COVID-19 cases rise, fatalities stabilize

By FLOYD INGRAM / THE PRESS REGISTER,

 

Cases of COVID-19 continue to climb across the state, but the number of deaths appears to be stabilizing. Coahoma County reported its sixth death on June 21.

With massive testing ongoing across the state, Mississippi has now reported 28,770 cases of coronavirus and 1,092 deaths, with 10 deaths reported Friday.

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.

Mississippi reported 870 new cases on Friday and has routinely reported above 500 cases since early June.

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

Tourism, which is a staple of the Clarksdale economy, has virtually dried up as fear of the pandemic has risen.

“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.

As communities have opened up people simply don a mask and head out to shop, go to church or attend public events.

The Numbers

With a population of 2.987 million, the MSDH says 0.96-percent of Mississippians have now contracted the disease and 19,388 have recovered.

Coahoma County has a population of 22,628 and an infection rate of 0.84-percent.

Again, while the fatality rate appears 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 2,686 cases of COVID-19 in nursing home with 529 deaths reported. That represents 9.3-percent of the state’s total cases and 48.4-percent of the state’s total deaths to 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, 51.9-percent of the fatalities have been African American, 41.2-percent have been white and 6.9-percent have been others. The total cases by race have been 58.3-percent African American, 31-percent white and 10.7-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.

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.

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 (280), Alcorn (60), Amite (84), Attala (355) Benton (27), Bolivar (298), Calhoun (124), Carroll (161), Chickasaw (264), Choctaw (72), Claiborne (239), Clarke (204), Clay (244), Coahoma (190), Copiah (580), Covington (317), Desoto (1,442), Forrest (829), Franklin (39), George (75), Greene (96), Grenada (396), Hancock (123), Harrison (794), Hinds (2,247), Holmes (536), Humphreys (130), Issaquena (8), Itawamba (130), Jackson (557), Jasper (251), Jefferson (96), Jeff Davis (107), Jones (1,091), Kemper (176),  Lafayette (368), Lamar (431), Lauderdale (894), Lawrence (162), Leake (565), Lee (518), Leflore (474), Lincoln (437), Lowndes (459), Madison (1,242), Marion (263), Marshall (212), Monroe (375), Montgomery (124), Neshoba (970),  Newton (332), Noxubee (247), Oktibbeha (516), Panola (295), Pearl River (245), Perry (63), Pike (393), Pontotoc (261), Prentiss (100), Quitman (69), Rankin (860), Scott (757), Sharkey (27), Simpson (271), Smith (211), Stone (54), Sunflower (321), Tallahatchie (115), Tate (264), Tippah (127), Tishomingo (73), Tunica (90), Union (181), Walthall (179), Warren (463), Washington (512), Wayne (522), Webster (126), Wilkinson (92), Winston (244), Yalobusha (166) and Yazoo (478).

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 (2), Attala (23), Bolivar (13), Calhoun (4), Carroll (11), Chickasaw (18), Choctaw (4), Claiborne (10), Clarke (24), Clay (10), Coahoma (6), Copiah (16), Covington (5), Desoto (16), Forrest (42), Franklin (2), George (3), Greene (8), Grenada (5), Hancock (13), Harrison (10), Hinds (39), Holmes (41), Humphreys (9), Issaquena (1), Itawamba (8), Jackson (16), Jasper (6), Jefferson (3), Jeff Davis (4), Jones (49), Kemper (14), Lafayette (4), Lamar (7),  Lauderdale (79), Lawrence (1), Leake (19), Lee (16), Leflore (49), Lincoln (34), Lowndes (12), Madison (34), Marion (11), Marshall (3), Monroe (29), Montgomery (2), Neshoba (70), Newton (9), Noxubee (8), Oktibbeha (25), Panola (6), Pearl River (32), Perry (4), Pike (12), Pontotoc (6), Prentiss (3), Rankin (12), Scott (15), Simpson (3), Smith (11), Stone (1), Sunflower (6), Tallahatchie (3), Tate (8), Tippah (11), Tishomingo (1), Tunica (3), Union (9), Walthall (4), Warren (17), Washington (9), Wayne (12), Webster (10), Wilkinson (9), Winston (6), 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.

 

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