During a news conference Thursday, health officials from the Mississippi State Department of Health clarified that the state is receiving 37,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines every week. About 30,000 doses are distributed to the 19 drive-thru vaccination sites around the state, with the balance distributed to hospitals and private clinics who have signed up with MSDH to administer vaccinations.
As of Jan. 21, a total of 152,374 Mississippians have been vaccinated, including 13,595 who have received both of the required shots to achieve full immunization.
For information about vaccines, how and where to get vaccinated and vaccine distribution in Mississippi, please visit the MSDH 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. Wednesday’s hospitalizations totaled 1,212, a decrease of 306 patients, or about 20%.
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 ninth consecutive day, the seven-day average of cases is slightly lower than it was a month ago. Friday’s seven-day average is about 1,854 cases, about 202 fewer cases (about 9.8%) than the seven-day average of Dec. 22 of 2,056 cases per day.
In Warren County, cases and deaths are still on the rise. Friday, the county reported 30 new COVID-19 cases and two new deaths. Cumulative totals in the county are 3,649 cases and 103 deaths.
Based on the 906 new cases reported for the first 222 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 also see about 34 deaths in January. With nine more days left in the month, the county has already set a record for monthly deaths at 25, exceeding the tied records set in December and August of 21 deaths.
Warren County’s 14-day total of new cases is 574 with a daily average of about 41 cases daily. The seven-day average is about 39 cases a day, with 271 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.
Friday, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 2,050 new COVID-19 cases statewide, bringing the cumulative total of cases to 261,167.
In the first 22 days of January, the state reported 45,356 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 926 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.
Mississippi has already seen two record one-day highs in COVID-19 deaths this month: 98 reported Jan. 12 and 91 reported Jan. 5.
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
COVID-19 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 24.6 million, with some sources putting the figure as high as 25.2 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 410,336.
At least 4,142 people died of the virus Thursday in the U.S., and at least 190,630 new cases were reported. The numbers of new cases have decreased about 21% in the last 14 days, but the rate of deaths has increased by about 11%. About 119,927 people were in the hospital Thursday for COVID-19, a decrease of about 3% in the past two weeks.
While the nation’s new cases are seeing a decline, health officials are concerned that the more contagious variant first seen in the United Kingdom will make the decline a temporary one.
Thursday’s national seven-day average was 190,630 cases per day. 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. Since then, the nation has recorded more than 4,000 deaths in one day twice more.
California is the first state with more than 3 million cumulative cases and is adding about 31,000 case every day, a decline over the past two weeks. New York City has become a virus epicenter once again, reporting more than 14,000 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 Rhode Island 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 Friday, Jan. 22
In Warren County, MSDH reported 30 new COVID-19 cases Friday and two new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 3,649, and the county’s death toll is 103. The seven-day average of new cases in the county is about 38.7 per day, about 67.3% higher than the average of cases a month ago.
Statewide, MSDH reported 2,050 new COVID-19 cases Friday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 261,167. The seven-day average of new cases is 1,854 per day, about 9.8% 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 Friday that 45 more Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide, bringing the cumulative number of deaths in the state to 5,713. 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 45 deaths MSDH reported Friday, 27 occurred between Jan. 16 and Jan. 21 in the following counties:
|County||Deaths reported Friday by MSDH|
An additional 18 COVID-19 related deaths occurred between Dec. 18, 2020, and Jan. 17, 2021, 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. Thursday, Jan. 21. 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 still threaten the state’s health care system as never before.
The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20, was 1,212. The number includes 1,149 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 63 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 306 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 192 were on ventilators.
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 79.6% of the cumulative 261,167 cases reported as of Friday, Jan. 22.
The number of cumulative cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Friday, Jan. 1, was 2,773, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 2,670, or about 73.1% of the 3,649 cumulative cases reported as of Friday, Jan. 22. The county has an estimated 876 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 28.6% Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate was 9.6%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.
The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities is 201 Friday, a decrease of 20 since Thursday. The rate of deaths in LTC facilities is disproportionately high: About 32.7%, or 1,869, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities although LTC resident make up only about 3.8% of the state’s total cases. The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases LTC facilities is 10,034 Friday,.
A total of 38 deaths in Warren County were residents of LTC facilities, about 36.9% of the 103 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. 10.
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.