By Sean Dunlap and Nicole Stokes
Franklin County’s positive coronavirus case count has done something rarely seen of late — it has remained relative unchanged over the past week, based on numbers provided by the Mississippi Department of Health.
As of Tuesday, Sept. 15, Franklin’s cumulative COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began in March reached 182, which is only one instance higher than the total number of infections reported exactly one week ago.
“We holding steady at 182 and hopefully we’ve had our high point,” Franklin County Emergency Management Agency Director Mark Thornton said. “The last move (in the count) we saw was on Saturday.”
Three deaths have been attributed to the virus in Franklin County — two black or African American individuals in the 50 to 59 age range and one Caucasian in the 80 to 89 category.
Even with the surprising news related to an apparent slowdown in the spread of the virus locally in recent days, Thornton encouraged area residents to not let their guards down.
Gov. Tate Reeves on Monday extended the statewide mask mandate through the end of September and continued to promote the limitation of crowd sizes as a means of curtailing continued spread of the illness here and across Mississippi.
Here is a breakdown of confirmed coronavirus cases in the county as of Saturday, Sept. 12 as reported by the health department:
• Under age 18 — 24.
• Ages 18 to 29 — 30.
• Ages 30 to 39 — 23.
• Ages 40 to 49 — 33.
• Ages 50 to 59 — 25.
• Ages 60 to 69 —27.
• Ages 70 to 79 — 16.
• Ages 80 to 89 — 4.
The health department also reported on Wednesday, Sept. 9 no new positive COVID-19 tests among Franklin County School District personnel and students and no outbreaks of the virus within the school system.
Across Mississippi as of Tuesday’s findings, the total number of COVID-19 infections stood at 90,523 while the death toll was reported at 2,734.