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Lafayette County EMA director provides update on long-term care facility outbreaks

During a Lafayette County Board of Supervisors meeting earlier this week, it was announced that an additional long-term care facility had reported a positive COVID-19 case.

Lafayette County’s emergency management director Steve Quarles told the Board that Oxford Health and Rehab now joined North Mississippi Regional Center’s Oxford campus in having a positive case. A report of an outbreak can be triggered by Mississippi State Department of Health with only one positive case.

According to Quarles, the new case at Oxford Health and Rehab was a staff member. Quarles added that no other staff members had reported any symptoms. Since it is a staff member and not a person who resides at the facility, the number is counted in Lafayette County’s total number of cases, due to the individual coming and going from the facility and venturing into the community.

In much higher numbers, the 35 reported LTC cases at NMRC are nearing the end of their incubation period, according to Quarles.

“In talking with (NMRC). The biggest majority of their clients that have it are asymptomatic,” Quarles said. “Eighteen of the first ones to get it, will be done with their 14 days (on Wednesday).”

Quarles said that since both NMRC and Oxford Health and Rehab have active cases, they have been raised in the state’s tier system and are receiving aid and more personal protective equipment this week.

Lafayette County reported one new case on Thursday, bringing its total to 89 cases and three deaths since March 19. According to COVID-19 data provided by the City of Oxford on their website, as of April 28, there were 17 active COVID-19 cases in Lafayette County.

The State Department of Health did not update county-by-county numbers of new LTC cases on Thursday, but stated on their website they will provide new LTC numbers on Friday.