Two new cases of COVID-19 reported Friday


After almost two weeks of good news, Coahoma County reported two new cases of COVID-19 Friday.

Today’s report comes after the county saw only nine cases over the past two weeks and no deaths since April 28. Statewide, no one under the age of 18 has died of COVID-19 since the first case was reported in mid March.

The community coronavirus count stands at 75 cases of infection. Statewide, the number of new cases climbed dramatically with 318 new cases, and 15 deaths today. Most of the new cases are being reported in nursing homes and counties in South Mississippi.

The statistics continue to confirming 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.

Mayor Chuck Espy and the City Board of Commissioners have extended Gov. Tate Reeves’ Safer-At-Home requirements two more weeks until Memorial Day May 25.

“No more than 10 people gathering in on spot,” Reeves said, in relaxing the shutdown. “No more than 20 people in one place outdoors. Stay at home if you can. If you are 65 and older and have pre-existing conditions – stay home. We will allow salons and barbershops to reopen with strict rules.”

But again, the state’s metropolitan areas contributed the majority of gains in both new cases and fatalities and 493 Mississippians have died from the disease.

The disease continues to sweep through nursing homes with 1,416 cases reported in Long Term Care (LTC facilities and 231 deaths – or 46.8-percent of the state’s total fatalities – reported in those facilities.

Lauderdale County again led the state reporting 135 cases in its Long Term Care facilities and 27 deaths; Monroe County follows with 92 LTC cases and 20 deaths, Hinds with 70 cases and 12 deaths and Forest County with 69 cases, 14 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.

There have been 34 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Coahoma County over the past 32 days

Coahoma County had a population of 22,628 according to 2018 census estimates. As of today 0.331-percent of the county's population has been diagnosed with the disease with most homes and businesses not having any family member or employee who has become sick.

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 59-days into the pandemic and it is apparent most of those 75 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 10,901 and this averages to 132 cases per Mississippi 82 counties. MSDH now says 6,268 people have recovered.

Mississippi has a population of 2.987 million people and as of today 0.365-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, 106,823 people (3.58-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.

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

The state again said 58.3-percent of the cases are African American, 33.2-percent are white and 8.5-percent are listed as other. The fatality ratio shows that 53.7-percent of those who have died were African American and 42.5 percent were white and those percentages have also varied little since numbers started being released.

MSDH numbers also show that 78.1-percent of those identified with coronavirus are not being hospitalized and this has been a rising number. 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 (166), Alcorn (12), Amite (41), Attala (224) Benton (13), Bolivar (127), Calhoun (58), Carroll (109), Chickasaw (114), Choctaw (19), Claiborne (48), Clarke (97), Clay (78), Coahoma (75), Copiah (190), Covington (104), Desoto (369), Forrest (380), Franklin (19), George (18), Greene (7), Grenada (58), Hancock (78), Harrison (214), Hinds (745), Holmes (275), Humphreys (42), Itawamba (75), Jackson (283), Jasper (110), Jefferson (34), Jeff Davis (67), Jones (304), Kemper (100),  Lafayette (107), Lamar (166), Lauderdale (566), Lawrence (74), Leake (351), Lee (85), Leflore (199), Lincoln (197), Lowndes (108), Madison (507), Marion (86), Marshall (65), Monroe (215), Montgomery (71), Neshoba (369), Newton (172), Noxubee (132), Oktibbeha (99), Panola (47), Pearl River (195), Perry (36), Pike (174), Pontotoc (25), Prentiss (36), Quitman (20), Rankin (276), Scott (504), Sharkey (5), Simpson (75), Smith (109), Stone (24), Sunflower (69), Tallahatchie (18), Tate (55), Tippah (67), Tishomingo (13), Tunica (44), Union (59), Walthall (44), Warren (129), Washington (100), Wayne (33), Webster (22), Wilkinson (78), Winston (73), Yalobusha (66) and Yazoo (180).

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), Attala (5), Bolivar (10), Calhoun (4), Carroll (4), Chickasaw (11), Choctaw (2), Clarke (11), Clay (3), Coahoma (3), Copiah (1), Desoto (5), Forrest (26), Franklin (1), George (1), Greene (1), Grenada (2), Hancock (10), Harrison (6), Hinds (20), Holmes (19), Humphreys (5), Itawamba (7), Jackson (13), Jasper (3), Jeff Davis (2), Jones (7), Kemper (7), Lafayette (3), Lamar (4),  Lauderdale (45), Leake (6), Lee (4), Leflore (22), Lincoln (17), Lowndes (4), Madison (17), Marion (7), Marshall (2), Monroe (23), Montgomery (1), Neshoba (19), Newton (2), Noxubee (2), Oktibbeha (6), Panola (2), Pearl River (26), Perry (2), Pike (10), Pontotoc (2), Prentiss (2), Rankin (6), Scott (6), Smith (7), Sunflower (3), Tallahatchie (1), Tippah (11), Tunica (2), Union (4), Warren (4), Washington (4), Webster (1), Wilkinson (9) 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 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.


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.