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Labor Day sees continuing positive trends in Mississippi’s COVID-19 numbers



Labor Day sees a continuation of COVID-19 statistics headed in the right direction. Monday is the 19th consecutive day of fewer than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases reported statewide.

In Warren County, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported only one new COVID-19 case Sunday and Monday and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in the county to date is 1,341, and the county’s death toll is 47.

Statewide, MSDH reported 410 new COVID-19 cases Sunday and 242 cases Monday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 87,130. The average of new cases for the first seven days in September has dropped to 597, about 60% of where the seven-day average was the first week in August.

MSDH reported Saturday that 15 additional Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide Sunday and one Monday, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to 2,585. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 3%.

The one death reported Monday was in Quitman County.

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.

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.

Deaths and new cases were reported as of 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4. 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, Sept. 4 (the latest hospital statistics available from MSDH), is 789, showing a downward trend after peaking in late July at more than 1,200. The number includes 608 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 150 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 186 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 111 were on ventilators.

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 78% of the cumulative 87,130 cases reported as of Monday, Sept. 7.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Monday, Aug. 17, was 1,182, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,135, or about 84.6% of the 1,341 cumulative cases reported Monday, Sept. 7. The county has an estimated 159 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 Friday, Sept. 4, is 626,311 or about 21.3% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. The positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average) was 14.7% 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 5.3%, 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 150 Monday. About 41.6%, or 1,068, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities.

In Warren County as of 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, 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 29 cases among staff, 48 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