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New norms during COVID-19 crisis

Special to Wesson News

No visitations. To protect its patients and staff from COVID-19, Copiah County Medical Center (CCMC) has ended hospital visitation based on guidance of the Mississippi State Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CCMC is encouraging people with hospitalized friends and loved ones to communicate with them by telephone at (601)-5747000. All patient rooms have phones.

Unemployment claims rules. New Mississippi unemployment regulations implemented by an executive order issued by Governor Reeves waive work search requirements and eliminate the one-week waiting period for benefits. The changes recognize the difficult time small businesses and their employees are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new rules apply to people unable to work because of a quarantine order from a medical professional or government agency, those who were laid off or sent home without pay because of the virus, those diagnosed with COVID-19 or caring for immediate family members with COVID-19. People can file unemployment claims at or via telephone (888-844-3577).

Small funerals. Area funeral homes are finding new ways to help grieving families and friends. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional funeral service with public visitations and services packed with mourners is no longer considered a safe option. Funeral homes are now handling arrangements by phone, limiting visitations to family or no more than ten people for up to an hour, conducting graveside services for a few and live streaming services via the internet to reach greater numbers.

Mobile screening. King's Daughters Medical Center (KDMC) is now providing mobile screening for persons age 12 and older who have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms. People drive into the screening site, which is behind the KDMC emergency room, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week and do not have to leave their vehicles. Call (601)-835-9455 before visiting the screening site. Call the KDMC Pediatric and Adolescent Clinic at (601)-823-5204 about screening patients under 12 years old.

Pets & animals okay. Although canine respiratory and enteric coronaviruses can cause illnesses in pets, they are not related to the human coronavirus infection. “No animals in the United States have been identified with COVID-19,” contrary to widely-circulating misinformation, says Dr. Kent Hoblet, dean of the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Another misconception is that there is a cattle vaccine for COVID-19. In fact, there is a vaccine for bovine coronavirus, but it will neither infect nor protect humans. Hoblet encourages animal owners to look to American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) guidelines as their primary resource on vaccines and animal illnesses related to COVID-19. The AVMA webpage dedicated to answering questions regarding coronavirus in animals can be found at what-do-you-need-knowabout-coronavirus.

Vaccine progress. The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, which is experienced in vaccine development and did extensive research on MERS in 2014 and SARS in 2003 -both coronaviruses similar in structure to COVID-19, has announced progress on a COVID-19 vaccine. There are now 254 clinical trials exploring vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, with many more in the pipeline. Unprecedented activity in the private sector and academia is currently focused on developing a therapy, supporting testing, or finding a vaccine to manage the effects of COVID-19 the world over.


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