Coahoma County reported it's second fatality due to coronavirus Sunday.
The number of people infected rose to 48 as three new cases of the disease were reported over the weekend. The community started last week with no new case, but saw the infection rate climb mid- week, no new cases Friday, then climb today.
Coahoma County reported its first coronavirus case on March 18 and its first fatality on April 4.
“I hope we are going to peak next week,” said Mayor Chuck Espy at a special called City Board meeting Friday to address storm damage. “I hope we are on the downside next week. We still have a long way to go.”
Espy urged the community to not let up on the shelter-in-place ruling, curfew, social distancing and business shutdown. He also urged people to carefully check on the most vunerable -- working poor and elderly.
The county is 33-days into the pandemic and it is apparent some of those 48 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.
Overall, Coahoma County numbers appear to be stabilizing and federal officials are also hinting the peak of the disease at the national level may be approaching. President Donald Trump has outlined steps that need to occur for states to reopen the economy.
No official reason has been given as to why Coahoma County initially had a higher per capita number of cases as opposed to other counties of similar size and that number appears to be changing.
Coahoma County had a population of 22,628 according to 2018 census estimates. As of today .211-percent of the county's population has been diagnosed with the disease.
Both the City of Clarksdale and Coahoma County have re-issued a shelter-in-place order shutting down gatherings of more than 10 people, most restaurants, select businesses and churches.
Across the state, Mississippi's coronavirus count climbed to 4,274 cases as of Sunday. The Mississippi State Health Department reported 300 new cases today which was up from Wednesday’s record of 273 new cases.
There were seven new fatalities reported Sunday and Mississippi has 159 deaths related to COVID-19. Mississippi has a population of 2.987 million people and as of today .143-percent of the population has or has had the disease. Mississippi initially reported 50 cases on March 11
MSDH is also releasing data on who is being affected most by coronavirus.
The state again said 56-percent of the cases are African American, 36-percent are white and 8-percent are listed as other. The fatality ratio shows that 62.9percent of those who have died were African American and 35.8percent were white and those percentages have also varied little since numbers started being released.
MSDH numbers also show that 71-percent of those identified with coronavirus are not being hospitalized and 59 percent of those infected are female.
Data from the state also indicates the majority of those dying of COVID-19 had underlying conditions. Cardiovascular disease tops the list, followed by diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Less than five deaths have not had some type of underlying condition contribute to a fatality.
The number of tests conducted also rose dramatically as the state has started including the number of private healthcare providers tests conducted. As of today, 50,272 people have been tested by MSDH and private healthcare providers. 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.
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 (73), Alcorn (7), Amite (17), Attala (31) Benton (6), Bolivar (76), Calhoun (32), Carroll (10), Chickasaw (39), Choctaw (11), Claiborne (8), Clarke (21), Clay (22), Coahoma (48), Copiah (40), Covington (22), Desoto (213), Forrest (137), Franklin (14), George (9), Greene (3), Grenada (15), Hancock (50), Harrison (137), Hinds (314), Holmes (54), Humphreys (12), Itawamba (13), Jackson (196), Jasper (20), Jefferson (4), Jeff Davis (8), Jones (56), Kemper (16), Lafayette (39), Lamar (57), Lauderdale (181), Lawrence (12), Leake (60), Lee (49), Leflore (70), Lincoln (95), Lowndes (30), Madison (123), Marion (38), Marshall (37), Monroe (58), Montgomery (15), Neshoba (46), Newton (19), Noxubee (20), Oktibbeha (42), Panola (27), Pearl River (115), Perry (21), Pike (93), Pontotoc (17), Prentiss (16), Quitman (13), Rankin (128), Scott (96), Sharkey (3), Simpson (14), Smith (38), Stone (17), Sunflower (45), Tallahatchie (8), Tate (27), Tippah (45), Tishomingo (2), Tunica (28), Union (9), Walthall (22), Warren (17), Washington (68), Wayne (10), Webster (17), Wilkinson (53), Winston (27), Yalobusha (14) and Yazoo (81).
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 (5), Amite (1), Bolivar (5), Calhoun (2), Carroll (1), Chickasaw (2), Choctaw (1), Clarke (1), Clay (1), Coahoma (2), Copiah (1), Desoto (3), Forrest (2), Hancock (5), Harrison (5), Hinds (5), Holmes (4), Humphreys (3), Itawamba (1), Jackson (6), Jasper (1), Jeff Davis (1), Lafayette (2), Lamar (1), Lauderdale (13), Leake (1), Lee (4), Leflore (6), Lincoln (6), Lowndes (1), Madison (3), Marshall (2), Monroe (3), Montgomery (1), Neshoba (1), Oktibbeha (2), Panola (2), Pearl River (8), Perry (1), Pike (2), Pontotoc (2), Rankin (2), Smith (1), Sunflower (2), Tallahatchie (1), Tippah (6), Tunica (1), Union (1), Warren (1), Washington (2), Webster (1) and Wilkinson (3) and Yazoo (1) counties as of today.
The virus appears to be affecting the state's higher population areas such as the Gulf Coast, Jackson metropolitan area, 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. As of today, only Issaquena County has reported no cases of the COVID-19.
Clarksdale residents have been told by city and county officials to not gather in groups of more than 10 people. City officials are urging people to wash their hand religiously and follow strict personal hygiene practices to combat the disease.
The city has also imposed a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew and ordered select businesses to close or at least alter the way they do business.
This is a rapidly changing situation that is continually being monitored by the Center for Disease Control and MSDH as more cases in the U.S. are expected. The risk of infection to the general public in Mississippi remains low, but all Mississippians are advised to take health precautions to prevent the possible transmission of 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.