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COVID-19

Statewide new COVID-19 cases under 1,000 again Friday; Warren County reports its 14th death in August

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Mississippi’s new COVID-19 cases were under 1,000 again Friday, while Warren County reported its 14th death this month from the virus.

In Warren County, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 16 new COVID-19 cases Friday and one new death. The cumulative number of cases in the county to date is 1,236, and the county’s death toll is 39.

Statewide, MSDH reported 874 new COVID-19 cases Friday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 76,323. With six of the last seven days reporting fewer than 1,000 cases, the seven-day average of new cases is 770, up 90 cases from just a few days ago.

MSDH reported Friday that 24 Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to 2,214. 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 Friday:

County Deaths reported Friday
Bolivar 1
Franklin 1
Hancock 1
Harrison 2
Hinds 2
Itawamba 1
Jackson 1
Jones 1
Lee 2
Madison 2
Marshall 1
Pearl River 1
Rankin 1
Simpson 1
Sunflower 1
Tippah 1
Tishomingo 2
Warren 1
Yazoo 1

Deaths and new cases were reported as of 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20. 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 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. With the numbers of cases falling in the past couple of weeks, critical cases are now also seeing a drop.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19, is 1,025. The number includes 852 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 173 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 276 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 176 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 74.1% of the cumulative 76,323 cases reported as of Friday, Aug. 21.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Friday, July 31, was 946, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 907, or about 73.4% of the 1,236 cumulative cases reported Friday, Aug. 21. 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 Thursday, Aug. 20, is 527,305 or about 17.7% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. The positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average) is about 28.6%, 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 6.4%, 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 174 Friday. About 42%, or 930, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities. Eight of the 24 deaths reported Friday 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 19 deaths in the county were residents of LTC facilities.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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Vicksburg Daily News