JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Mississippi has been increasing over the last few weeks. The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reported there were 1,732 new cases on Tuesday, July 12.

Fourteen deaths were reported. The new cases were reported to the department by 3:00 p.m. on Monday, July 11.

This brings the state’s total number of cases to 850,618 with 12,560 deaths. MSDH also reported 188 outbreaks at long-term care (LTC) facilities.

The newest COVID strain, BA.5, is more infectious, according to doctors. One long-term care facility is taking more precautions due to the uptick in cases.

“Obviously, what we’re doing is we’re testing weekly. Our facility in itself has had 100% staff vaccinations since early last year, and we found doing that, it did prevent spread of infection,” said Josh Clayton, administrator at Pine Forest Health & Rehabilitation.

MSDH is tracking the COVID-19 activity in the state by counties. Neighbors can see the current level of COVID-19 activity in their counties on the agency’s website.

The Mississippi COVID-19 Hotline is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The number is 877-978-6453.