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Mississippi reports nearly 1,600 new cases Wednesday; at-home test approved



Mississippi’s seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases went over 1,100 cases per day Wednesday, with nearly 1,600 new cases reported.

With the virus still surging across the country and the globe, the Food and Drug Administration announced it has given emergency approved for an in-home, rapid COVID-19 test. The test, developed by the California-based company Lucira Health, will require a prescription from a health care provider, and the projected cost is $50 or less. Results from the test, which has only been researched on people with COVID-19 symptoms, should be available in about 30 minutes. Users are required to report test results  back to their health care provider who will include it in results sent to state health departments.

In Warren County, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported seven new COVID-19 cases Wednesday and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,670, and the county’s death toll is 56.

Statewide, MSDH reported 1,593 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 137,396. The seven-day average of new cases is 1,143 per day, about 376 cases higher than the seven-day average a month ago, and on par with numbers in late July and early August.

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.

MSDH reported Wednesday that 20 more Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,601. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.6%. This rate has dropped slightly 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 was 67 reported Aug. 25.

The deaths MSDH reported Wednesday occurred between Aug. 4 and Nov. 17 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Wednesday
Adams 1
Alcorn 1
Attala 2
Benton 1
Covington 1
DeSoto 1
George 1
Hancock 1
Hinds 1
Jones 1
Lamar 1
Madison 1
Pearl River 1
Rankin 2
Tate 1
Tunica 1
Washington 2

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17. 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. Monday, Nov. 16, was 868, about 72% of the late July peak of about 1,200. The number includes 775 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 93 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 201 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 93 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 116,683 through Sunday, Nov. 15. It represents about 84.9% of the cumulative 137,396 cases reported as of Wednesday, Nov. 18.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Wednesday, Oct. 28, was 1,561, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,505, or about 90.1% of the 1,670 cumulative cases reported as of Wednesday, Nov. 18. The county has an estimated 109 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. 14, is 1,165,593 or about 39.2% 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 rate was 18.8% Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate is 10%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities was 143 Wednesday. About 38.5%, or 1,386, 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 by provider here. The latest data available is for the week ending Nov. 1.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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Vicksburg Daily News