Let’s hope the last day of July 2020 will be remembered as the day Coahoma County reported the highest number of deaths due to COVID-19.
Three new deaths attributed to coronavirus were reported Friday, bringing Coahoma County death total due to the disease to 10. The county also reported is first COVID-19 fatality in a nursing home, today, July 31.
Testing in Coahoma County last week saw 33 new cases report Thursday, but only six new cases of the disease were reported locally by the Mississippi State Department of Health today.
Coahoma County reported it first death on April 4 and its seventh death on July 17. Coahoma County has now been named a “Hot Spot” by Governor Tate Reeves forcing people and businesses to observe several new mandates.
In all types of businesses:
• All employees are required to keep at least 6 feet from other employees, or wear a face mask.
• All employees must be screened at the beginning of their shift.
• Employees in contact with the public must wear a face covering.
• Members of the public must wear a face covering at all times in a business, except for some circumstances such as eating, or special medical conditions.
Gatherings and events:
• Social gatherings are limited to 10 individuals indoors and 20 outdoors, and a distance of at least six feet between individuals must be maintained.
• A distance of six feet or more must be maintained between others at all public events, indoors and out, or else face coverings must be worn.
The state saw 52 new deaths reported Friday Coahoma County topped 500 cases on Saturday and climbed to 632 total cases today. Coahoma County reported its first case of COVID-19 on March 18.
Those who test positive are being quarantined for two weeks and family members and co-workers can also be quarantined.
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.
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 pandemic began 135 days ago and at this point, 2.79-percent of the county’s 22,628 residents have come down with the disease and 98.42-percent have gotten well.
A spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Mississippi has led to additional restrictions for 37 counties on Thursday.
The affected counties are: Bolivar, Calhoun, Claiborne, Covington, De Soto, Forrest, Grenada, Harrison, Hinds, Holmes, Humphreys, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Madison, Montgomery, Panola, Quitman, Rankin, Sharkey, Simpson, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Walthall, Washington, Wayne, Winston and Yalobusha.
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.
Statewide there were 1,168 new cases of the disease reported on Friday as the Mississippi State Department of Health 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 58,747 cases of the disease since the first case was reported in Mississippi on March 11. With a population of 2.987 million, only 1.96-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 470,048 people have been tested by the MSDH Public Health Laboratory for the disease, up from Thursday count of 465,356. As of Thursday, 12.49-percent of those tested across the state 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 58,747 cases now reported, the Mississippi State Department of Health said 35,071 have gotten well. That means 59.7-percent of the people who have gotten sick have recovered.
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.
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, 51.6-percent of the fatalities have been African American, 42.4-percent have been white and 6-percent have been others. The total cases by race have been 54.0-percent African American, 37.2-percent white and 8.8-percent other races.
Across the nation the Center for Disease Control reported 4,405,932 people or 1.34-percent of the nation’s 328.2 million people have contracted the disease and 150,238 or 3.40-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 (565), Alcorn (335), Amite (193), Attala (486) Benton (118), Bolivar (917), Calhoun (366), Carroll (240), Chickasaw (420), Choctaw (124), Claiborne (398), Clarke (297), Clay (363), Coahoma (632), Copiah (897), Covington (575), Desoto (3,113), Forrest (1,564), Franklin (111), George (525), Greene (223), Grenada (796), Hancock (323), Harrison (2,048), Hinds (5,091), Holmes (825), Humphreys (262), Issaquena (20), Itawamba (297), Jackson (1,837), Jasper (368), Jefferson (188), Jeff Davis (191), Jones (1,705), Kemper (223), Lafayette (837), Lamar (1,080), Lauderdale (1,316), Lawrence (300), Leake (755), Lee (1,162), Leflore (814), Lincoln (730), Lowndes (941), Madison (2,250), Marion (581), Marshall (536), Monroe (675), Montgomery (276), Neshoba (1,186), Newton (514), Noxubee (411), Oktibbeha (1,039), Panola (877), Pearl River (471), Perry (209), Pike (808), Pontotoc (699), Prentiss (318), Quitman (211), Rankin (2,091), Scott (947), Sharkey (139), Simpson (696), Smith (367), Stone (144), Sunflower (893), Tallahatchie (399), Tate (621), Tippah (285), Tishomingo (299), Tunica (228), Union (503), Walthall (425), Warren (946), Washington (1,419), Wayne (729), Webster (181), Wilkinson (178), Winston (560), Yalobusha (308) and Yazoo (757).
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 (32), Calhoun (8), Carroll (11), Chickasaw (19), Choctaw (4), Claiborne (12), Clarke (25), Clay (14), Coahoma (10), Copiah (23), Covington (11), Desoto (26), Forrest (50), Franklin (3), George (5), Greene (11), Grenada (20), Hancock (14), Harrison (31), Hinds (102), Holmes (46), Humphreys (11), Issaquena (1), Itawamba (10), Jackson (34), Jasper (8), Jefferson (6), Jeff Davis (5), Jones (57), Kemper (15), Lafayette (7), Lamar (12), Lauderdale (88), Lawrence (5), Leake (25), Lee (29), Leflore (59), Lincoln (38), Lowndes (30), Madison (50), Marion (17), Marshall (8), Monroe (50), Montgomery (3), Neshoba (87), Newton (11), Noxubee (10), Oktibbeha (34), Panola (11), Pearl River (36), Perry (7), Pike (30), Pontotoc (7), Prentiss (6), Quitman (1), Rankin (28), Scott (17), Sharkey (1), Simpson (24), Smith (12), Stone (3), Sunflower (21), Tallahatchie (10), Tate (21), Tippah (12), Tishomingo (3), Tunica (5), Union (13), Walthall (18), Warren (25), Washington (32), Wayne (21), Webster (12), 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.