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COVID-19

No new COVID-19 deaths reported Monday in Mississippi

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The Mississippi State Department of Health did not provide any COVID-19 updates Sunday, and did not provide a reason. The agency reported combined statistics for Sunday’s and Monday’s new cases and deaths Monday. As expected, case counts dropped over the weekend with fewer labs reporting results. No new deaths in the state were reported for either day.

MSDH reported three new COVID-19 cases Sunday and Monday in Warren County and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,521, and the county’s death toll is 54.

Statewide, MSDH reported 586 new COVID-19 cases Monday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 110,592. The seven-day average of new cases is 766, higher by 271 cases from a month ago.

Most new cases are seen in younger people recently, 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 no additional Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide Sunday. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,171. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.9%.

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.

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, and Sunday, Oct. 18. 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 showing a rise since then.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, is 609, about half of the late July peak of more than 1,200. The number includes 501 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 108 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 140 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 69 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 94,165 through Sunday, Oct. 11. This figure is updated weekly. It represents about 85.2% of the cumulative 110,592 cases reported Monday, Oct. 19.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Monday, Sept. 28, was 1,409, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,355, or about 89.1% of the 1,521 cumulative cases reported as of Monday, Oct. 19. The county has an estimated 112 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 Thursday, Oct. 15, is 900,479 or about 30.3% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. Mississippi’s positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average) was 16.9% Sunday according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate is 5.3%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities is 127 Monday. About 40.4%, or 1,280, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities.

A total of 25 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. 4.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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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COVID-19

Thanksgiving offers a glimmer of hope even as COVID-19 cases and deaths are in record territory

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On Thanksgiving Day, the number of cumulative COVID-19 cases in the U.S. nears 13 million, and the people who have died from the virus number more than 260,000. Worldwide, a staggering 61 million cases and 1.4 million deaths have been reported. A total of 10 nations have reported cases of a million or more, but the U.S. has reported more cases and deaths than any other country for months.

The glimmer of hope is that the rate of increase for some U.S. states is slowing — particularly in the hard-hit Midwest — even if the reported cases, deaths and hospitalizations continue to rise in record numbers in other regions of the country. California and Texas, the most populace states, continue to report record breaking numbers. Since the beginning of November in the U.S., the seven-day average for new cases has doubled, and more than 2,000 deaths were reported Tuesday and Wednesday.

Mississippi reported another day of more than 1,000 cases Thursday, the 12th this month, and 18 additional deaths. The seven-day average went up again to more than 1,200 per day. Hospitalizations are increasing with new cases, threatening the state’s health care system. The numbers of Mississippians hospitalized is nearing 90% of the surge this past summer.

In Warren County, MSDH reported 15 new COVID-19 case Thursday and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,741, and the county’s death toll is 57.

Statewide, MSDH reported 1,746 new COVID-19 cases Thursday bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 147,382. The seven-day average of new cases is 1,227 per day, about 488 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.

MSDH reported Thursday that 18 more Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,763. 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 in Mississippi was 67 reported Aug. 25.

The 18 deaths MSDH reported Thursday occurred between Nov. 17 and Nov. 25 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Thursday
Adams 1
Alcorn 1
Attala 1
Carroll 1
Covington 1
Desoto 2
Harrison 1
Hinds 1
Humphreys 1
Lauderdale 1
Lowndes 1
Neshoba 3
Oktibbeha 1
Rankin 2

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23. 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 82.5% of the cumulative 147,382 cases reported as of Thursday, Nov. 26.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Thursday, Nov. 5, was 1,600, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,543, or about 88.6% of the 1,741 cumulative cases reported as of Thursday, Nov. 26. The county has an estimated 141 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% Wednesday, 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 Thursday, an increase of 35 since Wednesday. About 38%, or 1,424, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities. The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in LTC facilities was 7,521 Wednesday, about 5.2% 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. 8.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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COVID-19

Mayor advocates being proactive to slow the spread of COVID-19

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Mayor George Flaggs Jr. during his Nov. 25 news conference. (photo via video screen grab)

Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. urged residents to be proactive to slow the spread of COVID-19 over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Wednesday, Flaggs issued a supplemental proclamation for the five-day period beginning at 12:01 a.m. Thursday and ending at midnight, Monday, Nov. 30.

Following is a summary of the proclamation:

  1. Face coverings required in public spaces, both indoors and outdoors, if social distancing (6 feet apart) isn’t possible.
  2. Exceptions to the face covering requirements. Face coverings do not apply to the following:
    1. Any individual who will not come in contact with any other individual (outside of their immediate household members) or who will be able to maintain strict social distancing of 6 feet apart from any other individual (outside of immediate household);
    2. Any child under the age of eight; however, all children between the ages of 2 and 7 years old are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering.
    3. Any individual with a medical condition that prevents the wearing of a face covering;
    4. Any individual who is consuming food or drinks;
    5. Any individual seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing impaired;
    6. Any individual giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience; and
    7. Any individual temporarily removing his or her face covering for identification purposes.
  3. Upon returning from the Thanksgiving Holiday Monday Nov. 30, 2020, all Vicksburg City Government employees will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, including temperature. THIS WILL BE MANDATORY FOR ALL EMPLOYEES.
  4. This Proclamation is supplemental to the Proclamation currently in effect. All other matters in the Proclamation issued Nov. 2, 2020, through Dec. 3, 2020, remain in full force and effect.

Read the entire proclamation.

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