Clay County EMA urging residents to take COVID-19 seriously after man dies

CLAY COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – A Clay County man died Thursday due to the coronavirus.

Clay County Coroner Alvin Carter Jr. confirms the 62-year-old man had underlying health issues, and died at OCH Regional Medical Center in Starkville.

The death prompted West Point/Clay County EMA Director Torrey Williams to give a briefing urging residents to take the disease more seriously.

“They think that this is a small town and nothing happens here, it won’t come here, nothing is going to happen, I’m immune to it, I’m young, I’m this, or I’m that, but this is a very serious thing,” said Williams.

So far, 21 cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Clay County.

However, Williams said people don’t seem to be phased by the alarming number.

In fact, a group of people were recently playing basketball at a local park, which led to city leaders removing all of the rims.

“We’ve held 21 cases for a day now, but I expect that number to rise because people are not taking this thing seriously,” said Williams.

The EMA director admits, one local death is too many but he’s hoping it’ll bring more attention to the severity of the virus.

“People need to be aware of the things that are going on. You may not think that it can happen to you, but this death is in our community. It’s easily spread, and although you think you may be okay and your immune system may be okay, the next person may not be,” said Williams.

For weeks, city and county leaders have been telling residents to take extra precautions and follow guidelines given by the Centers for Disease Control.

Now they’re pleading for residents to be more vigilant, if not Williams said there will be legal consequence.

“The sheriff’s department and the police department will be giving out summons and taking people to jail if they have to,” said Williams.

Williams said people both young and old have tested positive for the coronavirus in Clay County.

For more information on the guidelines that are in place just visit the EMA’s Facebook page.

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