The numbers are getting better and people are still sick, but Mississippi and Coahoma County appear to be on the downside of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mississippi reported no new deaths for the first time in seven month on Sunday, and Coahoma County has seen the number of cases steadily decline since a spike in early July.
But on Monday the disease was back at work, with 36 new deaths and 465 new cases reported in the state.
Mississippi reported several days of cases under 600 in early September, after routinely reporting over 1,000 new cases daily in late July and August.
As of Tuesday, Mississippi has reported 94,021 cases of coronavirus and 2,846 deaths since its first case was reported March 14. Coahoma County has reported 1,136 cases since its first case was reported March 18.
Coahoma County’s death toll from the disease has increased to 27 as the disease takes its toll on the elderly and those with underlying conditions.
The opening of schools does not appear to ha sparked an increase in cases as of this week.
The county has seen a dramatic increase in the number of cases in Long Term Care (LTC) facilities with that number climbing to 79 as of today. Two deaths were first reported in local nursing homes on Aug. 5 and that number has not changes since.
Frantic testing in the community just before school started across the state saw the number of cases in the community and Mississippi skyrocket. The number has also been linked to the end of state and federal assistance for that ran out in late July. Those who test positive for the disease can get an extra two weeks – and sometimes longer – of unemployment assistance if they test positive for COVID-19.
Oddly Coahoma County has only recorded 27 deaths since the disease was reported locally more than five months ago. That fatality figure is well below the percentage of counties reporting a similar number of cases.
Divided by Mississippi’s 82 counties the infection rate divides out to 1,146 cases per county. The fatality rate factors out to 34.7 per county.
As of Monday, 5.02-percent of the county’s 22,628 residents have contracted the coronavirus and only 0.11-percent of the community has died from the disease.
The Mississippi State Department of Health listed Coahoma County and 36 other counties as “Hot Spot” counties. Most of those counties are in the Mississippi Delta, Jackson and population center across the state such as Tupelo, Southaven, Starkville, Meridian, Hattiesburg and the Gulf Coast.
Those who test positive are being quarantined for two weeks and family members and co-workers can also be quarantined.
Several convenience stores and restaurants in the area have closed after staff became infected. Major grocery stores, retail outlets and fast food restaurants remain open and are hiring replacement workers.
The pandemic began 189 days ago and at this point 99.8-percent of Coahoma County residents who have caught coronavirus have gotten well.
As of Monday the state says 85,327 of the state’s 94,021 known cases or 90.75-percent have gotten well.
The City of Clarksdale announced the extension of indoor and outdoor gathering, bar capacity and social distancing requirements and when businesses can sell alcohol until Sept. 28, earlier this month.
The Mississippi State Department of Health has ramped up testing procedures across the state and most local healthcare providers offer the test for free and are reimbursed by the state.
As of Monday, 793,833 of the state’s 2.876 million people have been tested by the MSDH Public Health Laboratory for the disease.
Across the nation the Center for Disease Control reported 6,825,697 people or 2.07-percent of the nation’s 328.2 million people have contracted the disease and 199,462 or 2.9-percent of those infected have died.