Mississippi has 10th pediatric death from COVID-19

Published 9:07 am Thursday, January 27, 2022

The Mississippi Health Department said Wednesday that a child has died of COVID-19. This was the state’s 10th pediatric death from the coronavirus since pandemic started in 2020.

The department said it would not release the child’s name or hometown. It said all 10 of the children who died were unvaccinated but didn’t say how many were eligible for vaccination when they got sick.

Some died before COVID-19 vaccinations became available for children 5 or older. The department said booster shots are recommended for people older than 12.

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The state epidemiologist, Dr. Paul Byers, said in a news release that he encourages parents to discuss childhood vaccination with their health care provider. He said 7% of Mississippi’s 5- to 11-year-olds and 37% of the state’s 12- to 17-year-olds are fully vaccinated.

“Vaccination is the best protection for our children who are eligible to receive it,” Byers said. “For those under 5 years of age, it is critically important that everyone around the infant or child are vaccinated.”

Local schools have recorded high numbers of infected and quarantined students and staff since Omicron took center stage. 

According to MSDH data chart, the Lafayette County School District had approximately 55 staff members who tested positive for COVID, approximately 100 students to test positive, and 26 staff members and 475 students in quarantine from Jan. 17-21. Since the beginning of school, the district has experienced a total of eight COVID outbreaks.

For the week of Jan. 24, the LCSD remained at the highest level of COVID transmission which requires staff, faculty and students to wear masks indoors and on buses, for students to eat in classrooms and other safety precautions to prevent further transmission.

During the same period, the Oxford School District had approximately 50 staff members and about 100 students to test positive for COVID and seven staff members and 396 students to quarantine. OSD has had 25 COVID outbreaks since the start of the spring semester.

On Jan. 27, MSDH reported 6,535 more cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, 32 deaths and 303 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care facilities. The state has a total of 712,133 cases and 10,806 deaths, and 1,480,641 persons have been fully vaccinated.

Lafayette County has gained 147 COVID-19 cases and 1 COVID-19 death. No LTC facility outbreaks have been reported. The county has a total of 13,412 COVID-19 cases, 159 deaths and 202 LTC facility outbreaks.