County had 98 new cases and Noxubee County had 66 the previous week.


Mississippi's COVID-19 cases total 259,117 over the past 10 months, with 5,668 deaths. The state recorded 2,290 new cases and 30 new deaths Wednesday, including two deaths in Noxubee County and one in Lowndes County.


Area school districts have resumed reporting their case data weekly now that the spring semester has begun.


Lowndes County School District saw a total of 15 positive cases from Jan. 11 to Jan. 15, its first week of classes, with at least one case in each building except New Hope Middle School and West Lowndes High School, according to data on the LCSD website.


Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District had 11 positive student cases and two positive staff cases the week of Jan. 11-15, the second week of classes, according to data on the SOCSD website.


Columbus Municipal School District had nine student cases and one staff case last week, Superintendent Cherie Labat told The Dispatch, a decrease from the previous week's 15 student cases and eight staff cases.


As of Wednesday, the Noxubee County School District has two positive student cases and three staff cases, the same numbers as Jan. 12, the most recent available data before Wednesday, according to the NCSD website.


The West Point Consolidated School District, as well as area private schools and Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, report their case data to MSDH weekly. If a number of cases is lower than five, MSDH reports it as 1-5.


WPCSD reported one to five student cases in two buildings and one to five staff cases in four buildings, which means the district could have as many as 10 student cases and 20 staff cases, according to MSDH data from Jan. 11-15. South Side Elementary School and the north campus of West Point High School each reported both student and staff cases.


Starkville Christian School, Oak Hill Academy in West Point, Annunciation Catholic School in Columbus, and Magnolia Christian School and South Haven Mennonite School in Macon all reported no positive COVID cases for the week of Jan. 11-15. Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science reported one to five student cases.


Mississippi State University has 100 positive cases as of Thursday, according to data reported daily on the MSU website, with 89 student cases and 11 employee cases after two weeks of classes. MSU had 77 student cases and 14 employee cases a week earlier, for a total of 91 cases.


Mississippi University for Women reported four new student cases between Jan. 15 and this morning, according to data updated daily on the MUW website.





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