JACKSON, Miss. (WLOX) - In Mississippi, there were 1,775 new cases of COVID-19 and 48 new deaths reported Thursday by state health officials.
In South Mississippi, that number breaks down to 251 new cases and six new deaths reported for the six southernmost counties.
George County is reporting the most cases out of those six counties, most likely in part because of an outbreak of coronavirus at the George County Correctional Facility.
As of July 29, here are the new cases reported in the following: George County (139), Jackson County (48), Harrison County (38), Hancock County (12), Pearl River County (10), and Stone County (4).
Four new deaths were reported in Jackson County; one was a patient in a long-term care facility. In Harrison County, two new deaths were reported; one was a patient in a LTC facility.
Mississippi investigates both probable and confirmed cases and deaths, said MSDH. As of July 29, there have been a total of 57,579 cases investigated, which includes 809 probable cases. There have been 1,611 deaths investigated, including 41 probable deaths.
Confirmed cases and deaths are generally determined by positive PCR tests, which detect the presence of ongoing coronavirus infection.
Probable cases are those who test positive by other testing methods such as antibody or antigen, and have recent symptoms consistent with COVID-19, indicating a recent infection.
Probable deaths are those individuals with a designation of COVID-19 as a cause of death on the death certificate, but where no confirmatory testing was performed.
As of July 28, there were 982 people hospitalized with confirmed infections in Mississippi, which is up 13 patients from the day before. The number of patients in ICU went up from 286 the day before to 296 on July 28. The number of patients in ICU who are on ventilators increased to 178, up three patients from the day before.
The majority of people who get COVID-19 will not require hospitalization, say health officials.
State health officials estimate 35,071 Mississippians have now recovered from COVID-19 as of July 26, 2020. That total does not include cases still under investigation. MSDH updates the number of recoveries weekly.
In order to determine the presumed number of people who have recovered from the virus, state health officials say the patient must meet one of two criteria. For patients who were NOT hospitalized, they are considered recovered if they have not tested positive for the virus after 14 days. For patients who were hospitalized or if hospitalization was unknown, they are presumed recovered if it has been 21 days or more since they tested positive.
Weekly High Case and High Incidence Counties
The state is now ranking counties by weekly cases, and by incidence (cases proportional to population). All tables are updated weekly.
Underlying Conditions, Race, and Age
Cases among young adults ages 18 to 29 are highest, warns MSDH.
The majority of pediatric cases are in children between the ages of 11-7.
Underlying conditions are also reported in many of the deaths that have resulted from coronavirus complications. Most deaths from COVID-19 have occurred in patients with hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Long-term Care Facilities
A total of 3,537 patients diagnosed with the virus are currently in long-term care facilities throughout the state as of July 29. In all, 721 people diagnosed while in long-term care facilities have died.
MSDH says: “Long-term care (LTC) facilities like nursing homes are considered high-risk locations because their residents are older or in poor health. Even one case of COVID-19 in these facilities among residents or employees is considered an outbreak. We investigate residents, staff and close contacts of infected individuals for possible exposure.”
As of July 29, a total of 465,356 tests have been done statewide, which includes the number of tests by MSDH and the number of tests given by other providers. That includes 449,072 PCR tests and 16,284 antibody tests.
PCR testing detects current, active COVID-19 infection in an individual. Antibody (serology) testing identifies individuals with past COVID-19 infection based on antibodies they develop one to three weeks after infection.
In all, MSDH labs have conducted 64,686 tests as of July 29. Of those, 7,015 have shown positive results.
Drive-through clinics for testing are popping up across the state. However, health officials are asking that you call ahead to make sure you meet the qualifications for testing.
Anyone wanting to be tested for COVID-19 can complete a pre-screening by calling one of the following hotlines:
- Memorial Hospital Coronavirus Hotline: 228-867-5000
- Singing River Health System Coronavirus Hotline: 228-809-5044
- MS Dept. of Health Coronavirus Hotline: 877-978-6453.