COVID-19 Week of July 6 – July 13, 2020
- Mississippi had 5423 new COVID-19 cases and 136 new deaths this week, for a total of 36,680 cases and 1250 deaths since reporting began on March 11, 2020. These reports represent an increases of 17.3%in cases and 12.2% in deaths. This compares to 17.7% and 5.2% last week. The trend in new cases is essentially stable, but statewide deaths are trending up significantly, a 12.2% incease this week vs 5.2% on the previous report.
- Misissippi’s rate of 420 deaths per million of population keeps it in the 12th most lethal position in the US, but MS deaths per million now exceed the national average.
- Hospitalized Patients:
- Mississippi hospitals averaged 695 hospitalized patients daily with COVID-19 during the week. This is a substantial 16% increase over last week. Hospitalizations now trending up for five consecutive weeks.
- COVID-19 patients requiring ICU care averaged 195 patients daily, up 17% from last week. Trending is up for ICU admissions statewide, and some hospitals’ ICU resources are used up.
- Ventilators were required for a daily average of 105 patients, up from the previous two weeks’ 91 each.
- STATEWIDE Long Term Care (LTC) facilities:
- As of 7-13, 106 LTC facilities statewide reported active coronavirus outbreaks, compared to 102 facilities for the week prior. After having been previously stable, trending of active outbreaks has now been rising for two weeks.
- Only 4.4% (241 of 5423) of Mississippi’s new COVID-19 cases are from LTC facilities, up about 0.5%; LTC still accounts for around 8% of total cases (3000 0f 36,680).
- Total deaths’ percentage in LTC was stable at 48.3% (604 of 1250). New deaths’ percentage was down to 45.6% (62 of 136).
NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI (NEMS)
- As of 7-12, NEMS had at total of 624 new cases, for a total of 3937, an increase of 18.8% from last week, down 1% from the previous week, after three weeks of increasing.
- NEMS had a total of 15 new deaths, for a total of 144 , up 11.6% – the fourth week of increasing percentages.
- NEMS Long Term Care (LTC) facilities:
- In NEMS 8 LTC facilities in 7 counties have active outbreaks of COVID-19, this is compares to the previous week’s 12 facilities in 6 counties last week.
- In NEMS, LTC facilities accounted for 9.3% of total cases (367 of 3937) and 2.6% (16 of 144) of new deaths. Both LTC stats are trending down slightly as cases and deaths increase in the general population.
- In NEMS, LTC facilities accounted for 57% of total deaths (82 of 144) and 46.7% of new deaths (7of 16). The total death percentage in NEMS LTC has dropped 1.2% this week from last. New deaths dropped from 58.3% to 46.7%, a significant drop.
- According to MSDH data, in NEMS, Tippah county still has no cases of COVID-19 in LTC facilities.
- According to MSDH data, there have still been no deaths of residents in LTC facilities in Benton, Marshall, Tippah and Tishomingo counties.
The Take-Away For This Week
Mississippi continues to be among the many states whose COVID-19 figures are rising. Several things have been singled out for blame, mostly large gatherings and parties with inadequate precautions being taken on holidays, family occasions, religious gatherings, etc. Cases in people under age 45 have made up 55% of the new cases nationwide since Memorial Day, with a large portion in the 18-29 year category.
According to state and national political leaders, rising cases are due to more testing, protests and riots, and liberal media. Dr. Thomas Dobbs, MS State Health Officer and most other health-care officials do not agree. They claim a relatively low number of cases attached to protesting crowds, marches, etc. Dobbs points out that the Mississippi transmission rate is rising. He states that the amount of testing is taken into consideration in the rate, but is not the reason for the increase. He refers to the problem as being largely the “silly things” Mississippians insist upon doing and the simple things they are refusing to do.
Mississippi’s 420 deaths per million is above the national average and far higher than all its sister states, with the exception of Louisiana, at 737. Arkansas is at 107; Tennesses is at 110; and Alabama is at 229.
Northeast Mississippi (NEMS) continues to have a higher rate of increase in new cases than the state as a whole, an 18.8% increase versus the state’s 17.3%. The weekly percentage of increase in deaths in NEMS has risen from 6.2% June 15 to 11.6% July 13.
LTC facilities account for 4.4% of the statewide increase, but only 2.6% of the NEMS increase, though this is up from last week’s 1.1%.
As the cases rise in the general NEMS population, it seems that LTC facilities, though still closed, may be beginning to rise also.
In Executive Order 1507 of July 10, the governor mandated masks for employees and customers in all businesses in 13 “hot spot” counties, none of which are in Northeast Mississippi. However, this limited executive order has only a one week life, and will expire 7-20-2020 unless extended by the governor.
MS Health Officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs continues to look more and more distressed with each public appearance. He states that the state’s healthcare facilities are in definite danger of being overwhelmed; some already are. Mississippians are already being sent out-of-state for care. If those states continue to see increased COVID-19 cases in their own residents, Mississippi’s folks will have less and less recourse for care.
To add to the problem, it appears from recent reports that the MSDH is lagging behind in receiving, tracking and reporting statistics, particularly as local clinics and hospitals are more and more busy. Additionally, the state currently has an insufficient number of contact tracers, according to Dr. Dobbs. It happens with increasing frequency that the subject’s necessary isolation period has expired before the state is able to begin tracking contacts.
As Dr. Dobbs warns, it is time for Mississippians to “stop doing silly things.” There must be a “buy-in” of the general public, with increased willingness to avoid crowds as much as possible and to wear masks when entering crowded areas is necessary.
Take care of yourself; if you are able, give a hand to someone who needs assistance.
For more COVID-19 information: Dr. Shane Scott: “Covid is not going away.”