Virus Outbreak Mississippi

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs answers a reporter's question during a COVID-19 coronavirus briefing in Jackson.

BALDWYN • A funeral event that took place in Baldwyn has led to a cluster of new COVID-19 cases, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health. At least nine people have tested positive for the virus as a result of the event.

The health department is reporting that at least seven Mississippi residents and two out-of-state residents contracted the virus, but other people who attended the event are currently being monitored. Around 100 people were at the event.

“Individuals who attended the graveside service on May 17 at 1 p.m. and the after-service gathering from 2-6:30 p.m. are advised to monitor for symptoms consistent with COVID-19,” the statement reads.

Johnny Agnew, the owner of Agnew Funeral Home in Baldwyn, told the Daily Journal that his funeral home handled arrangements for the funeral that the health department referenced, but said his funeral home was ultimately not responsible for organizing the large gathering that led to people contracting the virus.

“My funeral home can’t even hold 100 people,” Agnew said.

Agnew said the large gathering was organized by the family, which took place after the graveside service.

At a press briefing yesterday, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, the state health officer, told members of the media that the event was indoors, and it did not take place at a church.

“These are the scenarios that we’re terrified of,” Dobbs said.” This is the same kind of stuff that we saw at the beginning of the outbreak, and it’s so important for us to honor these social distancing rules because they work. They really work. So please honor the rules consistent with the order that the governor has executed.”

taylor.vance@journalinc.com

Twitter: @taylor_vance28

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