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Reeves on the fence over accepting additional federal unemployment aid

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Gov. Tate Reeves during his April 22 news conference. (Photo via video screen grab)

Gov. Tate Reeves is on the fence over whether to accept additional federal aid for unemployed Mississippians.

Beginning the last week of July, the additional $600 added to unemployment benefits by the federal government because of the COVID-19 pandemic was no longer available.

Congress approved that program, called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, in March to assist the millions of Americans who suddenly found themselves without work because of the virus.

On Aug. 8, President Donald Trump signed an executive order inaugurating a new federal program offering “lost wage assistance” to certain workers who remain jobless. That program proposes providing an additional $400 a week to state unemployment benefits; however, only $300 will come from federal coffers. States will need to provide the additional $100 to the unemployed.

In his live news conference Tuesday, Reeves said the required $100 match will double the amount of funds Mississippi is paying to the unemployed. Without the match, Mississippi is paying out about $22 million per week from the unemployment trust fund.

The fund held $706 million before the pandemic hit the state in March. As of last week, it was down to $489 million, which included $181 million from federal relief allocated by the state Legislature. Doubling the amount paid out would drain the fund in about 10 weeks, Reeves said.

With a maximum benefit of $235 per week, Mississippi’s unemployment compensation is the lowest in the nation. Reeves argues that the additional federal payments provides more money than many people made when they were working full time.

“That certainly is not a recipe for getting people back to work in the economy,” he said.

For the week ending Aug. 1, Mississippi saw nearly 7,000 new claims for benefits, the second sharp decrease in two weeks. The four-week average on new claims is around 10,000, which is more than 10 times the number of claims filed weekly before the COVID-19 crisis.

About 150,000 Mississippians filed for continued benefits during the previous week which saw the state’s unemployment rate dip below 10%, which is slightly lower than the national average.

COVID-19

COVID-19 cases in Mississippi top 110,000 Saturday

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Mississippi’s cumulative number of COVID-19 cases topped 110,000 Saturday as cases continue to rise in the state.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported seven new COVID-19 cases Saturday in Warren County and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,518, and the county’s death toll is 54.

Statewide, MSDH reported 751 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 110,006. The seven-day average of new cases is 766, higher by 250 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 Saturday that 10 additional Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. 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.

The 10 deaths MSDH reported Saturday occurred between Oct. 7 and Oct. 15 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Saturday
Adams 1
George 1
Hinds 1
Jackson 1
Jones 1
Marshall 1
Neshoba 1
Pearl River 1
Washington 2

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16. 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 85.6% of the cumulative 110,006 cases reported Saturday, Oct. 17.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Saturday, Sept. 26, was 1,407, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,353, or about 89.1% of the 1,518 cumulative cases reported as of Saturday, Oct. 17. The county has an estimated 111 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 18.3% Friday 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 Saturday. 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 on its website 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.

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New COVID-19 cases in Mississippi top 1,000 again Friday; 25 new cases in Warren County

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New COVID-19 cases reported Friday in Mississippi topped 1,000 for the second consecutive day. As Mississippi found out this summer, as new cases rise, so do hospitalizations, and both have been rising steadily since the beginning of October. The state’s seven-day average is nearly at 800.

Mississippi isn’t alone in seeing cases rise. As a whole, the nation is seeing a 25% rise in new case seven-day averages, WJTV reported Thursday, with New Mexico, Vermont, New Hampshire, Montana and Connecticut leading the way. Only two states, Hawaii and Maine, have seen drops in new cases in the past week.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported 25 new COVID-19 cases Friday in Warren County — the highest single-day count since August — and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,511, and the county’s death toll is 54.

Statewide, MSDH reported 1,116 new COVID-19 cases Friday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 109,255. The seven-day average of new cases is 796, higher by 306 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 Friday that nine additional Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,160. 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.

MSDH reported Friday that deaths occurred between Oct. 3 and Oct. 15 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Friday
Coahoma 1
Copiah 1
Harrison 1
Jackson 1
Lauderdale 1
Leflore 2
Lowndes 1
Wilkinson 1

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15. 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. Wednesday, Oct. 14, is 598, about half of the late July peak of more than 1,200. The number includes 481 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 117 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 145 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 72 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 86.2% of the cumulative 109,255 cases reported Friday, Oct. 16.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Friday, Sept. 25, was 1,405, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,351, or about 89.4% of the 1,511 cumulative cases reported as of Friday, Oct. 16. The county has an estimated 106 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. The positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average) was 6.3% Sunday according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate is 5.2%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities is 128 Friday. About 40.3%, or 1,275, 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 Sept. 27.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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New COVID-19 cases in MS top 1,000 Thursday for the first time in nearly two months

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New COVID-19 cases reported in Mississippi topped 1,000 for the first time in nearly two months. The last time the state reported more than 1,000 cases on any one day was Aug. 19. As new cases rise, so do hospitalizations, and both have been rising steadily since the beginning of October.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported five new COVID-19 cases Thursday in Warren County and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,486, and the county’s death toll is 54.

Statewide, MSDH reported 1,322 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 108,139. The seven-day average of new cases is 760, higher by 311 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 Thursday that 12 additional Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,152. 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.

Of the 12 deaths MSDH reported Thursday, 11 occurred between Oct. 3 and Oct. 14 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Thursday
Forrest 1
Hinds 2
Jackson 1
Lee 1
Marshall 1
Neshoba 1
Perry 1
Tippah 1
Union 1
Washington 1

One additional COVID-19 related death occurred in Washington County Aug. 23 and was identified from a death certificate report.

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14. 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 continued to drop through Oct. 3; however, hospitalizations have been showing a definite rise since then.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, is 633, about half of the late July peak of more than 1,200. The number includes 500 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 133 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 143 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 72 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 87.1% of the cumulative 108,139 cases reported Thursday, Oct. 15.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Thursday, Sept. 24, was 1,402, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,348, or about 90.7% of the 1,486 cumulative cases reported as of Thursday, Oct. 15. The county has an estimated 84 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 Sunday, Oct. 3 (the latest date available from MSDH), is 863,957 or about 29% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. The positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average) was 6.3% Sunday according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate is 5.1%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities is 128 Thursday. About 40.4%, or 1,273, 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 Sept. 27.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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