Weekly Covid-19 summary 22JUN2020: MSDH failures; record high daily new cases, other trends rising

NEMiss.news Weekly Covid-19 summary 6-21-20
June 23rd, 2020     Featured Health & Wellness

Week of June 16-22, 2020*

 

STATEWIDE MISSISSIPPI

  •  Mississippi had 2488 new COVID-19 cases and 83 new deaths this week, for a total of 22,287cases and 978 deaths since reporting began on March 11, 2020. These reports represent increases of 12.6% and 9.3% respectively. This compares to 11.4% and 6.9% last week. The trend in new cases is up from last week, as is the new deaths trend.
  • Mississippi’s rate of 329 deaths per million of population puts it in the 12th place in the US. Last week the state held 14th place.
  •  There have been 88,642 tests per million of population in MS, which places it (still) in the middle of near-by states. LA and TN have tested more per million; AL and AR have lower figures.
  • Hospitalized Patients:
    • On 6-15-22 , there were 451 patients with COVID-19 cases in MS hospitals, at week’s end there were 485. An average of 481 patients were hospitalized daily, compared to 459 during the previous week. Hospitalizations have trended up for two consecutive weeks.
    •  COVID-19 patients requiring ICU care averaged 158 daily patients, which is down slightly from last week’s 160 patients. Trending is vacillating.
    • Ventilators were required for a daily average of 100 patients during both the current reporting week and during the previous week. So trending is steady, but remains about 15% above the June 8th report.
  • Long Term Care (LTC) facilities:
    • As of 6-21,  76 LTC facilities statewide reported active coronavirus outbreaks, compared to 83 facilities for the week prior.
    • LTC facilities accounted for 10.7% of total cases statewide (2387 of 22,287).
    • LTC facilities accounted for 49.9% of total deaths statewide (488 of 975).
    • New cases in LTC facilities were 6.9% of the state’s total (172 of 2488).
    • New deaths in LTC facilities were 37.3% of the state’s total (31 of 83).
    • All of the statewide LTC facilities trends are down from last week.

 

NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI (NEMS)

  • As of 6/21, NEMS had at total of 397 new cases, for a total of 2237, up 21.6% from last week.
  •  NEMS had a total of 7 new deaths, for a total of 110, up 6.8%.
  • The above two trends are up from last week’s 15.6% increase in cases and 6.2% increase in deaths.
  •  NEMS Long Term Care (LTC) facilities:
    • In NEMS 12 LTC facilities in 9 Counties have active outbreaks of COVID-19, this is down from the previous week’s 16 facilities in 9 counties.
    • In NEMS, LTC facilities accounted for 14.9% of total cases (334 of 2239) and 58.2% of total deaths (64 of 110).  Total cases are down from 17% and deaths are up, but less than 1%
    • In NEMS, LTC Facilities accounted for 5.3% of new cases (21 of 397) and 71.4% of new deaths (5 of 7 ). Both of these percentages are higher than last week’s.

 

The Take-Away For This Week

Total statewide new cases and deaths trended upward for this week at rates higher than the previous week. On Wednesday, the state reported its highest ever number of new cases (489), fifty cases more than the previous daily record.  Statewide, the hospital reporting criteria (number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, number in ICU, number requiring ventilator support) either held at a steady high (ventilated patients) or rose (total hospital patients). This makes two weeks of upward trends on criteria generally pointed to (for now) to indicate the direction of the pandemic in individual states. MS rose two spots in the deaths per million statistic this week. Long term care facilities continue to improve, and would be expected to continue those gains as long as they remain “closed.”

So far, at least, Mississippi is  apparently faring generally better than some other Southern states. Alabama reported a 92% increase in new infections in one week, and Arkansas’s hospitalizations have risen over 120% since Memorial Day, according to the Washington Post.

Five days between Mississippi State Department of Health’s (MSDH) “daily” posts this week was another example of the difficulties in gathering meaningful data regarding our state. It was especially egregious coming on the heels of posting an all-time high day of new cases. The cryptic attribution of the problem to  “legacy software” and the failure of MSDH to rise to the occasion and provide even the most basic information to the public was perhaps the most damning of several inconsistencies and problems with local data gathering. However, it is far from the only problem with the state’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mississippi’s rush to support the President in reopening the economy led us to open without the recommended two weeks of downward trends. Giving only lipservice to safety “requirements” published along with each order loosening standards made things even worse. Many large shopping sites and other gathering places evidence little concern for safety. These are not “a little dab will do ya” suggestions; they can mean life or death to many Mississippians.

Take care of yourself; if you are able, give a hand to someone who needs assistance.

*All state data is from MS State Department of Health and is as of 6 PM on the day prior to reporting.

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