JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — At least two Mississippi lawmakers are hospitalized because of COVID-19.
Democratic Rep. Earle Banks of Jackson said last week that he had tested positive for the virus. His daughter, Kim Banks, wrote Thursday night on Facebook that her father had been admitted to a hospital because of it.
Rep. Manly Barton represents District 109 (George, Jackson counties) in the Mississippi House.
“All prayers and and well wishes welcome,” she wrote.
Republican Rep. Manly Barton of Moss Point also has been hospitalized this week because of the virus, and he has been in intensive care for part of the time, according to family and collegues.
At least 30 legislators and 11 other people who work in the Mississippi Capitol are known to have tested positive for the coronavirus, state health officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said this week.
Mississippi has had the largest outbreak of the virus among state legislators in the United States. At least 78 state legislators nationwide have tested positive, according to a count by The Associated Press.
Mississippi legislators were in session during most of June and left the Capitol on July 1. Some people at the Capitol wore masks and kept distance between themselves and others, but many did not. Banks often wore both a mask and a plastic face shield.
Mississippi has a population of about 3 million. The Health Department said Thursday that the state has had at least 39,797 confirmed cases and at least 1,308 deaths from the coronavirus as of Wednesday evening. That was an increase of 1,230 cases and 18 deaths from numbers reported the day before.
The department said Thursday that 1,117 people were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of the virus. That is up from 664 on June 22.
At least 3,109 cases of the virus have been confirmed in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, with at least 634 virus-related deaths in those facilities, the department said.
The true number of virus infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick. While most people who contract the coronavirus recover after suffering only mild to moderate symptoms, it can be deadly for older patients and those with other health problems.