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Seven-day new COVID-19 case average ticks up again statewide in Mississippi



The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases in Mississippi is up again Thursday, even as hospitalizations are headed down somewhat. Hospitalizations and deaths are lagging indicators as they can occur weeks after the virus is diagnosed.

In Warren County, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 13 new COVID-19 cases Thursday and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in the county to date is 1,220, and the county’s death toll is 38.

Statewide, MSDH reported 894 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 75,449. With six of the last seven days reporting fewer than 1,000 cases, the seven-day average of new cases is 780, up 100 cases from just a few days ago.

MSDH reported Thursday that 27 Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to 2,190. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.9%. The rate had been holding steady for at least two weeks at 2.8% but has now risen slightly.

The numbers of deaths can lag new cases by two weeks or more, which may be one reason deaths in the state had not risen dramatically until July 7 when 44 deaths were reported. In addition, 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 deaths in the following counties Thursday:

County Deaths reported Thursday
Bolivar 1
Desoto 2
George 1
Harrison 1
Hinds 1
Jackson 2
Jones 1
Lafayette 1
Lauderdale 1
Lawrence 1
Lee 1
Madison 2
Monroe 1
Oktibbeha 2
Panola 1
Washington 4
Yazoo 2

Two confirmed COVID-19 related deaths occurred between July 24 and Aug. 9, identified from death certificate reports. The additional deaths were reported in the following counties:

County Deaths reported from death certificate reports
Perry 1
Washington 1

Deaths and new cases were reported as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19. MSDH usually reports new 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 has been steadily rising with new cases. On June 6, the number of Mississippians hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 was at 358. Since then, hospitalizations have nearly tripled. They have leveled off in the past couple of weeks and are now seeing a slight drop. A month ago, health officials began warning repeatedly that some hospitals were running out of ICU beds. That warning became more urgent as the number of critical cases continued to rise. Critical cases are now also seeing a slight drop.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18, is 1,073. The number includes 893 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 180 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 286 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 160 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 56,577 through Sunday, Aug. 16. This figure is updated weekly. It represents about 75% of the cumulative 75,449 cases reported as of Thursday, Aug. 20.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Thursday, July 30, was 930, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 892, or about 73.1% of the 1,220 cumulative cases reported Thursday, Aug. 20. The county has an estimated 290 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 tests) as of Sunday, Aug. 16, is 522,738 or about 17.6% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. The positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average) is about 27.4%, according to Johns Hopkins University, indicating Mississippi is not testing nearly enough, and results are probably an undercount of actual infections. The national rate is currently 6.3%, and a rate of 5% or less indicates adequate testing. Mississippi’s positivity rate has been the highest or among the highest in the nation for weeks.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities is 177 Thursday. About 42.1%, or 922, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities. Seven of the 27 deaths reported Thursday were in long-term care facilities.

In Warren County as of 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13, MSDH reported that three long-term facilities were under investigation for active COVID-19 outbreaks:

  • Shady Lawn had seven cases among staff, 32 cases among residents and eight resident deaths.
  • The Bluffs had 10 cases among staff, 32 cases among residents and three resident deaths.
  • Vicksburg Convalescent had 11 cases among staff, four cases among residents and no resident deaths.

A total of 18 deaths in the county were residents of LTC facilities.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.


Alabama’s coach Nick Saban and Greg Byrne test positive for COVID-19



Nick Saban (photo courtesy UA Athletics)

University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban and UA Athletic Director Greg Byrne have tested positive for COVID-19.

“I found out earlier this afternoon that I had tested positive for COVID-19,” Saban said Wednesday in statement from the university. “I immediately left work and isolated at home. At this time, I do not have any symptoms relative to COVID, and I have taken another PCR test to confirm my diagnosis.”

Byrne also released a statement Wednesday.

“Today, I received notice that my COVID-19 test from this morning came back positive,” Byrne said. “Upon hearing the news, I immediately entered self-isolation and will remain at home and follow all guidelines. We’ve been diligent about mask wearing and social distancing from the start and want to continue to encourage you all to take the necessary precautions to help stop the spread of this virus for yourself and those around you.”

No. 2 Alabama is set to play No. 3 Georgia Saturday. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will fill in as interim head coach during Saban’s absence.

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Vicksburg police arrest a knife-wielding suspect for meth possession



Joshua Lisk (photo courtesy VPD)

A knife-wielding South Carolina man was arrested Wednesday in Vicksburg.

Police officers responded to a report of a man waving a large knife in the 3300 block of Clay Street. They found that Joshua Lisk, of Westminster, South Carolina, was in possession of methamphetamine.

Lisk appeared in Vicksburg Municipal Court Wednesday on charges of meth possession. Judge Penny Lawson set his bond at $50,000 and bound him over to the Warren County grand jury.

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Ole Miss football team dealing with COVID-19 issues



Ole Miss Rebels (photo courtesy Old Miss)

Ole Miss football is having problems with COVID-19.

After multiple sources reported the news, head coach Lane Kiffin confirmed it.

“For the first time, we are having an issue with that,” Kiffin said at a press conference. “I’m not going to get into the numbers. It’s very difficult moving people around, and we’re already beat up to from high play count Saturday versus great team.”

The Rebels are scheduled to take on the University of Arkansas Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Fayetteville, Arkansas. If the game needs to be postponed, it will have to be done by Friday.

Most of the Rebels key players, including quarterback Matt Corral and wide receiver Elijah Moore, were at practice Wednesday, a positive sign for Ole Miss. The Rebels are 1-2 and is are expected to win Saturday’s game if COVID-19 doesn’t force multiple players to sit it out.

An announcement on whether Ole Miss will play this week can be expected no later than tomorrow.


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