Feds End Payment for Covid-19 Testing and Treatments

Beginning the week of July 5, 2022, patients have become responsible for the full payment necessary for Covid-19 testing and treatments.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, and in compliance with the federally declared public health emergency. Covington County Hospital, and Covington-owned Clinics have waived out-of-pocket costs associated with Covid-19 testing or treatment. However, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which has funded Covid-19 testing for the last two years for uninsured patients, notified providers nationwide that the agency would no longer fund testing due to “insufficient funds.”

Insured patients who come to a Covington County Hospital clinic or drive-thru seeking a Covid-19 test or treatment will be asked to pay their co-pay based on their insurance and deductible.

Uninsured patients will have to pay an up-front fee, which would cover the cost of their visit with a provider and a Covid-19 test. If a higher level of testing is required, additional fees may be required.

Guest wins runoff election; to be on November 8 Ballot

Incumbent Representative Michael Guest defeated Naval Reserve pilot Michael Cassidy in the Tuesday, June 28, 2022, Republican Primary runoff.

Guest was first elected in 2018 in Mississippi’s 3rd Congressional District after serving as a district attorney in Rankin and Madison Counties.

Less than 300 votes in District 3 separated Michael Guest and Michael Cassidy after the June 7, 2022, election forcing the runoff.

In the June 28 runoff, Guest won 67% of the vote in District 3 with 46,334 votes to Cassidy’s 22,479 votes or 33%.

In Covington County, voters gave Guest nearly sixty percent of the vote with 731 votes while Cassidy received 496 votes or 40%.

Guest will now face Democratic challenger, Shuwaski A. Young, in the General Election to be held Tuesday, November 8, 2022. Young was unopposed in the Democratic Primary.


City of Collins
PWS ID # 0160002
April 2022

We’re pleased to present to you this year’s Annual Water Quality Report. This report is designed to inform you about
the quality water and services we deliver to you every day. Our constant goal is to provide you with a safe and
dependable supply of drinking water. We want you to understand the efforts we make to continually improve the water treatment process and protect our water resources. We are committed to ensuring the quality of your water. Our water source consists of 4 wells that draw from the Catahoula Formation and the Miocene Series Aquifer.

A source water assessment has been completed for the water supply to determine the overall susceptibility of its
drinking water to identify potential sources of contamination. The water supply for the City of Collins received a
moderate susceptibility ranking to contamination.

We’re pleased to report that our drinking water meets all federal and state requirements.

If you have any questions about this report or concerning your water utility, please contact Shane Knight at 601-517-1457.

We want our valued customers to be informed about their water utility. If you want to learn more, please attend
any of our regularly scheduled meetings. They are held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at Collins City Hall
at 6:00 pm.

We routinely monitor for constituents in your drinking water according to Federal and State laws. This table shows
the results of our monitoring for the period of January 1st to December 31, 2021. As water travels over the land or
underground, it can pick up substances or contaminants such as microbes, inorganic and organic chemicals, and
radioactive substances. All drinking water, including bottled drinking water, may be reasonably expected to contain
at least small amounts of some constituents. It’s important to remember that the presence of these constituents does
not necessarily pose a health risk.

In this table you will find many terms and abbreviations you might not be familiar with. To help you better
understand these terms we’ve provided the following definitions:

Action Level – the concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements
which a water system must follow.
Treatment Technique (TT) – A treatment technique is a required process intended to reduce the level of a
contaminant in drinking water.
Maximum Contaminant Level – The “Maximum Allowed” (MCL) is the highest level of a contaminant that is
allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment
Maximum Contaminant Level Goal – The “Goal”(MCLG) is the level of a contaminant in drinking water below
which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.

To comply with the “Regulation Governing Fluoridation of Community Water Supplies”, the City of Collins is
required to report certain results pertaining to fluoridation of our water system. The number of months in the
previous calendar year in which the average fluoride sample results were within the optimal range of 0.6 – 1.2
ppm was 9. The percentage of fluoride samples collected in the previous calendar year that was within the optimal
range of 0.6 – 1.2 ppm was 55%.

Additional Information for Lead
If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young
children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and
home plumbing. Our water system is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the
variety of materials used in plumbing components. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can
minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for
drinking or cooking. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested.

Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available
from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline or at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lead. The Mississippi State Department
of Health Public Health Laboratory offers lead testing. Please contact 601.576.7582 if you wish to have your
water tested.

All sources of drinking water are subject to potential contamination by substances that are naturally occurring or man
made. These substances can be microbes, inorganic or organic chemicals and radioactive substances. All drinking
water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants.
The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk. More information about
contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe
Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immunocompromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be
particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care
providers. EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by cryptosporidium and other
microbiological contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

This report is being published in the paper and will not be mailed. Please call our office if you have any questions, City Hall, 601-765-4491

2022 Okatoma Festival to be held Saturday, May 7

The Covington County Chamber of Commerce will host the 33rd annual Okatoma Festival on Saturday, May 7, 2022 in downtown Collins.

The special guest for the day will be Nashville recording artist John King.

The Festival begins at 8 a.m. at the Collins Presbyterian Church with the annual 5k Run/Walk. Meanwhile, numerous arts and crafts booths and food vendors will be located at every corner in downtown Collins. Live entertainment will be on two stages- in front of the Chancery Building on Elm Street and on Dogwood Street, a quilt exhibit in the courthouse, fair rides, rubber duck race, an antique car show in the parking lot of Covington County Bank and much more will be provided.

At 10:30 a.m. the Okatoma Festival parade will come through downtown Collins. At 12:00 noon, introductions will be made on the Main Stage and John King will perform.

On Friday evening, May 6, the fair rides will be open at the Chancery Building at 6:00 p.m.

For more information about the festival, contact the Covington County Chamber of Commerce at 601-765-6012 or go to www.CovingtonChamber.com.

Mayor and Board of Aldermen Public Notice


Section 30 of the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act of 2022 allows the governing authority of each City the ability to vote to opt out of the cultivation, processing, sale, and/or distribution of medical cannabis and cannabis products, as applicable, within 90 days of the effective date of the Act, which is May 3, 2022. Otherwise, it will be legal.

The Governing authority of the City of Collins herby gives public notice to the citizens of Collins that at the next regular Board of Aldermen scheduled meeting to be held on April 19, 2022 at the Collins Civic Center located at 3220 Hwy 49 Collins, Mississippi at 6:00 p.m. the Board of Aldermen will discuss the intent of holding a vote regarding opting out of the cultivation, processing, sale, and/or distribution of medical cannabis and cannabis products in the City of Collins.

Governor Reeves Signs Legislation Giving Teachers and Assistant Teachers Largest Pay Raise in State History

Governor Tate Reeves announced on March 31, 2022, the signing of House Bill 530, which gives Mississippi teachers and assistant teachers the largest pay raise in Mississippi history.

The legislation gives an average pay raise of $5,140 to teachers and $2,000 to assistant teachers. This major investment into Mississippi education will place average teacher starting salaries in the state ahead of the National and Southeastern averages.

“When it comes to delivering a quality education for our kids, we are getting the job done,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “These pay raises will help cement Mississippi’s competitive footing to not only incentivize educators to stay in our state, but also to proactively recruit people to move here and teach in our communities. This legislation is a stake in the ground that proudly declares Mississippi’s enduring commitment to supporting our educators and our education system, and I am ecstatic to sign it into law.”

Collins Native involved in Fight against Cancer

Dr. Dennis Jones, a native of Collins and a 2002 graduate of Collins High School, is involved in research at Boston University which is aimed at stopping cancer from metastasizing (spreading) throughout the body by identifying the immune evasion mechanisms used by cancer cells to persist in lymph nodes and eventually metastasize to distant organs.

Dr. Jones is currently the Ralph Edwards Career Development (Assistant) Professor at the Boston University School of Medicine. He earned his B. S. in Biology from Morehouse College in 2006, completed Doctoral training in the Immunobiology Department at Yale University in 2012, and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Radiation Oncology Department at the Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School until 2018. He has expertise in vascular biology, cancer biology, and immunology.