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Mississippi begins October after a month of steady decreases in COVID-19 numbers



The month of September saw steady decreases in Mississippi for COVID-19 cases and deaths. A total of 15,240 cases and 496 deaths were reported, compared with 24,203 cases and 810 deaths in August. The last time more than 1,000 cases were reported in the state was Aug. 19. Warren County reported 104 cases and five deaths in September, compared to 368 cases and 21 deaths in August. No deaths have been reported in the county since Sept. 17.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported five new COVID-19 cases in Warren County Thursday and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,423, and the county’s death toll is 50.

Statewide, MSDH reported 696 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 98,886. The seven-day average of new cases is 511, about 81.8% of where it was 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 Thursday that 10 additional Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 2,979. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 3%.

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.

MSDH reported Thursday that 10 deaths occurred between Sept. 3 and Sept. 29 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Thursday
Adams 1
Bolivar 1
Clay 1
Desoto 2
Jones 1
Lee 1
Marshall 1
Prentiss 1
Washington 1

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30. 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 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 end of the month.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, is 556, less than half of the late July peak of more than 1,200. The number includes 450 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 106 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 136 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 71 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 89,737 through Sunday, Sept. 27. This figure is updated weekly. It represents about 90.8% of the cumulative 98,886 cases reported Thursday, Oct. 1.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Thursday, Sept. 10, was 1,347, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,297, or about 91.1% of the 1,423 cumulative cases reported as of Thursday, Oct. 1. The county has an estimated 76 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, Sept. 27, is 785,465 or about 26.4% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. The positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average) was 17.8% Wednesday according to Johns Hopkins University, indicating the state is not testing enough and case counts are probably underreported. Mississippi’s positivity rate had been the highest or among the highest in the nation for weeks. The national rate is 4.7% and 5% indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities is 121 Thursday. About 40.8%, or 1,215, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities.

In Warren County as of 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, MSDH reported that two long-term facilities were under investigation for active COVID-19 outbreaks:

  • Shady Lawn had 18 cases among staff, 36 cases among residents and 10 resident deaths.
  • The Bluffs had 34 cases among staff, 51 cases among residents and five resident deaths.

A total of 24 deaths in the county were residents of LTC facilities.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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