COVID-19: Week of August 4 – 10, 2020
- Mississippi had 6524 new COVID-19 cases and 201 new deaths this week, for a total of 67,649 cases and 1912 deaths since reporting began on March 11, 2020. New cases are increasing, but at a 5% slower rate. for the second week running. This week, statewide deaths were up 11.7%, a decrease from last week’s rise of 14%.
- Misissippi’s rate of 642* deaths per million of population was a 12% increase over last week, and jumps Mississippi to the 8th most lethal position in the US (including DC), and MS deaths exceed the national average of 501 deaths per million by 141 deaths.
- Mississippi’s rate of 22,730* total cases per million is now the 5th highest in the nation behind only FL, NY, AZ and LA. Last week MS surpassed CA, this week it also surged past NJ.
- Hospitalized Patients: NOTE: MSDH has no published reports for August 8 and 9. Figures below include the 5 days reported as of this morning.
- After climbing steadily since early July, the number of hospitalizations dipped a bit week before last from 975 to 971 per day and may be headed down for the past week, as the reported 5 days average 966 patients daily.
- Patients requiring ICU care continues to climb for the 5th straight week. Two weeks ago the average was 300 ICU patients daily; this past week was 330 patients daily. s 10% increase so far, for the reported 5 days.
- Patients on ventilators continues to climb for the 5th week. Ventilator patients have climbed from an average of 178 daily two weeks ago to 189 daily for the past 5 days.
- STATEWIDE Long Term Care (LTC) facilities:
- As of 8-9, 175 LTC facilities statewide reporting active coronavirus outbreaks. NEMiss.news cannot compare this figure to previous weeks because of a change in the definition of “active outbreak.”** However, whatever the definition, it is clear that LTC facilities statewide once again have a rising problem.
- LTC facilities accounted for 5.7% of new cases (374 of 6524 cases). This is now trending up from last week’s 3.6%.
- Total deaths’ percentage in LTC was down 1% to about 43.5% (832 of 1912), continuing its downward trend as deaths rise in the general population. LTC facilities accounted for 30.8% (62 of 201) of all new deaths, down steeply from last week’s 39%. However, this statistic continues to fluctuate, so not yet a downward trend.
NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI (NEMS)
- As of 8-9, NEMS had at total of 1271 new cases, for a total of 8881 cases, an increase of 16.7% compared to 21.4% on 8-2-2020. This is the second week of downward percentages.
- NEMS had a total of 38 new deaths (up 19.5%), for a total of 233. This makes three weeks running of rising percentage increase of deaths. The previous weekly report was only 12.7% increase.
- NEMS Long Term Care (LTC) facilities:
- On 8/9, 12 NEMS counties had active outbreaks in residents in 22 LTC facilities. NEMiss.news cannot compare this to previous numbers as the MSDH has again changed their definition of “active outbreaks.”**
- Area counties listed with mulitple facilities with outbreaks are:
- Lafayette, Lee and Marshll with 3 each.
- Chickasaw, Itawamba, Monroe, Tishomingo, and Union have 2 facilities each.
- Benton, Clay and Pontotoc have no current active outbreaks.
- The remaining 4 counties each have one facility with active outbreak.
- Benton, Tippah and Tishomingo counties still have had no LTC facility deaths attributed to COVID-19.
- In NEMS, LTC facilities accounted for 8.2% (104 of 1271) of new cases, steeply higher than last week’s 3%. However, LTC facilities accounted for only about 21% of new deaths (8 of 38). This is a steep decrease from the previous week’s 45.5%.
The Take-Away For This Week
New cases are rising at a slightly lower rate this week than in the prior week, but deaths are rising faster. Deaths will continue to rise for a period of time, even after cases start to drop, due to the long course of the disease. Hospitals continue to be stretched to maximum levels; healthcare workers remain in short supply.
- Mississippi is number 5 in the number of cases per million of population.
- Mississippi is the 8th most lethal state, based on deaths per million. With the exception of Louisiana, Mississippi continues to be far higher than her neighboring states in deaths per million.
- Hospitalizations may be down a bit, but ICU cases in Mississippi are rising. MSDH has not completed its hospitalization statistics for the week in question.
- MS case positivity, (the percentage of positive cases found for all persons tested) remains high.
- Mississippi reported the highest average positivity rate (percentage of positive tests among total tests conducted in a given population) over the past seven days at 21.06 percent, according to the latest report Sunday by Johns Hopkins University. Mississippi was followed by Texas (19.25 percent), Florida (17.47 percent), Alabama (17.34 percent) and Nevada (16.35 percent) among the states reporting the top five highest average positivity rates over the past two weeks.
Northeast Mississippi (NEMS) continues to have a significantly higher rate of increase in overall new cases than the state as a whole, about 17% compared to about 11%.
In NEMS, LTC facilities tally almost 47% (109 of 233) of total NEMS deaths and but only 21% (8 of 38) of new deaths. Statewide, LTC facilities accounted for about 44% of total deaths and 31% of new deaths.
The entire region is now mandated for wearing masks, along with rest of the state. See Executive Order 1516, which is currently in effect until August 17th.
MSDH still seems to be struggling in receiving, tracking and reporting statistics, particularly as local clinics and hospitals are more and more busy. This leads to problems tracking and analyzing the coronavirus pandemic in Mississippi. As of post time for this article, a full week of recent hospitalization stats were not available, as mentioned above.
School has started in many counties, others have delayed. Home schooling has seen a rise in families opting to teach their children at home. The governor has seven counties operating under a specific “hot spot” schools executive order (See Executive order 1517), but school boards in other counties are left to make the decision.
If you are vulnerable, continue to take care of yourself in any way you see fit. As always, if you are able, give assistance to someone who needs it.
*statistics from WorldOMeter as of day of posting
**Updated COVID-19 outbreak definition in LTCFs: To conform with revised national guidelines, an outbreak is now considered to be a single confirmed COVID-19 infection in an LTCF resident, or more than one COVID-19 infection in employees or staff in a 14-day period.
See: NEMiss.news report of concerns over Mississippi school reopenings.
MS Executive Orders: https://www.sos.ms.gov/Education-Publications/Pages/Executive-Orders.aspx