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Mississippi reports 675 new COVID-19 cases this weekend; 7-day average up 30% from last month

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The number of new COVID-19 cases continues to rise across the U.S., with a 23% increase over the past week and two record-setting days. In Mississippi, the seven-day average is 30% higher now than it was one month ago.

Almost no state is immune to the rise, with 37 states reporting growing numbers of new cases and the other 13 relatively flat, according to Johns Hopkins University data. No state reported statistically significant COVID-19 decreases last week.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported three new COVID-19 cases Sunday and Monday in Warren County and one new death identified from a death certificate report. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,551, and the county’s death toll is 56.

Statewide, MSDH reported 675 new COVID-19 cases Monday for Sunday and Monday, with 228 reported Sunday and 447 Monday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 115,763. The seven-day average of new cases is 739, higher by 226 cases or about 30% higher than a month ago.

Most new cases are seen in younger people recesntly, 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 Monday that eight additional Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,263. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.8%.

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.

Of the eight deaths MSDH reported Monday, four occurred between Oct. 11 and Oct. 25 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Monday
George 1
Leake 1
Marion 1
Tippah 1

Another four COVID-19 related deaths occurred between Aug. 29 and Oct. 6 and were identified from death certificate reports.

County Deaths identified from death certificate reports
Grenada 1
Hinds 1
Jackson 1
Warren 1

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, and Sunday, Oct. 25. MSDH usually reports 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 middle of the month. They dropped again through Oct. 3; however, hospitalizations have been rising since then.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, is 679, more than half of the late July peak of about 1,200. The number includes 580 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 99 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 157 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 66 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 101,385 through Sunday, Oct. 25. This figure is updated weekly. It represents about 87.6% of the cumulative 115,763 cases reported as of Monday, Oct. 26.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Monday, Oct. 5, was 1,431, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,375, or about 88.7% of the 1,551 cumulative cases reported as of Monday, Oct. 26. The county has an estimated 120 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, Oct. 10 (the latest testing results reported by MSDH), is 900,479 or about 30.3% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. Without an updated number of tests, it is impossible to accurately calculate Mississippi’s positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average), however, the rate was 16.6% Thursday according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate is 6.2%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities was 133 Monday. About 40%, or 1,304, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities.

A total of 26 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 it with access to a database from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. You can access and search the data here. The latest data available is for the week ending Oct. 11.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

COVID-19

Five benefits of a global pandemic

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(photo by Mathilda Khoo on Unsplash)

When 2020 is finally history, most people are probably hoping to forget it ever happened. After all, it’s difficult to imagine a silver lining from a year that has given us a worldwide pandemic, not to mention a ravaged global economy. 

Jennifer Williams, right, with her children, Stone and Sydney. (photo courtesy J. Williams)

If we look ahead, though, there is potential good to come from this unprecedented time, says Jennifer Williams, a Vicksburg resident who works for the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center. She is a wife and mother of two: 16-year-old Stone, her son, and 8-year-old Sydney, her daughter.

Benefit 1: The realization or reminder that time is precious 

Before 2020, many families tended to see each other in passing. Parents were running off to work, children were running off to school followed by practices, games and rehearsals. Family dinners had become increasingly uncommon since most of us were in a constant state of go. COVID-19 forced us all to slow down. In fact, it forced us all to actually stop for several weeks. Believe it or not, the “Great Quarantine of 2020” will likely inspire a few comedy flicks. 

Along those same lines, the current restrictions have seen to it that parents are becoming more involved with their children because they’ve been basically forced to become home school teachers.

“The upside to all of this (the pandemic) is you develop a better understanding of your children as students,” Williams said.

“You fully understand their strengths and weaknesses as pupils. You now know what their teachers know,” she added. “I, for one,  have also learned that teachers deserve a gigantic raise and the best seats in heaven. Teaching mine is not easy.” 

Benefit 2: One can never be too prepared

One of the byproducts of the coronavirus is depleted grocery shelves. Most of us haven’t yet built bomb shelters, but we have learned to stock up on essentials. 

“I used to joke with my mother about the boxes of (powdered) milk she had in her pantry,” Williams recalled with a laugh. “She would defend her boxes by asking me what would happen if we ran out of milk.

 “I told her if you run out, you can go to the store or order it from Amazon.”

In Williams’ case, mother did indeed know best. “When this (the COVID-19 crisis) all started, I learned quickly that it’s a good idea to have food, water and medical supplies on hand for emergencies,” she said. “And of course, toilet paper.” 

Benefit 3: The importance of saving

In the beginning, many people were in a state of panic as they found themselves financially unprepared. People will hopefully come out of this with a healthier approach to finances. 

“My parents always encouraged me to put money aside,” Williams said. “They made a point of spending less than what they made. It was always ingrained in me to not live beyond my means.”

“Maybe after things get back to normal, some people will realize it’s a bad idea to buy the Escalade off the showroom floor,” she added. “Hopefully people will have learned that the used 4Runner gets them where they need to go just as well.”

Benefit 4: Improved attitude concerning health-care workers

It’s common to complain about how long we sit in waiting rooms during doctor appointments or about the cost of medicine or co-pays. However, it’s time to appreciate health-care professionals on the front line who are at risk while serving the masses.

“I hope people can see how dedicated the medical crews are around the country,” Williams said. “We are so fortunate to have the doctors and nurses in the hospitals in America. So many people take them for granted. They are doing a phenomenal job now, and that was true before the coronavirus.”

Benefit 5: Kindness always counts

“Caremongering” is a word that didn’t exist before the coronavirus. I dare you to try it during your marathon Words with Friends games. A kind-hearted woman from Toronto named Valentina Harper is responsible for introducing the word to our lexicon.

Like many things these days, caremongering is driven by social media. Hashtags provide a permanent record of all the good happening across North America. Some of the common acts of care include supermarket runs for those who are unable to leave their homes. People are cooking meals for those in need and disseminating gift cards to the recently unemployed. 

“I sure hope people continue being so generous and kind when all of the restrictions are lifted. I’ve witnessed some truly heartwarming acts of kindness because of this pandemic,” Williams said. “Is it too much to ask for everybody to keep it going?” 

She then answered her own question: “You know what? We will keep being considerate and kind. I bet looking back on this whole year, we all realize we made it through it, and we’re better people for it.”

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Mississippi reports 1,005 new COVID-19 cases Friday, 12 in Warren County

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The rate of new VOVID-19 cases has begun to drop in America’s Midwest for the first time in about two months, although the raw numbers are still much higher than they have been since the beginning of the crises. The nation’s hot spots are shifting from Wisconsin and the Dakotas to California, Texas and big East Coast and southern cities such as Baltimore and Miami.

The national seven-day average of new cases is about 165,000. While still incredibly high, it’s down from nearly 180,000 per day in the past week. At least 1,178 people died of the virus on Thanksgiving day.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported another day of more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases Friday.

In Warren County, MSDH reported 12 new COVID-19 case Friday and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,753, and the county’s death toll is 57.

Statewide, MSDH reported 1,005 new COVID-19 cases Friday bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 148,387. The seven-day average of new cases is 1,137 per day, about 381 cases higher than the seven-day average a month ago and on par with numbers seen in July.

At the beginning of the crises, the age group with the most COVID-19 cases were those over 65. Now, most new cases are seen in younger people who are more likely to survive the virus than those 65 and older. In September, the age group reporting the most cases in Mississippi were 18 to 24 years old. That has shifted to a slightly older group. In November, the age group reporting the most cases in Mississippi are from 25 to 39 years old followed by those 50 to 64 years old.

Source: MSDH

MSDH reported Friday that six more Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,769. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.5%. This rate has dropped as the number of cases are going up faster than the number of deaths at this time.

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 in Mississippi was 67 reported Aug. 25.

The six deaths MSDH reported Friday occurred between Nov.25 and Nov. 26 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Friday
Desoto 3
Lamar 1
Panola 1
Quitman 1

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 26. MSDH usually reports 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 tripled by late July.

Hospitalizations then steadily dropped through Oct. 3 when they began rising again along with increased cases. The last week in October, hospitalizations began levelling off; however, since Nov. 4 hospitals have seen a steady rise in COVID-19 patients once again.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24, was 1,039, about 87% of the late July peak of about 1,200. The number includes 942 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 97 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 245 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 113 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 121,637 through Sunday, Nov. 22. It represents about 82% of the cumulative 148,387 cases reported as of Friday, Nov. 27.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Friday, Nov. 6, was 1,606, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,549, or about 88.4% of the 1,753 cumulative cases reported as of Friday, Nov. 27. The county has an estimated 147 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, Nov. 21, is 1,237,802 or about 41.6% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. MSDH reports statewide test results 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 17.6% Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate is 9.5%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities was 193 Friday, the same number as Thursday. About 37.9%, or 1,430, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities. The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in LTC facilities is 7,586, about 5.1% of the state’s total cases.

A total of 26 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 it 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 Nov. 15.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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COVID-19

Holidays can still be joyous despite pandemic

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No matter what your family is preparing to celebrate next month — Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa — the holidays will no doubt look different this year. But with communication, understanding, consideration and open minds, they can still be celebratory and filled with love.

Most families have already started having conversations about what their holidays will look like this year, and those talks should certainly continue. Talk to those you typically celebrate with and make clear your expectations. Do you have elderly relatives or close friends with weakened immune systems? Would the holidays not be the same without those people present? Make sure your other guests know that masks and social distancing will be required. Is it in your grandparents’ best interest to stay home this year? Make plans in advance with your other family members about alternate ways to include them — set them up for a Christmas day Zoom or plan a specific time to Facetime.

The holidays in a typical year tend to be stressful for many people, and it is likely this year will be even more so. Everyone will be dealing with different circumstances and considerations, and everyone will be trying to make the best choices for their loved ones. Respect people’s decisions, and don’t pressure or judge others.

Keep in mind that no matter what your personal beliefs or opinions may be, COVID-19 is still a very real danger for many people, some of whom you probably love. For that reason, be aware of the considerations put in place by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and adhere to their recommendations when you are around others.

COVID-19 has forced us to adapt and get creative in nearly every aspect of our lives, from work to school, to birthday celebrations and more. The holidays can and should be a safe part of those changes. Just because this year’s holidays may look different, with these reminders they can still feel joyous and filled with love.

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