More testing has turned up more cases of COVID-19 in Coahoama County with five new cases reported Wednesday and ten new cases reported over the holiday weekend.
Health officials have warned of spikes in the case count and Coahoma County is not immune to coronavirus as proved by testing in Clarksdale and Jonestown by the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Services Center on Monday and Jonestown Wednesday of last week. Tests usually take about three days – or longer – to come back.
Today’s report comes after the county saw only 16 new cases over the prior two weeks and no deaths since April 28.
The community coronavirus count stands at 113 cases of infection. Statewide, the number of new cases reported stood at 313 today down from the 402 news cases reported Friday.
As of Wednesday there were 14,044 cases of coronavirus confirmed in the state.
There were 18 new deaths statewide on Wednesday, up from the 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 has relaxed requirements on businesses such as hair salons and retail stores as well as church services, but still stands by certain social distancing rules and infection hygiene guidelines. 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 0.47-percent of the county's population has been diagnosed with the disease.
Coahoma County reported its first coronavirus case on March 18, its first fatality on April 4, its second fatality April 19 and third fatality April 28.
The county is 70-days into the pandemic and it is apparent most of those 108 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.
Across the state, Mississippi's coronavirus cases stood at 14,044 and this averages to 171 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 0.47-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.
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 leads the southeast in the number percentage of tests conducted. As of today, 154,624 people (5.18-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 1,767 cases reported in LTC (Long Term Care) facilities and 341 deaths – or 50.8-percent of the state’s total fatalities – reported in those facilities.
Lauderdale County again led the state reporting 184 cases in its Long Term Care facilities and 37 deaths, Monroe County follows with 92 LTC cases and 21 deaths, Forest County with 86 cases and 26 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, 30.9-percent are white and 9.8-percent are listed as other. The fatality ratio shows that 52.6-percent of those who have died were African American and 42.8 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 (277) Benton (14), Bolivar (149), Calhoun (61), Carroll (114), Chickasaw (128), Choctaw (35), Claiborne (64), Clarke (135), Clay (104), Coahoma (113), Copiah (285), Covington (141), Desoto (493), Forrest (511), Franklin (27), George (20), Greene (11), Grenada (82), Hancock (87), Harrison (245), Hinds (920), Holmes (373), Humphreys (53), Itawamba (85), Jackson (300), Jasper (148), Jefferson (40), Jeff Davis (75), Jones (525), Kemper (131), Lafayette (125), Lamar (227), Lauderdale (699), Lawrence (99), Leake (395), Lee (117), Leflore (250), Lincoln (250), Lowndes (182), Madison (678), Marion (112), Marshall (76), Monroe (253), Montgomery (81), Neshoba (565), Newton (250), Noxubee (169), Oktibbeha (150), Panola (64), Pearl River (207), Perry (49), Pike (202), Pontotoc (28), Prentiss (41), Quitman (25), Rankin (373), Scott (623), Sharkey (7), Simpson (93), Smith (133), Stone (30), Sunflower (78), Tallahatchie (25), Tate (69), Tippah (71), Tishomingo (26), Tunica (52), Union (78), Walthall (51), Warren (158), Washington (163), Wayne (148), Webster (59), Wilkinson (85), Winston (105), Yalobusha (85) and Yazoo (223).
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 (10), Chickasaw (12), Choctaw (2), Claiborne (2), Clarke (17), Clay (3), Coahoma (3), Copiah (4), Covington (1), Desoto (6), Forrest (37), Franklin (2), George (1), Greene (1), Grenada (3), Hancock (11), Harrison (7), Hinds (24), Holmes (24), Humphreys (7), Itawamba (7), Jackson (13), Jasper (3), Jeff Davis (2), Jones (19), Kemper (10), Lafayette (4), Lamar (5), Lauderdale (57), Lawrence (1), Leake (12), Lee (5), Leflore (30), Lincoln (22), Lowndes (8), Madison (21), Marion (9), Marshall (3), Monroe (24), Montgomery (1), Neshoba (34), Newton (4), Noxubee (6), Oktibbeha (10), Panola (3), Pearl River (31), Perry (2), 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 (6), Webster (1), Wilkinson (9), Winston (1), Yalobusha (5) and Yazoo (2) 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.