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Supervisors adopt new resolution; receive COVID-19 update

During a recessed meeting on Tuesday, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors approved additional measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Similar to the “Stay at Home” resolution passed by the City of Oxford on Sunday, the Board adopted a third resolution that requires all non-essential businesses in Lafayette County to close to the public until further notice, effective immediately. It passed unanimously during an executive session.

Those businesses include all retail stores — except for those who can utilize curbside service — recreational facilities, tattoo parlors, barber shops, hair/beauty/nail/tanning salons, spas and gyms.

During the meeting, Lafayette County emergency management director Steve Quarles provided another update on COVID-19 in the county.

According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, Lafayette County has eight confirmed presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 6 p.m. on Monday. The state is sitting at 320 cases out of 1,872 tested, and 27 percent of those are hospitalized.

Quarles informed the Board that Lafayette County has seven testing sites, as well as the testing done at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi. Due to that, the County will probably not become a site for drive-thru testing, but Quarles noted that Panola County is expected to have one.

While there may be residents claiming the County has more cases of COVID-19 than the state’s official number, Quarles said the lag in getting test results is aiding in the confusion of how many cases Lafayette County might truly have.

“As we analyze what’s going on in our county, I hate to see any new cases, but I am glad to see it was not increasing as fast as I expected it to,” Quarles said. “Some of the issues with the testing, most of these clinics use independent testing labs. If they use the state, sometimes those results come back in two to three days. With the independent testing labs, the average is more four to five days, and actually in some cases, it’s even longer in getting results back from the test.”

Quarles noted that the testing sites are running low on personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gowns. The County received 10,000 masks from the state and dispersed them to 20 different agencies.

The Lafayette County School District began serving grab-n-go meals to students last week at 10 different locations, and Quarles told the Board that they are averaging around 500 meals served. However, Lafayette School superintendent Dr. Adam Pugh anticipates that number to get closer to 900 or 1,000 once the weather improves later in the week.

Any children who are registered at Oxford School District and Lafayette County School District and are age 18 or under are eligible to receive the breakfast and lunch meals.

The Board recessed until Monday at 4 p.m. They are meeting at least once a week to receive updates throughout the COVID-19 crisis.