MSDH: Funeral in Baldwyn led to cluster of COVID-19 infections

The funeral was held at Sandhill Cemetery; a walk-through visitation was held at Agnew & Sons Funeral Home prior to the service.

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Jackson – Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) is reporting a cluster of COVID-19 infections related to a recent funeral in Northeast Mississippi.

The funeral and after-service gathering were held on May 17, 2020, in the city of Baldwyn (located in Lee and Prentiss counties) and were attended by approximately 100 people.

The funeral in question was a graveside service held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 17 at Sandhill Cemetery. The State Department of Health reported that the problem appears to have stemmed from an after-service gathering that took place from approximately 2-6:30 p.m. While there was a walk-through visitation at the funeral home the evening before, MSDH did not state that was part of the problem, specifically citing only the service and later gathering.

To date, at least 7 COVID-19 cases in Mississippi and at least two cases in out-of-state residents have been identified in individuals who attended the event. Several other potential cases are under investigation.

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 (fever, cough, shortness of breath.)

If symptoms develop, they should immediately isolate themselves and contact their healthcare provider.

Gatherings of individuals, including funerals, weddings or other events, pose a risk of spreading the virus if appropriate precautions are not in place. Cloth masks and social distancing of 6 feet or greater are recommended in public settings, especially in group settings, and gatherings should be limited to groups of 20 outdoors and groups of 10 indoors.

For more information on the latest COVID-19 guidance and case updates visit the MSDH website at HealthyMS.com/covid-19.