COVID impacting holidays with parades cancelled
The COVID-19 pandemic has pretty much shut down the community Christmas season in Kemper County.
There will be no Christmas parades in Scooba and DeKalb this year. Kemper County High School and Kemper Academy are closed for the week. The Kemper County upper and lower elementary schools did begin in-person learning this week. There was a county-wide mandate reissued by the Kemper County board of supervisors requiring that masks be worn in public. It goes through December 31.
The ordinance also closes county owned parks, walking trails and access to Kemper Lake.
Offices in the Courthouse will be operated with minimum staff and elected officials are encouraged to do as much business online as possible.
Anyone who violates the ordinance, upon conviction, could face a $500 fire and/or six months in jail.
The Kemper County Chamber-EDA annual dinner has be called off. There will be no persons of he year or business of the year named this year.
Kemper County had an increase of 39 reported cases of COVID-19 during the past week which ended November 29. Added to the previous week’s number, that would be 84 new cases reported by the state Health Department in the past two weeks.
Since last March, the county had 447 reported cases and 18 COVID-19 related deaths, with three reported in the past week.
COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus that causes flu-like illness ranging from mild to severe, with symptoms of fever, coughing, fatigue and difficulty breathing. Like the flu, COVID-19 spreads person-to-person by close contact (within 6 feet) and by coughing or sneezing. COVID-19 may also spread by touching surfaces contaminated by the virus.
The number of new cases has grown across the state. According to health department numbers, there were 9,391 new cases in Mississippi in the past week. There have been 153,270 cases reported in Mississippi since March and 3,807 reported deaths.
With the number of cases growing, health officials urged people to avoid large holiday gatherings during the Thanksgiving weekend.
Similar warnings are coming out concerning the Christmas season. In order to protect the more vulnerable population, health department officials have strongly suggested that travel be avoided and for people to stay home.
With promising news of a vaccination coming soon, the Mississippi Department of Health has placed a copy of its distribution plan on its website. Officials said the plan will be updated as needed.
Kemper County leaders continue to take steps to protect the public. There is a county-wide mandate for masks to be worn. Schools have gone to virtual leaning in recent weeks. And precautions have been take for people entering county building. In December, the county board of supervisors will hold their meetings by telephone.
People at risk for serious illness from COVID-19 are adults 65 and over, those who are obese, those with a chronic illness such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease, and anyone receiving treatments which may compromise their immune system. According to the health department, hese people should take precautions at all times to limit their exposure to others who may be ill:
• Stay home as much as possible.
• Limit your contact with others when you are away from home, especially in indoor settings.
• Limit your contact with visitors and with other members of your household who are frequently in public places.
• Keep more space (6 feet if possible) between you and others as you go through the day.
• If you do go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, and practice consistent social distancing. Pay closer attention to hygiene and cleanliness.
• Wash your hands often, especially after being in public places.