Mississippi sets single day record for new COVID-19 cases as hospitalizations and deaths spike

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Eric J. Shelton/Mississippi Today

Yvonne Moore collects specimen for COVID-19 testing outside of the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Services Center in Clarksdale, Miss., Wednesday, March 29, 2020.

The state health department reported 1,230 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the most reported in a single day for Mississippi. The previous record for new cases was 1,092, reported on June 25.

The rolling seven-day average for new cases is now at 887, also a new high for the state. In four out of the last five days, the seven-day average has broken the state’s previous record.

Thursday’s report marks the first time the state has reported two consecutive days of more than 1,000 new cases as the total cases in the state since March nears 40,000. The total cases have increased by 97 percent, or nearly doubled, since exactly a month ago.

In what’s called its “illness onset” data, MSDH tracks the day that patients report experiencing symptoms. As of Wednesday, the agency’s website shows a record of 1,075 people becoming sick on July 6, the Monday after the Fourth of July holiday. The next-most illnesses reported in a day is 694.

As Mississippi’s top health officials attested to a week ago, the state’s hospitals and ICUs are under increasing stress. MSDH’s latest numbers show 855 confirmed hospitalizations from COVID-19 on Wednesday, a 90 percent increase from exactly a month ago. The seven-day average for confirmed hospitalizations, used to smooth out day-to-day variability, has increased for 27 straight days.

July 6 also marked a new high for deaths in a day, with 25. As of yesterday’s data, the seven-day average for deaths nearly doubled from 9 per day in late June to 16 per day on July 8. The record for that measure is 17 per day, set back in May.

The rolling average for the state’s positivity rate — the percent of tests that return positive — peaked on July 11 at 20 percent. That number’s since dropped to 15 percent, but is still higher than it was for the entire month of June.