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Harrison County COVID deaths reach 16

CADIZ — The coronavirus claimed the lives of two more Harrison County residents this week, bringing the number of county residents who have died after contracting the virus to 16.

The Harrison County Health Department reported the deaths of a person in their 70s and one individual in their 80s on Monday evening.

“We send our deepest condolences to the friends and family of these individuals. To respect privacy, no other identifiable information will be released,” the department stated.

Garen Rhome said the individuals were not associated with any of the county’s long-term care facilities.

The county continues to receive notification of multiple new cases each day, Rhome said.

“We’re probably still averaging around 10 (positive) cases a day,” he said.

Although the county’s caseload continues to increase daily, the contact tracing numbers are manageable, Rhome said.

“We’re still seeing fewer contacts. We’re still not seeing people participating in large gatherings and get-togethers, so our number of close contacts are still certainly manageable,” he said. “We’re just glad that people are heeding our advice.”

Rhome said the health department urges residents to follow the recommended mitigation efforts to prevent further spread of the virus.

“As we leave 2020 and move into this next year, we know people are wanting to relax and let their guard down, but we’re still encouraging all the mitigation efforts,” he said.

As of Tuesday, the county has had a total of 833 cases since the pandemic began, 580 recoveries and 16 deaths. There are currently 237 active cases in Harrison County.

The health department is working to collect information on potential Phase 1B individuals who are interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine through a data collection survey. Rhome urges residents who may be interested in receiving the vaccine and who are eligible in the Phase 1B category to fill out the survey. These include people age 65 and older as well as those with severe health conditions. More than 900 residents have already responded and completed the survey, he said.

“We will use that information to schedule our points of dispensing,” he said.

The survey can be found on the department’s website and Facebook page, or by visiting www.surveymonkey.com/r/Harrison_Phase1B.

Rhome said an update involving Phase 1B vaccinations will be given today at the Harrison County Board of Commissioners meeting.

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