Cases as of Monday, Aug. 3:
New cases: 572 | New Deaths: 8
Total Hospitalizations: 1,172
Total cases: 61,125 | Total Deaths: 1,711
Mask Mandates | New counties added to the list requiring face coverings in public, effective Monday, August 3: Carroll, Coahoma, Jones, Lee, Leflore, Lowndes, Noxubee, and Pontotoc Counties. All Mississippians are encouraged to wear masks and observe social distancing to help curb COVID-19 spread.All data and information reported by the Mississippi State Department of Health
Weekly update: Tuesday, July 28
No matter which metric you look at, Mississippi is topping the nation’s COVID-19 hotspots, and it’s not due to more testing alone. Mississippi currently has the highest positivity rate in the country, after lagging slightly behind Arizona for days, and the third-highest daily new case rate, behind Florida and Louisiana.
While the state’s testing has increased recently with surging cases, the number of daily tests per capita is at about 180 tests per 100,000 people, roughly where it was two weeks ago. But the positivity rate — number of new weekly cases divided by the number of new tests in the same time period — increased from 15 percent to an all-time high, and the nation’s current highest, of 24 percent as of Monday.
Only seven counties currently have less than 25 daily new cases. Young people aged 18 to 29 now comprise more than one in five of all COVID-19 cases in the state.
As for deaths, Mississippi has one of the lowest shares of deaths among 65 and older, meaning our deaths are among people younger than the national average. Still, a large chunk of all deaths, 74 percent, are among 65 and older. The national average is 80 percent and only three states — Arkansas, New Mexico, Texas and Washington, D.C. — have lower death rates rates among their oldest populations. Deaths are peaking again as cases increase. Sunday saw the most-ever weekly cumulative deaths among people not in long-term care settings — 116 total deaths in the week, averaging 12 daily deaths.
Long-term care deaths have not spiked, despite the increasing number of active outbreaks. After stabilizing in June and most facilities reporting full recoveries, currently just 19 facilities in the state do not have outbreaks.
As for testing, national backlogs have hampered turnaround-times, delaying results for patients across the nation and in Mississippi. Quest Diagnostics, one of the largest labs in the country, announced this week that its results have been drawn out to an average turnaround of “over two days for our priority 1 patients (hospital patients, pre-operative patients in acute care settings and symptomatic healthcare workers) and 7 days for all other patients.”
COVID hospitalizations continue to rise — the daily COVID patient rolls nearly doubled in the past month. A new report from George Washington University shows Mississippi is one of 11 states who are either at or nearing a shortage of intensive care unit providers. State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs has often said that the state’s hospital capacity issues would not likely be felt in the form of bed shortages per se, but in staff to run ICU wards and ventilators.
Dobbs on Monday said the state’s medical system is still tight — with nine hospitals reporting zero ICU availability Monday — but reductions in non-COVID hospitalizations have stabilized some of the pressure for now.
Dobbs reiterated that masks and social distancing are the best ways to prevent over-running the state’s hospital system, adding that 80 percent of recent cases were traced back to social gatherings, even small ones among families.
Twenty-nine counties are under mask mandates and bars and gyms are under reduced-capacity regulations.
The state health department estimates 35,071 have recovered.
Click through the links below to view our interactive charts describing the trends around the coronavirus in Mississippi:
View our COVID-19 resource page for more information about coronavirus in Mississippi.