Coahoma COVID-19 cases now at 176

By FLOYD INGRAM / THE PRESS REGISTER,

 

While COVID-19 is still out there, Mississippi is reporting single digit fatality numbers again and Coahoma County has now reported 176 cases over the past 101 day, or close to two cases per day.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported six new deaths today and Coahoma County has reported six deaths since the first case of coronavirus was reported in the community on March 18.

Mississippi reported a record high 1,092 cases Thursday and 550 today according to MSDH.

MSDH also says the state now has seen 25,066 cases since they started keeping count in Mid March.

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said Thursday that Mississippians, and particularly younger residents ages 18 to 29, need to follow Gov. Tate Reeves' executive orders to maintain social distancing requirements.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said the resurgence appears to be more broadbased and not located in what the state has called hotspots – metropolitian areas, rural counties, and counties with a large number of infected nursing homes.

Byers said MSDH has linked recent cases back to "parties, barbecues and other social events" or large gatherings of people and particularly events where participants aren't wearing masks.

The Clarksdale Board of Mayor and Commissioner voted this week to make city employees wear masks while at work and “strongly recommends that the public and tourist” also wear masks.

“Many are saying this is a political statement, but the CDC (Center for Disease Control) says while wearing a mask does nothing for me, it might keep you from catching the disease,” said Clarksdale Mayor Chuck Espy. “It stops the droplets. You may not have signs of COVID-19 but it stops the droplets.”

The wearing of masks has become a politically charged issue with Republican President Donald Trump hesitant to don a mask and Democratic candidate Joe Biden sheltering in place and wearing a mask when he goes out in public.

There is no firm data saying a mask prevents a person from getting the disease.

The Numbers

With a population of 2.987 million, the MSDH says 0.84 Mississippians have now contracted the disease and 17,242 have recovered.

The state has recorded 1,022 deaths since it started counting on March 12. Coahoma County has a population of 22,628 and has reported 176 cases or an infection rate of 0.78-percent.

Again, while the fatality rate appear to be dropping, the disease continues to be a threat for nursing homes, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

As of today, there have been 2,514 cases of COVID-19 in nursing home with 507 deaths reported. That represents 10-percent of the state’s total cases and 49.6-percent of the state’s total deaths to the disease.

Warmer weather may be a factor in lowering new case numbers this summer.

The CDC website says generally coronaviruses survive for shorter periods at higher temperatures and higher humidity than in cooler or dryer environments. It did clarify there is not yet a clear temperature or humidity level that hinders the disease

The number of new cases being reported locally also indicates many, especially young people, may have the disease and just don’t know it.

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 Friday, 52.3-percent of the fatalities have been African American, 41.3-percent have been been white and 6.4-percent have been others. The total cases by race have been 58.6-percent African American, 30.7-percent white and 10.8-percent other races.

Health officials have warned of spikes in the case count as the state reopens businesses, restaurants, movie theaters and gym.

Gov. Tate Reeves has said he will clamp back down on the economy if he sees a resurgence of the disease. Reeves issued Executive Order 1492 in mid June that fully opened Mississippi’s economy.

The statistics continue to confirm data that mid-sized communities with lower populations but adequate healthcare are handling their fight against COVID-19 better than others. It should be pointed out all cities and towns have unique factors affecting their numbers.

Gov. Tate Reeves has said not all areas of the state have reported high numbers and local officials should be willing to make their own decisions.

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.

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 (243), Alcorn (51), Amite (81), Attala (346) Benton (24), Bolivar (236), Calhoun (108), Carroll (145), Chickasaw (227), Choctaw (69), Claiborne (202), Clarke (193), Clay (233), Coahoma (176), Copiah (535), Covington (256), Desoto (1,157), Forrest (767), Franklin (32), George (61), Greene (76), Grenada (257), Hancock (115), Harrison (607), Hinds (1,853), Holmes (506), Humphreys (109), Issaquena (5), Itawamba (113), Jackson (471), Jasper (221), Jefferson (76), Jeff Davis (97), Jones (998), Kemper (171),  Lafayette (310), Lamar (371), Lauderdale (867), Lawrence (142), Leake (526), Lee (437), Leflore (441), Lincoln (413), Lowndes (421), Madison (1,112), Marion (223), Marshall (164), Monroe (334), Montgomery (110), Neshoba (928),  Newton (326), Noxubee (233), Oktibbeha (457), Panola (227), Pearl River (235), Perry (56), Pike (328), Pontotoc (189), Prentiss (90), Quitman (59), Rankin (700), Scott (723), Sharkey (21), Simpson (193), Smith (202), Stone (48), Sunflower (221), Tallahatchie (88), Tate (230), Tippah (116), Tishomingo (60), Tunica (81), Union (157), Walthall (165), Warren (384), Washington (379), Wayne (462), Webster (124), Wilkinson (88), Winston (223), Yalobusha (144) and Yazoo (441).

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 (18), Alcorn (1), Amite (1), Attalla (23), Bolivar (13), Calhoun (4), Carroll (11), Chickasaw (18), Choctaw (4), Claiborne (10), Clarke (22), Clay (7), Coahoma (6), Copiah (12), Covington 5), Desoto (15), Forrest (42), Franklin (2), George (3), Greene (7), Grenada (4), Hancock (13), Harrison (7), Hinds (34), Holmes (39), Humphreys (9), Itawamba (8), Jackson (16), Jasper (6), Jefferson (3), Jeff Davis (3), Jones (48), Kemper (13), Lafayette (4), Lamar (7),  Lauderdale (78), Lawrence (1), Leake (17), Lee (15), Leflore (48), Lincoln (32), Lowndes (10), Madison (31), Marion (11), Marshall (3), Monroe (28), Montgomery (2), Neshoba (63), Newton (8), Noxubee (7), Oktibbeha (21), Panola (5), Pearl River (32), Perry (4), Pike (11), Pontotoc (3), Prentiss (3), Rankin (12), Scott (14), Simpson (3), Smith (11), Stone (1), Sunflower (6), Tallahatchie (1), Tippah (11), Tishomingo (1), Tunica (3), Union (8), Walthall (3), Warren (16), Washington (9), Wayne (17), Webster (10), Wilkinson (9), Winston (4), Yalobusha (7) and Yazoo (6) 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.