COVID-19: Week of August 25 – 31, 2020
- Mississippi had 4545 new COVID-19 cases and 225 new deaths this week, for a total of 82,950 cases and 2473 deaths since reporting began on March 11, 2020. The rate of new case increase (5.8% ) dropped from over 8% last week. This returns the state to a declining case number after last week’s upturn. This week, statewide deaths were up 10% compared to last week’s 7.3%, breaking a 3 week streak of declining.
- Mississippi’s rate of 831* deaths per million of population was a 10% increase over last week. This rate is fluctuating. However, MS remains the 8th most lethal state, surpassed in deaths per million by only LA, NY, NJ, MA, CT, RI, and DC.
- Mississippi’s rate of 27,872* total COVID-19 cases per million passed Arizona to become the 3rd highest in the nation behind only Florida and Louisiana.
- Statewide Hospitalized Patients:
- Mississippi is continuing its downward trend to its 5th week. The week began and ended with one day upticks, but the average of 691 hospitalized COVID-19 patients daily was down considerably from last week’s 838.
- After climbing for 6 weeks, the daily average of COVID-19 patients requiring ICU continues its 3 week drop to 218 patients this week.
- Patients on ventilators also climbed for six weeks previously, but patients requiring ventilators dropped for the third week to 117 average daily.
- STATEWIDE Long Term Care (LTC) facilities:
- As of 8-31, 158 LTC facilities statewide reporting active coronavirus outbreaks.
- Statewide, LTC facilities accounted for 2.5% (down from 5.4%) of new cases (115 of 4545 cases). This drop is the second week of downward figures attributable to Long Term Care.
- Total deaths’ percentage in LTC was down another almost another 2% to 40.5% (1002 of 2473), continuing its downward trend as deaths have risen in the general population. LTC facilities accounted for only 22.7% (51 of 225) of all new deaths this week, compared to over 35% last week. This figure continues to fluctuate.
NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI (NEMS): Cases and deaths still surpassing state rates
- As of August 31, Northeast Mississippi had 1068 new COVID-19 cases, for a total of 12,178 cases, an increase of 9.6 %, down 2%. This is the 5th week of downward percentages, but NEMS continues to outpace statewide averages. Statewide, new cases were up only 5.8% from the previous week.
- NEMS’s total deaths reached 325, having increased by 40 this week. There were 21 deaths in the general population, 19 in Long Term Care.
- NEMS Long Term Care (LTC) facilities:
- On Aug. 31, 13 NEMS counties had active outbreaks in residents in 34 LTC facilities. This is up from 13 counties with 32 facility outbreaks last week.
- Northeast MS’s 40 new deaths is higher than last week (33). Deaths in NEMS increased by 14% this week, compared to only 10% statewide. Counties with averages higher than the state’s 10% average increase are:
- Tishomingo (61%), Pontotoc (33%), Itawamba (21%), Lee (17%), Union (15%), and Calhoun (11%).
- NEMS LTC facilities had a total of 19 new deaths, the same number as last week, for a total of 165.
- LTC facilities accounted for 47.5% of northeast Mississippi’s new deaths (19 of 40) and now accounts for 50.8% of total deaths (165 of 325). The percentage of both new and total deaths attributable to LTC is down, as deaths in the general population increase.
- In NEMS, LTC facilities accounted for less than 5% (50 of 1068) of new COVID-19 cases, down sharply from last week’s 11%. This statistic continues to fluctuate fairly wildly.
- Area counties listed with active outbreaks are:
- Lafayette and Lee with active outbreaks in 5 facilities each
- Itawamba with 4
- Alcorn, Monroe, and Prentis with with 3 each.
- Chickasaw, Marshall, Tishomingo and Union with 2 facilities each
- Calhoun, Clay, and Tippah with 1 facility each
- Benton and Pontotoc have no current active outbreaks
- Benton and Tippah counties still have had no LTC facility residents’ deaths attributed to COVID-19.
The Take-Away For This Week
Statewide, new coronavirus cases and deaths rates are continuing to slow down – still rising, but at slower rates.
- Statewide hospitalization statistics all are decreasing at this time.
- Many sources attribute this slow-down to the governor having finally mandated masks and social distancing statewide, largely in connection with the opening of schools. Some officials expect this flattening to disappear within 2-3 weeks, as a result of infections in schools and colleges.
- There are still no health orders regarding elective procedures in the state.
The governor has extended the mandate for masks and social distancing for two weeks, until September 14. He also urged Mississippians not to let their guard down over the Labor Day weekend. The governor said the COVID-19 numbers in Mississippi are now about where they were before the July 4 weekend, but began to climb by mid July.
Schools have an increasing number of COVID-19 interventions.
- As of the most recent report, week ending August 21: teachers/staff had 135 new positive cases, students have 292 positive cases. There were 584 quarantined teachers and 3913 quarantined students in the 72 schools reporting in 74 counties.
- As a result of recent downward trending, Governor Reeves has increased the spectator requirements at K-12 sports to 25% capacity in the stands and social distancing where it can occur.
- Detailed COVID-19 statistics for individual counties can be seen at the MSDH website.
Even with its dropping curve in cases and deaths, MS ranks high in lethal statistics. Many more populous states in the northeast US had disastrous problems early on with coronavirus, but stringently mandated masks, distancing, etc. and have largely maintained their control. Mississippi’s cases and deaths per million continue to outstrip most other states.
The 15 counties of Northeast Mississippi continue to significantly outpace state averages in positive coronavirus cases and in deaths.
Vulnerable people in northeast Mississippi should be taking extra precautions, as increased cases and deaths are largely due to issues of behavior. Check your county statistics and know how they stand. Daily reports are available by county from the MSDH.
As always, if you are vulnerable, continue to take care of yourself in any way you see fit. If you are able, give assistance to someone who needs it.
*statistics from WorldOMeter as of day of posting
MS Executive Orders: https://www.sos.ms.gov/Education-Publications/Pages/Executive-Orders.aspxCovid-19 coronavirus, Northeast MS news