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COVID-19

Nearly 2,000 new COVID-19 cases reported statewide Thursday, 41 in Warren County

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After expanding eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, Mississippi allotted all of its available vaccines in about 24 hours. Wednesday afternoon, the Mississippi State Department of Health announced it could not schedule any more appointments for first shots until the state received additional doses in mid-February. MSDH assured residents Thursday that if they are scheduled to receive the second, required dose of vaccine, those appointments could still be scheduled, indicating second shots have been set aside for those who need them.

A total of 62,744 Mississippians have been inoculated against COVID-19 as of Jan. 14, 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 10.3 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 2020. At least 541,000 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 and nationwide

Tuesday, Warren County reported 41 new COVID-19 cases and one new death. Cumulative totals in the county are 3,346 cases and 92 deaths.

Based on the first 14 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 1,948 new COVID-19 cases statewide, bringing the cumulative total of cases to 245,847

In the first 14 days of January, the state has reported 30,036 new cases, with two days of more than 3,000 cases. In a glimmer of good news, the state’s seven-day average of new cases is about 2,051 per day with 14,357 new cases reported during the period, about 4% lower than a month ago. It’s the first time the seven-day average has come down month-over-month in weeks. If current trends hold, however, the state is on track to see its worst month yet, with about 66,000 cases.

Warren County’s 14-day total of new cases is 603 with a daily average of about 43 cases. The seven-day average is also about 43 cases a day, with 304 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

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 23.1 million, with some sources putting the figure as high as 23.6 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 384,804.

At least 3,922 people died of the virus Wednesday in the U.S., and at least 230,476 new cases were reported. The numbers of new cases have increased about 34% in the last 14 days. The rate of deaths has also increased, by about 45% in the past two weeks, as has the rate of hospitalizations. About 130,383 people were in the hospital Wednesday for COVID-19, an increase of 8% in the past two weeks.

Since September, the average numbers of cases have risen steadily from about 35,000 new cases a day to nearly 250,000 per day. The U.S. is also averaging more than 3,000 deaths per day. Tuesday, the nation set a new one-day record of COVID-19 deaths; 4,406 people died in a single day.

Surges in COVID-19 deaths in California and Arizona are fueling the monumental U.S. death toll, which is nearing 400,000.

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 Thursday, Jan. 14

In Warren County, MSDH reported 41 new COVID-19 cases Thursday and one new death. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 3,346, and the county’s death toll is 92. The seven-day average of new cases in the county is about 43 per day, about 48% higher than the average of cases a month ago.

Statewide, MSDH reported 1,948 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 245,847. The seven-day average of new cases is 2,051 per day, about 4% 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 41 more Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide, bringing the cumulative number of deaths in the state to 5,356. 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 41 deaths MSDH reported Thursday, 39 occurred between Jan. 8 and Jan. 13 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Thursday by MSDH
Attala 1
Chickasaw 1
Claiborne 1
Copiah 2
Desoto 4
Forrest 4
Grenada 1
Harrison 3
Hinds 1
Itawamba 1
Jasper 1
Kemper 1
Lafayette 1
Lincoln 2
Lowndes 2
Madison 2
Noxubee 1
Panola 1
Pontotoc 1
Rankin 3
Warren 1
Washington 1
Webster 1
Winston 1
Yazoo 1

Two additional COVID-19 related deaths occurred between Jan. 2 and Jan. 7 and were identified from death certificate reports.

County Deaths identified from death certificate reports
Calhoun 1
Monroe 1

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13. 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, with a slight decline over the past eight days. 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. 12, was 1,446. The number includes 1,358 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 88 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 360 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 228 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 198,888 through Sunday, Jan. 10. It represents about 80.9% of the cumulative 245,847 cases reported as of Thursday, Jan. 14.

The number of cumulative cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Thursday, Dec. 24, was 2,443, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 2,351, or about 70.3% of the 3,346 cumulative cases reported as of Thursday, Jan. 14. The county has an estimated 903 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, which shows whether enough testing is being done); however, the estimated rate was 28.5% Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate was 12.3%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities is 220 Thursday, a decrease of two since Wednesday. About 33.7%, or 1,804, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities. The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in LTC facilities is 9,842 Thursday, 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.

Copyright © 2021 Vicksburg Daily News.

Vicksburg Daily News