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Mississippi reports 2,290 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, 50 in Warren County



Among President Joe Biden’s national strategy for COVID-19 is his goal of having 100 million Americans vaccinated within the first 100 days of his presidency. It’s an ambitious goal given the track record of vaccine distribution and administration so far. The federal government said last week it has delivered some 31.2 million doses of vaccine to states, territories and federal agencies since the vaccines became available.

The Vicksburg-Warren Family Health Care Clinic will administer 200 vaccines Thursday on a first come, first served basis starting at 9 a.m. The city is offering rides to the clinic for those without transportation. Call 601-636-1053 to schedule your ride.

Vicksburg and Warren County can expect to see several sites where residents can get vaccinated for COVID-19 in the coming weeks, including a drive-thru site at Pemberton Mall, scheduled to be up and running the week of Feb. 1. The site’s opening will be dependent on having sufficient supplies of COVID-19 vaccines.

In addition to the drive-thru site, Mission Primary Care and Medical Associates of Vicksburg have applied to administer the vaccine when supplies are made available.

Currently in Mississippi, those 65 year of age and older, those 18 to 64 years old with certain underlying conditions making them more vulnerable to the virus, health care providers and first responders are eligible to get vaccinated.

Monday, Gov. Tate Reeves announced that 20,000 appointments for COVID-19 vaccines were available for the week beginning Jan. 25. Eligible residents can call this week to set up appointments at drive-thru sites around the state.

A total of 138,676 Mississippians have been inoculated against COVID-19 as of Jan. 20, including 11,721 who 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 14.3 million Americans received the first dose of one of two COVID-19 vaccines as of Jan. 20 according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, far short of the previous administration’s goal of 20 million inoculated by the end of 2020. At least 2.2 million individuals have received both of the 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 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.

Hospitalizations have decreased since the recent peak of 1,518 reported Jan. 4. Tuesday’s hospitalizations totaled 1,231, a decrease of 287 patients, or 23.3%.

This optimistic news is tempered by the fact that this number is on par with the peak last summer, and that numbers of seriously ill patients and those on ventilators are about as high as they have ever been in the state. 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 eighth consecutive day, the seven-day average of cases is slightly lower than it was a month ago. Thursday’s seven-day average is about 1,8896 cases, about 162 fewer cases (about 7.9%) than the seven-day average of Dec. 21 of 2,058 cases per day.

The anticipated surge of new cases and hospitalizations after the year-end holidays may still hit within the next week or so. In addition, Mississippi has already seen two record one-day highs in COVID-19 deaths this month: 98 reported Jan. 12 and 91 reported Jan. 5.

Thursday, Warren County reported 50 new COVID-19 cases and one new death. Cumulative totals in the county are 3,619 cases and 101 deaths.

Based on the 876 new cases reported for the first 21 days of January, Warren County could see about 1,300 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 34 deaths in January. With 10 more days left in the month, the county has already set a record for monthly deaths at 23, exceeding the tied records set in December and August of 21 deaths.

Warren County’s 14-day total of new cases is 577 with a daily average of about 41 cases daily. The seven-day average is about 39 cases a day, with 273 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.

Thursday, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 2,290 new COVID-19 cases statewide, bringing the cumulative total of cases to 259,117.

In the first 21 days of January, the state reported 43,306 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 64,000 cases. With 881 deaths reported to date this month, Mississippi is on track to see more than 1,300 deaths by the end of January, making it the deadliest month since the crisis began.

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

Thursday marks the anniversary of the nation’s first confirmed case of COVID-19. Since then, the U.S. reached a horrible milestone this week of more than 400,000 COVID-19 deaths, making the virus 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.

Nationally, the cumulative cases in the U.S. have soared to more than 24.4 million, with some sources putting the figure as high as 25 million. Numbers of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise.

The number of people who have died in the U.S. since the beginning of the crisis is about 406,190.

At least 4,367 people died of the virus Wednesday in the U.S., and at least 184,754 new cases were reported. The numbers of new cases have decreased about 16% in the last 14 days, but the rate of deaths has increased by about 14%. About 122,700 people were in the hospital Wednesday for COVID-19, a decrease of about 2% in the past two weeks.

Since September, the average numbers of cases have risen steadily from about 35,000 new cases a day to peak of nearly 250,000 per day. Wednesday’s national seven-day average was 194,754. The U.S. is also averaging more than 3,300 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.

California has become the first state with more than 3 million cumulative cases and is adding about 40,000 case every day. New York City has become a virus epicenter once again, reporting more than 6,100 new cases a day, while 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, California, New York and Georgia are averaging the highest rate of new cases per 100,000 people. The states with the highest number of new cases reported in the last seven days include California, Texas, New York, Florida and Georgia.

Local and statewide COVID-19 statistics for Thursday, Jan. 21

In Warren County, MSDH reported 50 new COVID-19 cases Thursday and one new death. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 3,619, and the county’s death toll is 101. The seven-day average of new cases in the county is about 39 per day, about 65.5% higher than the average of cases a month ago.

Statewide, MSDH reported 2,290 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 259,117. The seven-day average of new cases is 1,895 per day, about 7.8% 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 Thursday that 30 more Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide, bringing the cumulative number of deaths in the state to 5,668. 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 30 deaths MSDH reported Thursday, 28 occurred between Jan. 8 and Jan. 20 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Thursday by MSDH
Attala 2
Carroll 1
Copiah 1
Desoto 1
Forrest 1
Franklin 1
Hancock 1
Itawamba 1
Jefferson 1
Lauderdale 2
Leake 1
Leflore 1
Lincoln 1
Lowndes 1
Madison 2
Noxubee 2
Pike 1
Scott 1
Simpson 1
Stone 2
Sunflower 1
Walthall 1
Warren 1

Another two COVID-19 related deaths occurred between Dec. 16, 2020, and Jan. 15, 2021, and were identified from death certificate reports.

County Deaths identified from death certificate reports
Newton 1
Pearl River 1

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20. 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 even seen a decline. Regardless, 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. Tuesday, Jan. 19, was 1,231. The number includes 1,161 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 70 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 301 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 180 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 80.2% of the cumulative 259,117 cases reported as of Thursday, Jan. 21.

The number of cumulative cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Thursday, Dec. 31, was 2,692, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 2,591, or about 71.6% of the 3,619 cumulative cases reported as of Thursday, Jan. 21. The county has an estimated 927 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. 16, is 1,987,621 or about 66.8% 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 28% Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate was 9.8%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities is 221 Thursday, an increase of four since Wednesday. About 32.9%, or 1,864, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities. The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in LTC facilities is 10,022 Thursday, about 3.9% of the state’s total cases.

A total of 38 deaths in Warren County were residents of LTC facilities, about 37.6% of the 101 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. 3.

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 or 601-965-4071.

Copyright © 2021 Vicksburg Daily News.

Vicksburg Daily News