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August was the deadliest COVID-19 month for state and Warren County



August has proven to be the deadliest month in Mississippi and Warren County for people suffering from COVID-19 infections, even as new COVID-19 cases have seen a decline from their peak at the end of July. Deaths are a lagging indicator: They follow changes in hospitalizations and cases.

Monday was the 12th consecutive day of fewer than 1,000 reported cases; however, 810 deaths were reported in August statewide with 21 in Warren County. To put that in context, Mississippi reported 590 deaths in July and 339 in June; Warren reported eight deaths in July and seven in June.

In Warren County, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 10 new COVID-19 cases Sunday and one new case Monday. No deaths were reported either day. The cumulative number of cases in the county to date is 1,314, and the county’s death toll is 46.

Statewide, MSDH reported 647 new COVID-19 cases Sunday and 274 cases Monday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 82,950. The seven-day average of new cases has dropped to 649.

MSDH reported Sunday that 14 additional Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide and 32 Monday, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to 2,473. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 3%.

Deaths can lag new cases by two weeks or more, which may be one reason deaths in the state had not risen dramatically until July 7 when 44 deaths were reported. The highest number of deaths in any one day was 67 reported Aug. 25. In addition, most new cases are seen in younger people recently, and they are more likely to survive the virus than those 65 and older. By far, the age group reporting the most cases in Mississippi are young people from 18 to 29 years old.

MSDH reported deaths in the following counties Monday:

County Deaths reported Monday
Chickasaw 2
Harrison 1
Hinds 1
Jefferson Davis 1
Lafayette 1
Lee 1
Lowndes 1
Monroe 2
Newton 2
Tishomingo 1

Nineteen confirmed COVID-19 related deaths occurred between July 8 and Aug. 24, identified from death certificate reports.

County Deaths identified from death certificate reports
Adams 1
Coahoma 1
Desoto 1
Forrest 1
Harrison 2
Itawamba 1
Lee 1
Montgomery 1
Neshoba 1
Newton 1
Pontotoc 1
Prentiss 1
Sunflower 3
Union 2
Washington 1

Deaths and new cases were reported as of 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, for Sunday’s statistics and Sunday, Aug. 30, for Monday’s. MSDH usually reports new statistics on the COVID-19 coronavirus each day based on the previous day’s testing and death reports.

The primary metric concerning state health officials are the numbers of people hospitalized, and that number rose steadily with the rise of new cases. On June 6, the number of Mississippians hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 was at 358. Hospitalizations nearly tripled by late July. They leveled off in early August and began noticeably dropping in the middle of the month including critical cases and numbers of people requiring ventilators.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28, is 819, showing a clear downward trend after peaking in late July at more than 1,200. The number includes 674 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 145 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 215 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 111 were on ventilators.

Source: MSDH

MSDH has estimated the number of people who can be presumed recovered from COVID-19 in Mississippi. That number is 67,918 through Sunday, Aug. 30. This figure is updated weekly. It represents about 81.9% of the cumulative 82,950 cases reported as of Monday, Aug. 31.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Monday, Aug. 10, was 1,095, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,049, or about 80% of the 1,314 cumulative cases reported Monday, Aug. 31. The county has an estimated 219 active cases.

These estimates are based on MSDH’s guidelines for calculating estimated recoveries when hospitalizations are not known, using the number of cases 21 days ago, less known outcomes (deaths).

The total number of Mississippians tested for COVID-19 (PCR and antigen tests identifying current infections) as of Sunday, Aug. 30, is 601,341 or about 20.2% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. The positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average) was 13.7% Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University, indicating Mississippi is not testing nearly enough, and results are probably an undercount of actual infections. The national rate is currently 5.7%, and a rate of 5% or less indicates adequate testing. Mississippi’s positivity rate has been the highest or among the highest in the nation for weeks.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities is 158 Monday. About 40.5%, or 1,002, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities. Nine of the 46 deaths reported Sunday and Monday were in long-term care facilities.

In Warren County as of 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, MSDH reported that two long-term facilities were under investigation for active COVID-19 outbreaks:

  • Shady Lawn had seven cases among staff, 33 cases among residents and nine resident deaths.
  • The Bluffs had 22 cases among staff, 44 cases among residents and five resident deaths.

A total of 22 deaths in the county were residents of LTC facilities.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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Vicksburg Daily News