As almost always happens on the weekend, reported numbers of COVID-19 cases in Mississippi dipped on Sunday and Monday.
The U.S. enters November in the midst of the biggest COVID-19 surge since the first case was identified in this country Jan. 20. With the seven-day average at nearly 83,000, cases have increased by 45% across the nation in the past two weeks and deaths have gone up by 17%.
Wisconsin and Texas have opened field hospitals to care for the deluge of new patients, and many states and cities have reintroduced restrictions on residents and businesses.
In Warren County, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported seven new COVID-19 cases Sunday and Monday, and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,583, and the county’s death toll is 56.
Statewide, MSDH reported 340 new COVID-19 cases Sunday and 365 cases Monday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 120,865. The seven-day average of new cases is 729.
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 Sunday that 14 more Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. No new deaths were reported Monday. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,348. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.8%.
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. 31, and Sunday, Nov. 1. 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.
Hospitalizations then steadily dropped through Oct. 3 when they began rising again with increased cases. The last week in October leveled off.
The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, is 673, more than half of the late July peak of about 1,200. The number includes 595 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 78 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 171 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 76 were on ventilators.
MSDH has estimated the number of people who can be presumed recovered from COVID-19 in Mississippi. That number is 105,839 through Sunday, Nov. 1. This figure is updated weekly. It represents about 88 % of the cumulative 120,865 cases reported as of Monday, Nov. 2.
The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Monday, Oct. 12, was 1,470, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,414, or about 89.3% of the 1,583 cumulative cases reported as of Monday, Nov. 2. The county has an estimated 113 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, Oct. 31 (the latest testing results reported by MSDH), is 1,049,479 or about 35.3% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. Without daily updated number of tests, it is impossible to accurately calculate Mississippi’s positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average), however, the rate was 6.8% Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate is 6.6%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.
The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities was 126 Monday. About 39.4%, or 1,320, 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 here. The latest data available is for the week ending Oct. 18.
For additional information, visit the MSDH website.