With the beginning of what most now see as a fall surge in COVID-19 cases, nearly a half-million Americans were diagnosed with the virus in the past week. New outbreaks have been reported in every region of the country, but the rural midwest has been hit especially hard. Nationally, the seven-day average is nearly 70,000 new cases per day, the highest since the start of the crisis.
In Mississippi, Gov. Tate Reeves has put 16 counties under more restrictive COVID-19 measures including mandating masks in nearly all indoor spaces other than polling places.
The Mississippi State Department of Health reported nine new COVID-19 cases Tuesday in Warren County and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,560, and the county’s death toll is 56.
Statewide, MSDH reported 854 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 116,617. The seven-day average of new cases is 756, higher by 257 cases — about a third — from a month ago.
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 Tuesday that 20 additional Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,283. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.8%.
Deaths are a lagging indicator. While July saw the highest number of new cases since the crisis began, August saw the highest number of deaths. The highest number of deaths in any one day was 67 reported Aug. 25.
Of the 20 deaths MSDH reported Tuesday, 19 occurred between Oct. 22 and Oct. 26 in the following counties:
|County||Deaths reported Tuesday|
One additional COVID-19 death occurred Sept. 21 in Hinds County and was identified from a death certificate report.
New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26. MSDH usually reports 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 in July and August. 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. Hospitalizations continued to drop in September but levelled off at the middle of the month. They dropped again through Oct. 3; however, hospitalizations have been rising since then with a flattening this past week.
The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26, is 678, more than half of the late July peak of about 1,200. The number includes 572 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 106 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 159 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 63 were on ventilators.
MSDH has estimated the number of people who can be presumed recovered from COVID-19 in Mississippi. That number is 101,385 through Sunday, Oct. 25. This figure is updated weekly. It represents about 86.9% of the cumulative 116,617 cases reported as of Tuesday, Oct. 27.
The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Tuesday, Oct. 6, was 1,438, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,382, or about 88.6% of the 1,560 cumulative cases reported as of Tuesday, Oct. 27. The county has an estimated 122 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 Saturday, Oct. 10 (the latest testing results reported by MSDH), is 900,479 or about 30.3% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. Without an updated number of tests, it is impossible to accurately calculate Mississippi’s positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average), however, the rate was 16.6% Thursday, Oct. 22, according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate is 6.3%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.
The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities was 134 Tuesday. About 40%, or 1,304, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities.
A total of 26 deaths in Warren County were residents of LTC facilities.
MSDH is no longer reporting outbreaks in individual long-term care facilities in Mississippi and has replaced it with access to a database from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. You can access and search the data here. The latest data available is for the week ending Oct. 11.
For additional information, visit the MSDH website.