Coahoma reports fourth fatality due to coronavirus

By FLOYD INGRAM / THE PRESS REGISTER,

 

Coahoma County reported only one new case of coronavirus Thursday, but it also recorded its fourth death.

The Mississippi State Department of Health has confirmed another fatality in the community after not reporting any deaths due to the disease since April 28. The community reported its first death on March 18 and its second death on April 4.

A new testing effort by the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Services Center has apparently proved people in the community are not seeking healthcare if they feel sick or they don’t have the financial means to seek testing.

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

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 did issue a new executive order (No. 1492) today that more fully opens Mississippi’s economy.

AEH Health Services Center tested more than 130 people in Clarksdale and Jonestown last week. Tests usually take about three days – or longer – to come back and the community did see .

The community coronavirus count stands at 114 cases of infection. Statewide, the number of new cases reported stood at 328 today down from the 402 news cases reported Friday.

As of Thursday there were 14,372 cases of coronavirus confirmed in the state.

There were 23 new deaths statewide on Thursday, up from the 18 reported Wednesday and 17 deaths reported Tuesday. Most of the new cases are being reported in nursing homes and counties in South Mississippi.

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.

The City of Clarksdale voted Tuesday to once again relax certain restrictions and follow the state requirements and Shelter-in-Place guidelines through Monday, June1.

“We are in the midst of the second wave of COVID-19 cases in Mississippi,” said Clarksdale Mayor Chuck Espy. “We have seen an uptick and I want to remind people roaming around, if you don’t have essential business to do, go home.”

Gov. Tate Reeves issued a new executive order (Executive Order No. 1492) that indicates he will more fully open the state’s economy as of 8 a.m. June 1.He has also said not all areas of the state have reported high numbers and local officials should be willing to make their own decisions.

Coahoma County had a population of 22,628 according to 2018 census estimates. As of today 0.50-percent of the county's population has been diagnosed with the disease.

Coahoma County reported its first coronavirus case on March 18.

The county is 71-days into the pandemic and it is apparent most of those 114 now infected have 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.

State numbers

 

Across the state, Mississippi's coronavirus cases stood at 14,372 and this averages to 175 cases per Mississippi 82 counties. MSDH now says 9,401 people have recovered.

Mississippi has a population of 2.987 million people and as of today 0.48-percent of the population has or has had the disease. Mississippi has implemented a massive testing program and an increase in testing has pushed the number of cases higher.

Mississippi leads the southeast in the number percentage of tests conducted. As of today, 163,530 people (5.47-percent of the population) have been tested. Monitoring the infection rate and quarantining those with the disease has been a key factor for both state and federal leaders as they consider reopening the economy.

Mississippi initially reported 50 cases on March 11 and, like other flu viruses, you can get a mild case of the disease and not know it.

The disease continues to sweep through nursing homes with 1,795 cases reported in LTC (Long Term Care) facilities and 352 deaths – or 50.8-percent of the state’s total fatalities – reported in those facilities.

Lauderdale County again led the state reporting 189 cases in its Long Term Care facilities and 37 deaths, Monroe County follows with 92 LTC cases and 22 deaths, Forest County with 87 cases and 27 deaths and Leflore with 82 cases, 17 deaths. Coahoma County initially reported a case of coronavirus in a nursing home on March 22, but that case has now been determined to have been pneumonia.

MSDH is also releasing data on who is being affected most by coronavirus.

The state again said 59.3-percent of the cases are African American, 30.7-percent are white and 10-percent are listed as other. The fatality ratio shows that 52.3-percent of those who have died were African American and 43.1 percent were white and those percentages have also varied little since numbers started being released.

MSDH numbers also show that 78.3-percent of those identified with coronavirus are not being hospitalized. Most hospitals are not keeping patients unless the condition is life threatening.

Data from the state also indicates the majority of those dying of COVID-19 had underlying conditions. Only five deaths have not had some type of underlying condition contribute to a fatality.

Mississippi seems to be getting more tests than many states. Urban areas of the state -- and nation -- are getting more testing. The more rural areas 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.

County by county

The Mississippi State Department of Health and the University of Mississippi Medical Center brought in a mobile coronavirus testing unit to Coahoma County on March 27 and tested approximately 25 people for the disease at the Coahoma County Expo Center. The results of those tests do not appear to have radically altered the local case count.

Cases reported as of today in the following Mississippi counties were: Adams (190), Alcorn (14), Amite (56), Attala (284) Benton (15), Bolivar (154), Calhoun (63), Carroll (115), Chickasaw (130), Choctaw (34), Claiborne (69), Clarke (138), Clay (108), Coahoma (114), Copiah (290), Covington (143), Desoto (503), Forrest (523), Franklin (28), George (21), Greene (9), Grenada (85), Hancock (87), Harrison (247), Hinds (959), Holmes (385), Humphreys (58), Itawamba (84), Jackson (303), Jasper (152), Jefferson (40), Jeff Davis (77), Jones (566), Kemper (136),  Lafayette (127), Lamar (231), Lauderdale (713), Lawrence (102), Leake (400), Lee (124), Leflore (251), Lincoln (250), Lowndes (189), Madison (694), Marion (114), Marshall (77), Monroe (252), Montgomery (81), Neshoba (589), Newton (256), Noxubee (173), Oktibbeha (154), Panola (64), Pearl River (206), Perry (50), Pike (203), Pontotoc (29), Prentiss (42), Quitman (25), Rankin (385), Scott (630), Sharkey (7), Simpson (95), Smith (145), Stone (30), Sunflower (78), Tallahatchie (26), Tate (74), Tippah (71), Tishomingo (28), Tunica (53), Union (80), Walthall (52), Warren (159), Washington (166), Wayne (154), Webster (61), Wilkinson (85), Winston (105), Yalobusha (85) and Yazoo (227).

County case numbers change as investigations find new information on a case's home county. Cases reported also tend to increase late in the week as people are tested during the week and results take 1- to 3-days to return.

The state announced its first death due to coronavirus March 20. Fatalities attributed to the disease have been reported in Adams (15), Alcorn (1), Amite (1), Attala (15), Bolivar (11), Calhoun (4), Carroll (11), Chickasaw (12), Choctaw (2), Claiborne (2), Clarke (18), Clay (4), Coahoma (4), Copiah (4), Covington (1), Desoto (6), Forrest (38), Franklin (2), George (1), Greene (1), Grenada (3), Hancock (11), Harrison (7), Hinds (24), Holmes (24), Humphreys (7), Itawamba (7), Jackson (13), Jasper (4), Jeff Davis (2), Jones (22), Kemper (11), Lafayette (4), Lamar (5),  Lauderdale (58), Lawrence (1), Leake (12), Lee (5), Leflore (30), Lincoln (24), Lowndes (9), Madison (22), Marion (9), Marshall (3), Monroe (25), Montgomery (1), Neshoba (37), Newton (4), Noxubee (6), Oktibbeha (11), Panola (3), Pearl River (31), Perry (3), Pike (11), Pontotoc (3), Prentiss (3), Rankin (6), Scott (10), Smith (11), Sunflower (3), Tallahatchie (1), Tate (1), Tippah (11), Tunica (3), Union (5), Warren (7), Washington (7), Webster (1), Wilkinson (9), Winston (1),  Yalobusha (5) and Yazoo (4) counties as of today.

The virus also appears to be affecting the state's higher population areas such as the Gulf Coast, Jackson, Meridian metropolitan areas, Desoto and Lee counties more intensely. Communities that have had people travel to or from larger cities also appear to have a higher incident of the disease. As of today, only Issaquena County has reported no cases of the COVID-19.

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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