Clarksdale COVID-19 cases climb, fatalities stable

By FLOYD INGRAM,

 

The number of coronavirus cases in Coahoma County continues to climb, but the number of fatalities has remained steady.

Coahoma County topped 500 cases on Saturday and is poised to add 100 by the weekend. The number of fatalities attributed to COVID-19 stands at seven and has for July 20.

The community has seen an extensive increase in the number of people being tested for the disease with 593 cases reported in Coahoma County as of Wednesday. Those who test positive are being quarantined for two weeks and family members and co-workers can also be quarantined.

Several convenience stores in the area have closed after staff became infected. Major grocery stores and retail outlets remain open and are hiring replacement workers.

The end of unemployment payments on Friday has also sparked an increase in testing. Those who test positive for the disease or who have family members who test positive for the disease can get an additional two weeks of state benefits.

Coahoma has added a second reported case in a Long Term Care (LTC) facility or nursing home earlier this week, but has not reported any fatalities since the pandemic began 134 days ago.

As of this point, 2.62-percent of the county’s 22,628 residents have come down with the disease and 99.97 percent have gotten well. The disease has been fatal to 0.030-percent of the community.

Statewide there were 1,505 new cases of the disease reported on Wednesday as the Mississippi State Department of Health has ramped up testing procedures and most local healthcare providers offer the test for free and are reimbursed by the state.

The state has now reported 55,804 cases of the disease since the first case was reported in Mississippi on March 11. With a population of 2.987 million, only 1.87-percent have contracted the disease

Many of those reported sick have now gotten well. The Center for Disease Control said the typical case of COVID-19 can last up to two weeks, with those suffering severe cases being ill up to three or four weeks.

As of today 458,686 people have been tested by the MSDH Public Health Laboratory for the disease and only 12.17-percent of those have tested positive.

The state has told those who have symptoms, and have been tested, to retest in two weeks as the test indication can be incorrect up to 30 percent of the time.

Mississippi seems to be getting more tests than many states. Urban areas of the state -- and nation -- are getting more testing. The more rural area of the nation -- the Midwest and Mountain States -- are reporting fewer cases of coronavirus. The Northeast -- particularly New York City -- and the eastern seaboard are reporting most of the country's cases.

Of the 55,804 cases that have been reported in the state since March 11, the Mississippi State Department of Health has reported 35,071 have gotten well. That means 62.85-percent of the people who have gotten sick have recovered.

A spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Mississippi has led to additional restrictions for 13 counties, Gov. Tate Reeves earlier this month.

The affected counties are Claiborne, DeSoto, Grenada, Harrison, Hinds, Jackson, Jefferson, Madison, Quitman, Rankin, Sunflower, Washington and Wayne.

The City of Clarksdale announced the extension of indoor and outdoor gathering, bar capacity and social distancing requirements and when businesses can sell alcohol on Monday.

The Numbers

The number of new cases being reported locally also indicates many – especially young people -- may have the disease and just don’t know it. And they can still spread to disease to parents and guardians.

But there has not been one fatality reported in the state of a person under the age of 18 and only 10 fatalities among those age 19 to 29.

Demographics from across the state and country also show the disease is more prevalent and under reported – for a variety of reasons – in minority communities.

As of Wednesday, 51.5-percent of the fatalities have been African American, 42.4-percent have been white and 6.1-percent have been others. The total cases by race have been 54.2-percent African American, 36.7-percent white and 9.1-percent other races.

Across the nation the Center for Disease Control reported 4,339,997 people or 0.13-percent of the nation’s 328.2 million people have contracted the disease and 148,866 only 3.43-percent of those infected have died.

County by County

The Mississippi State Department of Health and the University of Mississippi Medical Center have brought in mobile coronavirus testing unit to Coahoma County on three separate occasions and the Aaron E. Henry Center has also conducted testing, including its most recent in Bobo on Thursday.

The results of those tests are prompting the community’s infection rate to climb.

Cases reported as of today in the following Mississippi counties were: Adams (539), Alcorn (312), Amite (188), Attala (475) Benton (107), Bolivar (860), Calhoun (355), Carroll (236), Chickasaw (398), Choctaw (117), Claiborne (387), Clarke (284), Clay (355), Coahoma (593), Copiah (862), Covington (558), Desoto (2,970), Forrest (1,491), Franklin (95), George (378), Greene (211), Grenada (781), Hancock (298), Harrison (1,944), Hinds (4,838), Holmes (799), Humphreys (255), Issaquena (19), Itawamba (275), Jackson (1,772), Jasper (356), Jefferson (178), Jeff Davis (187), Jones (1,635), Kemper (218),  Lafayette (787), Lamar (1,011), Lauderdale (1,259), Lawrence (284), Leake (738), Lee (1,069), Leflore (785), Lincoln (698), Lowndes (885), Madison (2,167), Marion (550), Marshall (500), Monroe (620), Montgomery (258), Neshoba (1,165),  Newton (498), Noxubee (389), Oktibbeha (1,011), Panola (826), Pearl River (452), Perry (196), Pike (781), Pontotoc (649), Prentiss (282), Quitman (195), Rankin (1,988), Scott (941), Sharkey (122), Simpson (665), Smith (361), Stone (134), Sunflower (854), Tallahatchie (371), Tate (587), Tippah (264), Tishomingo (246), Tunica (209), Union (452), Walthall (416), Warren (897), Washington (1,322), Wayne (708), Webster (175), Wilkinson (160), Winston (527), Yalobusha (298) and Yazoo (726).

County case numbers change as investigations find new information on a case's home county.

The state announced its first death due to coronavirus March 20. Fatalities attributed to the disease have been reported in Adams (23), Alcorn (3), Amite (4), Attala (23), Bolivar (26), Calhoun (8), Carroll (11), Chickasaw (19), Choctaw (4), Claiborne (12), Clarke (25), Clay (13), Coahoma (7), Copiah (22), Covington (9), Desoto (25), Forrest (48), Franklin (2), George (5), Greene (10), Grenada (19), Hancock (14), Harrison (27), Hinds (94), Holmes (45), Humphreys (10), Issaquena (1), Itawamba (9), Jackson (30), Jasper (7), Jefferson (5), Jeff Davis (5), Jones (56), Kemper (15), Lafayette (5), Lamar (11),  Lauderdale (86), Lawrence (3), Leake (25), Lee (28), Leflore (57), Lincoln (38), Lowndes (24), Madison (50), Marion (16), Marshall (5), Monroe (49), Montgomery (3), Neshoba (83), Newton (10), Noxubee (10), Oktibbeha (31), Panola (10), Pearl River (35), Perry (7), Pike (30), Pontotoc (6), Prentiss (6), Quitman (1), Rankin (27), Scott (17), Sharkey (1), Simpson (17), Smith (12), Stone (3), Sunflower (17), Tallahatchie (9), Tate (19), Tippah (11), Tishomingo (3), Tunica (4), Union (13), Walthall (16), Warren (24), Washington (26), Wayne (21), Webster (11), Wilkinson (12), Winston (14), Yalobusha (10) and Yazoo (11) counties as of today.

The virus appears to be affecting the state's higher population areas such as the Gulf Coast, Jackson, Meridian metropolitan areas, Desoto County and Lee County more intensely. Communities that have had people travel to or from larger U.S. cities also appear to have a higher incident of the disease.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Your Clarksdale Press Register will keep readers posted as we learn more information and as news changes. All stories about coronavirus are being offered free to the community and will not be put behind the Clarksdale Press Register paywall.

 

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