Both the number of new and all cases are a function of testing — the more tests completed, the more cases are identified, traced and, ideally, isolated. Mississippi has been and continues to be ahead of the national curve for testing, according to nationwide data aggregated by The COVID Tracking Project. Daily analysis puts Mississippi around between 12th and 15th most total tests per capita in the nation. But daily tests, according to the data available from the health department, have begun to decline. Averaged over the last two weeks the daily test count has decreased slightly in the last few days. A new Harvard study suggests states should reach 152 daily tests per 100,000 people to have a safe barometer of statewide COVID identification. Over the last full week of April, Mississippi averaged about 2,000 tests per day, or 71 per 100,000. On April 27, the health department loosened testing guidelines for state-sponsored testing pop-ups, aiming to increase testing coverage for those who’ve been exposed to the virus or are showing light symptoms, no longer exclusive to those with fevers.

View all of our COVID-19 interactive charts here.

For COVID-19 news as it happens, follow our Twitter feed the latest updates. Follow our complete Coronavirus in Mississippi coverage here.

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Alex Rozier, a native of New York City, is Mississippi Today’s data reporter. He analyzes data and creates visuals that further inform our reporting. He also reports on the environment, transportation and Mississippi culture and is a member of the engagement team. Alex, whose work has appeared in the Boston Globe and Open Secrets, has a bachelor’s in journalism from Boston University.

Erica Hensley, a native of Atlanta, has been working as an investigative reporter focusing on public health for Mississippi Today since May 2018. She is a Knight Foundation fellow for our newsroom’s collaboration with local TV station WLBT and curates The Inform[H]er, our monthly women and girls’ newsletter. She is the 2019 recipient of the Doris O'Donnell Innovations in Investigative Journalism Fellowship. Erica received a bachelor’s in print journalism and political science from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and a master’s in health and medical journalism from the University of Georgia Grady College for Journalism and Mass Communication.