Yalobusha County Sheriff Mark Fulco Credit: Yalobusha County Sheriff's Department

Yalobusha County Sheriff Mark Fulco died Tuesday from complications of COVID-19 and pneumonia, according to a Facebook post by the Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Department. Fulco is the second Mississippi sheriff to die in a week. 

Hinds County Sheriff Lee Vance died Aug. 4, two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19.

“Sheriff Fulco was a fearless advocate of the Sheriff’s Department and the citizens that he served.  A career law enforcement officer, Sheriff Fulco made many friends and touched many lives,” the YCSD said in the Facebook post. The post did not include whether Fulco was vaccinated.

Fulco’s death occurred in the midst of the “fourth wave” of COVID-19 cases, as the highly infectious delta variant rapidly spreads throughout Mississippi. State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said the coronavirus is “sweeping over Mississippi like a tsunami,” as the Mississippi Department of Health reported 3,488 new cases on Tuesday, the highest number of new cases in a single day since the pandemic began in March 2020. 

MSDH is urging all Mississippians to wear masks in public indoor spaces and to take the COVID-19 vaccine. In Yalobusha County, MSDH reported 1,797 total COVID-19 cases and 41 total deaths. Forty-six percent of Yalobusha County residents are fully vaccinated, according to MSDH.

Various law enforcement agencies in North Mississippi will honor Fulco Tuesday night in a “sea of blue” as they escort his body from Baptist DeSoto Hospital in Southaven to the Seven Oaks Funeral Home in Water Valley.

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Brittany Brown is Mississippi Today’s Justice Reporter, covering the state’s justice system with an eye for racial justice and inequity. Brittany formerly served as Mississippi Today's inaugural Emerging Reporters Fellow.