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COVID-19

COVID-19 declining across the nation, including Mississippi

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Vaccines

Appointments for the Vicksburg drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination site at Uptown Vicksburg should become available Feb. 1. Area residents can begin making appointments for the site as early as Monday.

As with all of Mississippi’s drive-thru sites, appointments can be made on the University of Mississippi Medical Center website or by calling 877-978-6453.

A total of 179,792 Mississippians have been vaccinated for COVID-19 as of Jan. 23, including 16,321 who have received both of the required shots to achieve full immunization.

For information about vaccines, how and where to get vaccinated and vaccine distribution in Mississippi, please visit the Mississippi State Department of Health website.

About 18.5 million Americans received the first dose of one of two COVID-19 vaccines as of Jan. 24 according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, still short of the previous administration’s goal of 20 million inoculated by the end of 2020. At least 3.2 million individuals have received both doses required for full inoculation. Additional information about the vaccines can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

The virus in Mississippi

Mississippi continues to see decreases in COVID-19 hospitalizations and in the seven-day average for new cases. The decreases show hope that the worst of the surge that began in late October is beginning to wane.

State health officials are concerned, however, that the virus variant first reported in the United Kingdom last month could quickly put an end to any decreases. To date, no cases of the variant have been confirmed in Mississippi. At least 195 cases in about two dozen states have been confirmed nationwide.

Hospitalizations have decreased since the recent peak of 1,518 reported Jan. 4. Thursday’s hospitalizations totaled 1,102, a decrease of 416 patients, or about 27.4%.

Hospitals across the state — including Merit Health River Region in Vicksburg — are still reporting that no ICU beds are available for any seriously ill or injured person, not just COVID-19 patients.

For the 12th consecutive day, the seven-day average of cases is slightly lower than it was a month ago. Monday’s seven-day average is about 1,602 cases, about 242 fewer cases (about 13.2%) than the seven-day average of Dec. 26 of 1,844 cases per day.

In Warren County, new cases dropped from the number reported a month ago for the first time Monday. Sunday and Monday, the county reported 24 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths. Cumulative totals in the county are 3,698 cases and 103 deaths.

Based on the 955 new cases reported for the first 25 days of January, Warren County could see about 1,200 new cases by the end of the month, eclipsing all monthly case totals so far. If trends continue for the month, the county will see about 31 deaths in January. With six more days left in the month, the county has already set a record for monthly deaths at 25, exceeding the tied records set in December and August of 21 deaths.

Warren County’s 14-day total of new cases is 446 with a daily average of about 32 cases daily. The seven-day average is about 23.4 cases a day, with 164 cases reported in the past seven days. The county remains on the governor’s list of COVID-19 hot spots that include all but four of Mississippi’s 82 counties — Claiborne, Issaquena, Sharkey and Tunica — three of which neighbor Warren.

Sunday and Monday, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 2,123 new COVID-19 cases statewide, bringing the cumulative total of cases to 265,146. Monday, MSDH reported fewer than 1,000 cases for the first time in January.

In the first 23 days of January, the state reported 49,335 new cases, with two days of more than 3,000 cases. If current trends hold, the state is on track to see its worst month yet, with about 62,000 cases. With 990 deaths reported to date this month (already higher by 10 cases than December’s total), Mississippi is on track to see more than 1,200 deaths by the end of January, making it the deadliest month since the crisis began.

Mississippi has seen two record one-day highs in COVID-19 deaths this month: 98 reported Jan. 12 and 91 reported Jan. 5.

COVID-19 is one of the state’s leading causes of death at this time, according to State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. To see other causes of death in the state, including deaths from flu and pneumonia, click here.

State health officials are strongly urging Mississippians not to hold or attend any gatherings that include people not in their immediate families. In addition, they urge wearing a mask in public, keeping 6 feet of social distance and maintaining good hand hygiene.

The virus nationwide

COVID-19 is the nation’s No. 1 cause of death. The country continues to lead the world in numbers of cases and deaths by a wide margin; however, rates of new cases have been declining since a peak reached Jan. 8. Numbers of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths are falling across the nation.

Nationally, the cumulative cases in the U.S. have soared to more than 25.1 million, with some sources putting the figure as high as 25.7 million.

The number of people who have died in the U.S. since the beginning of the crisis is about 419,207.

At least 1,815 people died of the virus Sunday in the U.S., and at least 129,527 new cases were reported. The numbers of new cases have decreased about 33% in the last 14 days, and the rate of is down about 5%. About 110,628 people were in the hospital Sunday for COVID-19, a decrease of about 9% in the past two weeks.

While the nation’s new cases are seeing a decline, health officials are concerned that the more contagious variant first seen in the United Kingdom will make the decline a temporary one.

Sunday’s national seven-day average of new cases is 170,559 cases per day. The U.S. is also averaging more than 3,046 deaths per day. On Jan. 12, the nation set a new one-day record of COVID-19 deaths when 4,406 people died in a single day. Since then, the nation has recorded more than 4,000 deaths in one day twice more.

California is the first state with more than 3 million cumulative cases and is adding about 25,000 cases every day, a decline of 39% over the past two weeks. New York has become a virus epicenter once again, reporting nearly 13,000 new cases a day, down 17% over the past two weeks. Cases are down sharply across the Midwest with the Dakotas, Nebraska and Kansas all seeing sustained declines.

The five worst-hit states are scattered around the country: Arizona, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Georgia and New York and are averaging the highest rate of new cases per 100,000 people. The states with the highest raw numbers of new cases reported in the last seven days include California, Texas, New York, Florida and Georgia.

Local and statewide COVID-19 statistics for Monday, Jan. 25

In Warren County, MSDH reported 11 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, 13 cases Monday and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 3,698, and the county’s death toll is 103. The seven-day average of new cases in the county is about 23.4 per day, about 11.4% lower than the average of cases a month ago.

Statewide, MSDH reported 1,196 new COVID-19 cases Sunday and 927 cases Monday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 265,146. The seven-day average of new cases is 1,602 per day, about 13.2% lower than the seven-day average a month ago. In January, the age group reporting the most cases in Mississippi are from 25 to 39 years old followed by those 50 to 64 years old.

MSDH reported Sunday that 21 more Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide and reported five deaths Monday, bringing the cumulative number of deaths in the state to 5,777. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.2%. This rate drops when the number of cases is going up faster than the number of deaths.

Deaths are a lagging indicator. The current surge began in Mississippi in late October, and nearly 1,000 deaths were reported in December. The state is seeing record deaths in January after record case numbers in December, with 98 deaths reported Jan. 12 and 91 deaths Jan. 9.

Of the 21 deaths MSDH reported Sunday, three occurred between Jan. 21 and Jan. 23 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Sunday by MSDH
Hinds 1
Simpson 1
Yalobusha 1

An additional 18 COVID-19 related deaths occurred between Jan. 8 and Jan. 19 and were identified from death certificate reports.

County Deaths reported from death certificate reports
Attala 1
Coahoma 1
Hinds 1
Jefferson Davis 1
Jones 4
Lee 1
Madison 1
Monroe 2
Pearl River 1
Pontotoc 2
Prentiss 1
Rankin 1
Union 1

The five deaths reported Monday occurred between Jan. 17 and Jan. 24 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Monday by MSDH
Lafayette 3
Rankin 1
Scott 1

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, and Sunday, Jan. 24. MSDH usually reports statistics on the COVID-19 coronavirus each day based on the previous day’s and death reports.

The primary metric concerning state health officials are the numbers of people hospitalized, and that number began rising steadily Nov. 4, 2020. Since Jan. 4, hospitalizations have seen a decline. Regardless, COVID-19 hospitalizations still threaten the state’s health care system as never before.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, was 1,102. The number includes 1,058 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 44 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 284 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 174 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 207,769 through Sunday, Jan. 17. It represents about 78.4% of the cumulative 265,146 cases reported as of Monday, Jan. 25.

The number of cumulative cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Monday, Jan. 4, was 2,891, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 2,788, or about 75.4% of the 3,698 cumulative cases reported as of Monday, Jan. 25. The county has an estimated 807 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, Jan. 22, is 2,069,817 or about 69.6% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. MSDH reports statewide test results about once a week. Without daily updated numbers of tests, it is impossible to accurately calculate Mississippi’s positivity rate (which shows whether enough testing is being done; positive results to tests, seven-day average); however, the estimated rate was 26.1% Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate was 9%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities is 199 Monday, a decrease of one since Saturday. Residents of LTC facilities are disproportionately vulnerable to dying of the virus. About 32.5%, or 1,875, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities. The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in LTC facilities is 10,103 Monday, about 3.8% of the state’s total cases.

A total of 38 deaths in Warren County were residents of LTC facilities, about 36.9% of the 103 reported deaths in the county.

MSDH is no longer reporting outbreaks in individual long-term care facilities in Mississippi and has replaced that information with access to a database from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. You can access and search the data by provider here. The latest data available is for the week ending Jan. 10.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website or call the COVID-19 hotline seven days a week from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. at 877-978-6453.

Copyright © 2021 Vicksburg Daily News.

Vicksburg Daily News