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New COVID-19 cases continue to drop, while hospitalizations remain flat



The number of new COVID-19 cases in Warren County and Mississippi continue on a downward trend Monday, while patients with severe illness continue to demand scarce intensive care resources from hospitals.

In Warren County, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported three new COVID-19 cases Monday and six Sunday with no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in the county to date is 1,182, and the county’s death toll is 37.

Statewide, MSDH reported 381 new COVID-19 cases Sunday and 276 cases Monday (the lowest number of cases since mid-June), bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 72,412. With six of the last seven days reporting fewer than 1,000 cases, the seven-day average of new cases is 680.

MSDH reported Sunday that four Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide and 11 Monday, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to 2,095. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 3%. The rate had been holding steady for at least two weeks at 2.8% but has now risen slightly.

The numbers of deaths can lag new cases by two weeks or more, which may be one reason deaths in the state had not risen dramatically until July 7 when 44 deaths were reported. In addition, most new cases are seen in younger people recently, and they are more likely to survive the virus than those 65 and older. By far, the age group reporting the most cases in Mississippi are young people from 18 to 29 years old.

MSDH reported deaths in the following counties Monday:

County Deaths reported Monday
George 1
Hancock 1
Harrison 1
Jefferson Davis 1
Lamar 2
Marion 1
Oktibbeha 1
Pearl River 1

Two confirmed COVID-19 related deaths occurred between July 26 and July 27, identified from death certificate reports. The additional deaths were reported in the following counties:

County Deaths reported on death certificate reports
Hinds 1
Tunica 1

Deaths and new cases were reported as of 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16. MSDH usually reports new statistics on the COVID-19 coronavirus each day based on the previous day’s testing and death reports.

The primary metric concerning state health officials are the numbers of people hospitalized, and that number has been steadily rising with new cases. On June 6, the number of Mississippians hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 was at a low of 358. Since then, hospitalizations have nearly tripled. They have leveled off in the past couple of weeks; however, a month weeks ago, health officials began warning repeatedly that some hospitals were running out of ICU beds. That warning became more urgent as the number of critical cases continued to rise.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14, is 1,126. The number includes 963 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 163 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 321 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 176 were on ventilators.

MSDH has estimated the number of people who can be presumed recovered from COVID-19 in Mississippi. That number is 49,836 through Sunday, Aug. 9. This figure is updated weekly. It represents about 68.8% of the cumulative 72,412 cases reported as of Monday, Aug. 17.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Monday, July 27, was 856, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 819, or about 69.3% of the 1,182 cumulative cases reported Monday, Aug. 17. The county has an estimated 323 active cases.

These estimates are based on MSDH’s guidelines for calculating estimated recoveries when hospitalizations are not known, using the number of cases 21 days ago, less known outcomes (deaths).

The total number of Mississippians tested for COVID-19 (PCR tests) as of Sunday, Aug. 16, is 522,738 or about 17.6% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. The positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average) is about 19.1%, according to Johns Hopkins University, indicating Mississippi is not testing nearly enough, and results are probably an undercount of actual infections. The national rate is currently 6.7%, and a rate of 5% or less indicates adequate testing. Mississippi’s positivity rate has been the highest or among the highest in the nation for weeks.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities is 174 Monday. About 42.8%, or 897, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities.

In Warren County as of 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13, MSDH reported that three long-term facilities were under investigation for active COVID-19 outbreaks:

  • Shady Lawn had seven cases among staff, 32 cases among residents and eight resident deaths.
  • The Bluffs had 10 cases among staff, 32 cases among residents and three resident deaths.
  • Vicksburg Convalescent had 11 cases among staff, four cases among residents and no resident deaths.

A total of 18 deaths in the county were residents of LTC facilities.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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