Tunica County woman among coronavirus deaths reported in Miss.

Updated: Mar. 26, 2020 at 5:08 PM CDT
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TUNICA, Miss. (WMC) - The latest report from the Mississippi State Department of Health shows nearly 500 positive cases of COVID-19 and six deaths.

Officials say the first COVID-19-related death in Tunica County involved a woman between 75 and 80 years old. She was a resident of a long-term care facility.

Tunica Mayor Chuck Cariker says the woman who died was a resident at the Tunica County Health and Rehab facility on Highway 61.

Cariker says he doesn’t know much about the case, but officials say the woman died on Saturday.

The sheriff’s office says on Wednesday, March 25, the county’s COVID-19 Task Force was notified by the state health department of the COVID-19 related death.

Both the Tunica and Panola County coroners requested the woman be tested for the coronavirus because another person inside the facility tested positive on Friday.

“Tunica is a community of mainly senior citizens so we want to check on them and stress on them to stay inside,” said Cariker.

Cariker says the facility hasn’t allowed visitors or guests for at least a week due to COVID-19 concerns.

WMC spoke to a man named Jason Graves over the phone. he didn't want to show his face, but says his mother used to live at that facility.

About two weeks ago she was taken from the facility to a local hospital after she was having complications.

“I can’t see my mom. I’m kind of scared to even go out and even do anything because of this virus. I don’t want to be exposed to it and I don’t want to have to bring it home to my family,” said Graves.

Graves says his mother, who's in her 60s, suffers from dementia, a blood disease and has other health complications. She's lived at the facility for more than a year.

He's urging people to take COVID-19 seriously especially when it involves the older population.

WMC also reached out to the long-term care facility and are waiting to hear back.

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