Teachers, health officials favor public school delays: COVID-19 Weekly Summary 3AUG2020

NEMiss.news public school delays, Covid-19 Summary 3AUG2020
Photo: Eric Shelton, Mississippi Today
August 3rd, 2020     Featured Health & Wellness

COVID-19: Week of July 28– August 3, 2020




  •  Mississippi had 8168 new COVID-19 cases and 210 new deaths this week, for a total of 61,125 cases and 1711 deaths since reporting began on March 11, 2020.  New cases are increasing, but at a 5% slower rate. For the second week running, statewide deaths are rising faster than the previous week, 14% to 10.5%.
  • Misissippi’s rate of 575* (up from last week’s 504) deaths per million of population keeps it in the 12th most lethal position in the US, and MS deaths exceed the national average (479) deaths per million by almost 100.
  • Mississippi’s rate of 20,538* total cases per million is the 6th highest in the nation, having surpassed California.  Only Florida, New York, New Jersey, Arizona and Louisiana are worse.
  • Hospitalized Patients:
    • No report is possible at this time. MS State Department of Health has not furnished hospitalization frigures since July 31. NEMiss.news will update this report when figures are available.
  • STATEWIDE Long Term Care (LTC) facilities:
    • As of 8-2, 170 LTC facilities statewide reported active coronavirus outbreaks, compared to 189 facilities for the week prior. After having been previously stable, trending of active outbreaks rose for four consecutive weeks, but dropped a bit this past week.
    • LTC facilities accounted for 3.6% of new cases (295 of 8168 cases). This is up exactly 1%  from last week’s 2.6%. No long term trend here, as July 27th figures were stable with the week prior.
    • Total deaths’ percentage in LTC was down 0.5% to about 45% (770 of 1711), continuing its downward trend as deaths rise in the general population. LTC facilities accounted for 39% (82 of 210) of all new deaths, up steeply from last week’s 26%. This statistic continues to fluctuate.




  • As of 8-2, NEMS had at total of 1340 new cases, for a total of 7610 cases, an increase of 21.4% compared to  25.2% on July 27. New case percentage rise is down only one week, so no clear trend.
  • NEMS had a total of 22 new deaths (up 12.7%), for a total of 195. This makes two weeks running of rising percentage increase of deaths.
  •  NEMS Long Term Care (LTC) facilities:
    • On 8/2, 21 LTC  facilities in 11 NEMS counties had active coronavirus outbreaks. This is compared 21 facilities in 12 counties last week. Counties with multiple facilities with coronavirus are Lafayette and Lee with 4 each; Marshall with 3; Monroe and Union with 2 each.  Benton, Clay, Pontotoc, and Prentiss counties have no active oubreaks among residents. The  remaining six counties in northeast MS each have one active outbreak. Benton, Tippah and Tishomingo counties still have had no LTC facility deaths attributed to COVID-19.
    • In NEMS, LTC facilities accounted for 3% (40 of 1340) of new cases, essentially the same percentage as last week. However, LTC facilities accounted for 45.5% of new deaths (10 of 22). This is a steep increase from 6.3% on July 27th reports.


The Take-Away For This Week

New cases are rising at a slightly lower rate this week that in the prior week. 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 are in short supply.

Governor Tate Reeves has signalled that he may yet delay the opening of public schools before this week is out. Opinion in the state is divided on this topic. Many teachers and most health care officials favor public school delays. The American Federation of Teachers has authorized its 1 million plus teachers to strike if schools are opened in unsafe conditions.

  • Mississippi is number 6 in the number of cases per million of population.
  • Mississippi is the 12th 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 and ICU cases in Mississippi have both been reported as rising, but the MSDH has not completed its hospitalization statistics for the week in question.
  • Some Mississippi hospitals have sent non-COVID cases out of state for treatment of emergency situations.
  • MS has been cited as the current number one state in case positivity, (the percentage of positive cases found for all persons tested).

Northeast Mississippi (NEMS) continues to have a higher rate of increase in overall new cases than the state as a whole, about 21% compared to about 15%. This week, long term care (LTC) facility stats in northease MS surpassed statewide figures on deaths. Statewide, LTC facilities accounted for 45% of total deaths and 39% of new deaths. In NEMS, LTC facilities tallied almost 52%  of total deaths and over 45% of new deaths.

Three NEMS counties, Calhoun, Lee and Pontotoc were included in a specific executive order mandating masks. The current order is 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, no weekly hospitalization stats were available.

The number of new cases in Mississippi is high, as is the death rate. We are currently living in the 12th most lethal state for coronavirus. More than half the state has been targeted with mask mandates.

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

MS teachers push for public school delays: https://mississippitoday.org/2020/07/17/i-dont-want-to-die-teachers-rally-against-reopening-schools-as-covid-19-worsens/

Dr Lou Ann (wear the damn mask!) Woodward favors delaying school openings: https://mississippitoday.org/2020/08/03/were-watching-this-train-wreck-ummc-chief-says-governor-should-postpone-school-reopenings/

MS Executive Ordershttps://www.sos.ms.gov/Education-Publications/Pages/Executive-Orders.aspx


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