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Warren County reports its 100th COVID-19 death Wednesday



Wednesday, Warren County reported its 100th COVID-19 death and the 22nd death in January. With 11 more days left in the month, the county has already set a record for monthly deaths, exceeding the tied records set in December and August of 21 deaths.

Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. announced Tuesday that the Vicksburg-Warren Family Health Care Clinic will administer 200 vaccines Thursday on a first-come, first-served basis. The city is offering rides to the clinic for those without transportation. Call 601-636-1053 to schedule your ride.

Monday, Gov. Tate Reeves announced that 20,000 appointments for COVID-19 vaccines were available for the week beginning Jan. 25. Eligible residents can call this week to set up appointments at drive-thru sites around the state.

Vicksburg and Warren County can expect to see several sites where residents can get vaccinated for COVID-19 in the coming weeks.

The first is a drive-thru site at Pemberton Mall, run jointly by the Mississippi State Department of Health, the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson and the Mississippi National Guard. City and county officials are hopeful that the site will be up and running the week of Feb. 1, but the opening will be dependent on having sufficient supplies of COVID-19 vaccines.

In addition to the drive-thru site, Mission Primary Care and Medical Associates of Vicksburg have applied to administer the vaccine when supplies are made available.

Drive-thru sites are operated on the same model as testing sites: Residents must make an appointment either online or by phone. Currently, those 65 years of age and older, those 18 to 64 years old with certain underlying conditions making them more vulnerable to the virus, health care providers and first responders are eligible to get vaccinated.

MSDH has assured residents that if they are scheduled to receive the second, required dose of vaccine, those appointments can also be scheduled, indicating second shots have been set aside for those who need them.

A total of 138,676 Mississippians have been inoculated against COVID-19 as of Jan. 20, including 11,721 who have received both required doses.

For information about vaccines, how and where to get vaccinated and vaccine distribution in Mississippi, please visit the MSDH website.

The federal government said last week it has delivered some 31.2 doses of vaccine to states, territories and federal agencies since the vaccines became available.

About 13.6 million Americans received the first dose of one of two COVID-19 vaccines as of Jan. 19 according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, far short of the national goal of 20 million inoculated by the end of 2020. At least 2 million individuals have received both of the doses required for full inoculation. Additional information about the vaccines can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

The virus in Mississippi and nationwide

Mississippi continues to see decreases in COVID-19 hospitalizations and the seven-day average for new cases. The decreases show hope that the worst of the surge that began in late October may be beginning to wane.

Hospitalizations have decreased since the recent peak of 1,518 reported on Jan. 4. Monday’s hospitalizations totaled 1,280, a decrease of 238 people, or 18.6%.

This optimistic news is tempered by the fact that this number is on par with the peak last summer and that the numbers of seriously ill patients and those on ventilators are about as high as they have ever been in the state. Hospitals across the state — including Merit Health River Region in Vicksburg — are reporting that no ICU beds are available for any seriously ill or injured person, not just COVID-19 patients.

For the seventh consecutive day, the seven-day average of cases is slightly lower than it was a month ago. Wednesday’s seven-day average is about 1,846 cases, about 211 fewer cases (about 10.3%) than the seven-day average of Dec. 21 of 2,058 cases per day. Note that seven days don’t necessarily make a trend; however, the signs are good.

The anticipated surge of new cases and hospitalizations after the year-end holidays may still hit. In addition, Mississippi has already seen two record one-day highs in COVID-19 deaths this month: 98 reported Jan. 12 and 91 reported Jan. 5.

Wednesday, Warren County reported 21 new COVID-19 cases and two new deaths. Cumulative totals in the county are 3,569 cases and 100 deaths.

Based on the 826 new cases reported for the first 20 days of January, Warren County could see nearly 1,300 cases by the end of the month, eclipsing all monthly case totals so far. If trends continue for the month, the county will see more than 30 deaths in January.

Warren County’s 14-day total of new cases is 572 with a daily average of about 41 cases daily. The seven-day average is about 38 cases a day, with 264 cases reported in the past seven days. The county is on the governor’s list of COVID-19 hot spots that include all but four of Mississippi’s 82 counties — Claiborne, Issaquena, Sharkey and Tunica — three of which neighbor Warren.

Wednesday, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 1,702 new COVID-19 cases statewide, bringing the cumulative total of cases to 256,827.

In the first 20 days of January, the state reported 41,016 new cases, with two days of more than 3,000 cases. If current trends hold, the state is on track to see its worst month yet, with about 64,000 cases. With 852 deaths reported to date this month, Mississippi is on track to see more than 1,300 deaths by the end of January, making it the deadliest month since the crisis began.

COVID-19 is one of the state’s leading causes of death at this time, according to State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. To see other causes of death in the state, including deaths from flu and pneumonia, click here.

State health officials are strongly urging Mississippians not to hold or attend any gatherings that include people not in their immediate families. In addition, they urge wearing a mask in public, keeping 6 feet of social distance and maintaining good hand hygiene.

The virus nationwide

Wednesday, the U.S. reached a horrendous new milestone, exceeding 400,000 COVID-19 deaths. The country continues to lead the world in numbers of cases and deaths by a wide margin.

Nationally, the cumulative cases in the U.S. have soared to more than 24.3 million, with some sources putting the figure as high as 24.8 million. The numbers of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise.

The number of people who have died in the U.S. since the beginning of the crisis is about 401,823.

At least 2,770 people died of the virus Tuesday in the U.S. and at least 185,070 new cases were reported. The number of new cases have decreased about 11% in the last 14 days and the rate of deaths has increased by about 12%. About 123,820 people were in the hospital Monday for COVID-19, on par with hospitalizations in the past two weeks.

Since September, the average number of cases have risen steadily from about 35,000 new cases a day to peak at nearly 250,000 per day. Monday’s seven-day average was 201,117. The U.S. is also averaging more than 3,300 deaths per day. On Jan. 12, the nation set a new one-day record of COVID-19 deaths when 4,406 people died in a single day.

Surges in COVID-19 deaths in California and Arizona are fueling the monumental U.S. death toll.

California has become the first state with more than 3 million cumulative cases and is adding about 40,000 cases every day. New York City has become a virus epicenter once again, reporting more than 6,100 new cases a day, while cases are down sharply across the Midwest with the Dakotas, Nebraska and Kansas all-seeing sustained declines.

The five worst-hit states are scattered around the country: South Carolina, Arizona, California, Rhode Island and New York are averaging the highest rate of new cases per 100,000 people. The states with the highest number of new cases reported in the last seven days include California, Texas, New York, Florida and Georgia.

Local and statewide COVID-19 statistics for Wednesday, Jan. 20

In Warren County, MSDH reported 21 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday and two new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 3,569 and the county’s death toll is 100. The seven-day average of new cases in the county is about 37.7 per day, about 60% higher than the average of cases a month ago.

Statewide, MSDH reported 1,702 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 256,827. The seven-day average of new cases is 1,847 per day, about 10.3% lower than the seven-day average a month ago. In January, 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 Wednesday that 64 more Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide, bringing the cumulative number of deaths in the state to 5,639. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.2%. This rate drops when the number of cases is going up faster than the number of deaths.

Deaths are a lagging indicator. The current surge began in Mississippi in late October and nearly 1,000 deaths were reported in December. The state is seeing record deaths in January after record case numbers in December, with 98 deaths reported on Jan. 12 and 91 deaths on Jan. 9.

Of the 64 deaths MSDH reported Wednesday, 60 occurred between Jan. 8 and Jan. 19 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Wednesday by MSDH
Alcorn 1
Clay 2
Desoto 6
Harrison 4
Hinds 6
Holmes 1
Jackson 3
Jasper 2
Lamar 1
Lauderdale 1
Leake 1
Lincoln 1
Lowndes 2
Madison 2
Marshall 3
Montgomery 2
Newton 1
Noxubee 1
Panola 1
Pearl River 2
Pike 1
Pontotoc 2
Rankin 5
Scott 1
Simpson 1
Tallahatchie 1
Union 3
Warren 2
Winston 1

An additional four COVID-19 related deaths occurred between Jan. 8 and Jan. 14 and were identified from death certificate reports.

County Deaths identified from death certificate reports
Harrison 1
Itawamba 1
Pearl River 1
Quitman 1

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18. MSDH usually reports statistics on the COVID-19 coronavirus each day based on the previous days and death reports.

The primary metric concerning state health officials is the number of people hospitalized and that number began rising steadily on Nov. 4, 2020. Since Jan. 4, hospitalizations have remained flat and have even seen a decline. Regardless, COVID-19 hospitalizations threaten the state’s health care system as never before.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18, was 1,280. The number includes 1,229 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 51 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 329 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 192 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 207,769 through Sunday, Jan. 17. It represents about 80.9% of the cumulative 256,827 cases reported as of Wednesday, Jan. 20.

The number of cumulative cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Wednesday, Dec. 30, was 2,692, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 2,592, or about 72.6% of the 3,569 cumulative cases reported as of Wednesday, Jan. 20. The county has an estimated 877 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, Jan. 16, is 1,987,621 or about 66.8% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. MSDH reports statewide test results about once a week. Without daily updated numbers of tests, it is impossible to accurately calculate Mississippi’s positivity rate (which shows whether enough testing is being done, positive results to tests, seven-day average); however, the estimated rate was 28.4% Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate was 10.1% and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities is 217 Wednesday, an increase of three since Tuesday. About 32.9%, or 1,855, of the state’s total deaths, were people in long-term care facilities. The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in LTC facilities is 10,006 Wednesday, about 3.9% of the state’s total cases.

A total of 38 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 that information 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 Jan. 3.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website or call the COVID-19 hotline seven days a week from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. at 877-978-6453 or 601-965-4071.

Copyright © 2021 Vicksburg Daily News.

Vicksburg Daily News