Tuesday, Gov. Tate Reeves expanded eligibility for a COVID-19 vaccine to all those 65 years old and older and Mississippian with preexisting conditions that make them more vulnerable to the virus. The announcement brought down the state’s toll-free number for appointments.
Vaccinations are continuing for health care workers, first responders, and residents and staff of long-term care facilities. In addition, the number of drive-thru sites will be expanded to make the shots more accessible to more people. Currently, only 18 sites are open in the state’s 82 counties. A total of 62,744 Mississippians have been inoculated against COVID-19 as of Jan. 13, including 5,730 that have received both required doses.
For information about vaccines, how and where to get vaccinated and vaccine distribution in Mississippi, please visit the MSDH website.
About 9 million Americans have received the first dose of one of two COVID-19 vaccines, woefully short of the national goal of 20 million inoculated by the end of December. Additional information about the vaccines can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
The virus in Mississippi and nationwide
Tuesday, Warren County reported 26 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths. Cumulative totals in the county are 3,305 cases and 91 deaths.
Based on the first 12 days of January, Warren County could see between 1,300 and 1,400 cases by the end of the month, eclipsing monthly totals so far.
Tuesday, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 1,942 new COVID-19 cases statewide, bringing the cumulative total of cases to 243,899.
In the first 13 days of January, the state has reported 28,088 new cases, with two days of more than 3,000 cases. The state’s seven-day average of new cases is about 2,238 per day with 15,664 new cases reported during the period, about 5% higher than a month ago. If current trends hold, the state is on track to see its worst month yet, with about 67,000 cases.
Warren County’s 14-day total of new cases is 613 with a daily average of about 44 cases. The seven-day average is also about 44 cases a day, with 308 cases reported in the past seven days. The county is 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.
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.
The huge number of cases means a corresponding rise in the number of hospitalizations in the state. With hospitalizations for COVID-19 hovering between 1,400 and 1,500, hospitals across the state — including Merit Health River Region in Vicksburg — are reporting that no ICU beds are available for any seriously ill or injured person, not just COVID-19 patients.
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 dista229,712nce and maintaining good hand hygiene.
The virus nationwide
Tuesday, the nation set a new one-day record of COVID-19 deaths; 4,406 people died in a single day. The U.S. continues to lead the world in numbers of case and deaths by a wide margin. The number of cumulative cases is more than double that of India, which ranks No. 2, with four times the U.S. population.
Nationally, the cumulative cases in the U.S. have soared to more than 22.9 million, with some sources putting the figure as high as 23.3 million. Numbers of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise sharply.
The number of people who have died in the U.S. since the beginning of the crisis is about 380,882.
At least 4,406 people died of the virus Tuesday in the U.S., a new one-day record, and at least 229,712 new cases were reported. The numbers of new cases have increased about 37% in the last 14 days. The rate of deaths has also increased, by about 49% in the past two weeks, as has the rate of hospitalizations. About 131,326 people were in the hospital Tuesday for COVID-19, an increase of 9% in the past two weeks.
Since September, the average numbers of cases have risen steadily from about 35,000 new cases a day to more than 250,000 per day. The U.S. is also averaging more than 3,000 deaths per day. California alone has seen more than 3,300 deaths in the past week.
The five worst-hit states are scattered around the country: Arizona, California, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and South Carolina are averaging the most daily new cases per person.
Local and statewide COVID-19 statistics for Wednesday, Jan. 13
In Warren County, MSDH reported 26 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 3,279, and the county’s death toll is 91. The seven-day average of new cases in the county is about 44 per day, about 50% higher than the average of cases a month ago.
Statewide, MSDH reported 1,942 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 243,899. The seven-day average of new cases is 2,238 per day, about 5% higher 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 Wednesday that 31 more Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide, bringing the cumulative number of deaths in the state to 5,315. 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 Tuesday’s 98 deaths and 91 deaths Jan. 9.
Of the 31 deaths MSDH reported Wednesday, 29 occurred between Dec. 31 and Jan. 12 in the following counties:
|County||Deaths reported Wednesday by MSDH|
Two additional COVID-19 related deaths occurred between Dec. 24 and Jan. 7 and were identified from death certificate reports.
|County||Deaths identified from death certificate reports|
New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12. 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 has risen steadily since Nov. 4, 2020. COVID-19 hospitalizations threaten the state’s health care system as never before.
The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 11, was 1,466. The number includes 1,405 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 61 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 354 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 222 were on ventilators.
MSDH has estimated the number of people who can be presumed recovered from COVID-19 in Mississippi. That number is 198,888 through Sunday, Jan. 10. It represents about 81.6% of the cumulative 243,899 cases reported as of Wednesday, Jan. 13.
The number of cumulative cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Wednesday, Dec. 23, was 2,406, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 2,315, or about 70% of the 3,305 cumulative cases reported as of Wednesday, Jan. 13. The county has an estimated 899 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. 10, is 1,903,704 or about 64% 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 (positive results to tests, seven-day average); however, the estimated rate was 29.6% Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate was 12.7%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.
The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities is 222 Wednesday, unchanged since Tuesday. About 33.9%, or 1,800, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities. The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in LTC facilities is 9,810 Wednesday, about 4% of the state’s total cases.
A total of 37 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 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 Dec. 27, 2020.
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.