New COVID-19 cases levelling off in Mississippi

New COVID-19 cases levelling off in Mississippi


New COVID-19 cases in Mississippi have shown a levelling off during the past week. While not nearly where they were at their peak in late July and early August, the seven-day average in cases is not reflecting big drops seen in late August and early September.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reports 14 new COVID-19 cases in Warren County Saturday and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,380, and the county’s death toll is 50.

Statewide, MSDH reported 655 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 93,087. The seven-day average of new cases is 495, about 67% of where it was a month ago.

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 Saturday that 17 additional Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 2,809. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 3%.

Deaths are a lagging indicator. While July saw the highest number of new cases since the crisis began, August saw the highest number of deaths. The highest number of deaths in any one day was 67 reported Aug. 25.

MSDH reports deaths in the following counties Saturday:

County Deaths reported Saturday
Clarke 1
Clay 1
Forrest 1
Hancock 1
Harrison 1
Lamar 1
Leake 2
Lee 1
Newton 1
Oktibbeha 1
Rankin 1
Simpson 1
Sunflower 1
Tishomingo 1

Two COVID-19 related deaths occurred between Aug. 29 and Sept. 5 and were identified from death certificate reports.

County Deaths reported on death certificate reports
Hinds 1
Panola 1

New cases and deaths were reported as of 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18. 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 rose steadily with the rise of new cases in July and August. On June 6, the number of Mississippians hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 was at 358. Hospitalizations nearly tripled by late July. They leveled off in early August and began noticeably dropping in the middle of the month including critical cases and numbers of people requiring ventilators. Hospitalizations continued to drop in September but now seem to be levelling off.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, is 630, about half of the late July peak of more than 1,200. The number includes 506 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 124 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 171 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 87 were on ventilators.

Source: MSDH

MSDH has estimated the number of people who can be presumed recovered from COVID-19 in Mississippi. That number is 78,971 through Sunday, Sept. 13. This figure is updated weekly. It represents about 84.8% of the cumulative 93,087 cases reported as of Saturday, Sept. 19.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Saturday, Aug, 29, was 1,303, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,253, or about 90.8% of the 1,380 cumulative cases reported as of Saturday, Sept. 19. The county has an estimated 77 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 and antigen tests identifying current infections) as of Tuesday, Sept. 15 (the most recent testing data from MSDH), is 667,785 or about 22.4% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. The positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average) was 18.3% Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University, indicating Mississippi is not testing nearly enough, and results are probably an undercount of actual infections. Mississippi’s positivity rate has been the highest or among the highest in the nation for weeks. The national rate is 4.8%, with 5% indicating adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities is 129 Saturday. About 41.4%, or 1,163, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities.

In Warren County as of 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, MSDH reported that two long-term facilities were under investigation for active COVID-19 outbreaks:

  • Shady Lawn had 16 cases among staff, 36 cases among residents and 10 resident deaths.
  • The Bluffs had 31 cases among staff, 51 cases among residents and five resident deaths.

A total of 24 deaths in the county were residents of LTC facilities.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.