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Mississippi has fourth highest COVID-19 infection rate in nation

NATCHEZ — Mississippi has the fourth highest per capita COVID-19 infection rate in the nation as of Aug. 8 with 2,375 cases per 100,000 people.

Mississippi is behind No. 1 Louisiana with 2,769 cases per 100,000 people, No. 2 Arizona with 2,557 cases per 100,000 people and No. 3 Florida with 2,452 cases per 100,000 people, according to USAFacts.org data.

Norma Williams who keeps statistics for the Natchez COVID-19 Task Force shared the news during Monday’s meeting.

“The positivity rate for Adams County is still high at 19.8% this week vs. 20% last week,” Williams said. “Mississippi’s positivity rate is still increasing from 13.1% to 13.6%. Keep in mind CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and WHO (the World Health Organization) recommend positivity rates below 5%.”

From Aug. 3 through Aug. 9, Adams County had an additional 43 new cases bringing the county’s total to 623 or 7.4% increase compared to last week’s increase of 18%, Williams said.

After Monday’s task force meeting, the Mississippi State Department of Health released updated figures for the state with 476 new confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide, including six new confirmed cases in Adams County, bringing the county’s total to 629 cases. Adams County’s COVID-19 death toll remains at 25.

The state’s total confirmed COVID-19 cases is now 67,649 and 1,912 total deaths.

“We cannot let our guard down as positivity rates are still very high, plus we need to factor in active cases and hospitalizations,” Williams said. “Deaths are still holding at 25 as reported last week with a case fatality rate of 4%.”

Natchez and Adams County have a combined 86 active cases, said Neifa Hardy, liaison for the Adams County Emergency Management COVID-19 Task Force.

“As of right now we have 512 recovered,” Hardy said. “On Saturday, we did distribute 500 masks and hand sanitizer. Since we began distributing masks in March, April we’ve given out 22,100 masks.”

Robert Bradford, Adams County Emergency Management director, said many people are concerned about the numbers of people with COVID-19 infections in Adams County’s long-term care facilities and prisons.

“It is not the prisons and the long-term care facilities that are keeping our numbers up here in Adams County, even though they do have some,” Bradford said. “According to what we perceive, it is a lot of individuals who are outside walking and spreading it not knowing they are positive and pushing these numbers up. I can attest that long-term care facilities are not 70 or 80 people positive or in prison. It is pretty much the individuals that are among us that are walking out in public.”

According to Monday’s MSDH COVID-19 report, Adams County’s total confirmed COVID-19 cases in long-term facilities such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities stood at 46 cases with 12 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in March.

The Adams County Correctional Facility located off of U.S. 84 had five active cases, no deaths and 41 total confirmed cases as of Monday, according to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.

Lance Boyd CEO of Merit Health Natchez told task force members that the hospital had nine patients with COVID-19 in the hospital on Monday, compared to 16 in the hospital last week.

Three of the COVID-19 patients were on ventilators Monday and three other non-COVID-9 patients were on ventilators for other reasons Monday, Boyd said.

Boyd also said Merit Health Natchez will hold an American Red Cross blood drive on Wednesday and that all the blood collected by the ARC will stay in Natchez and Adams County, unlike other blood services.

Merit Health Natchez only takes blood from the Red Cross, Boyd said, adding that people who donate blood also will be screened for antibodies to determine whether they have had COVID-19 and their plasma could benefit others needing treatment.

People who would like to participate can sign up at americanredcross.org.

Also during Monday’s Natchez COVID-19 Task Force meeting, Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson said he would like to work toward combining the Natchez COVID-19 Task Force with the Adams County EOC COVID-19 Task Force and will meet with Bradford to make that happen.

Cumulative Cases and Deaths by County

Totals of all reported COVID-19 cases for 2020, including those in long-term care (LTC) facilities.

The numbers in this table are provisional. County case numbers and deaths may change as investigation finds new or additional information. The data provided below is the most current available.

County Total Cases Total Deaths Total LTC Facility Cases Total LTC Facility Deaths
Adams 629 25 46 12
Alcorn 434 5 8 1
Amite 235 6 14 2
Attala 523 25 89 20
Benton 143 1 2 0
Bolivar 1118 34 48 9
Calhoun 420 9 23 4
Carroll 261 11 45 9
Chickasaw 470 19 35 11
Choctaw 135 4 0 0
Claiborne 409 13 43 9
Clarke 326 26 19 9
Clay 397 14 2 1
Coahoma 772 13 34 2
Copiah 957 28 30 4
Covington 621 13 4 1
De Soto 3680 31 45 7
Forrest 1820 56 101 32
Franklin 131 2 3 1
George 589 5 5 0
Greene 255 12 35 6
Grenada 849 21 76 12
Hancock 395 14 8 4
Harrison 2530 36 146 15
Hinds 5656 118 266 53
Holmes 900 49 97 20
Humphreys 294 11 20 6
Issaquena 26 2 0 0
Itawamba 375 10 34 7
Jackson 2288 43 68 7
Jasper 388 9 1 0
Jefferson 195 7 8 2
Jefferson Davis 233 6 3 1
Jones 1916 59 170 35
Kemper 234 14 38 9
Lafayette 983 17 88 13
Lamar 1226 14 8 3
Lauderdale 1411 92 210 56
Lawrence 322 8 13 1
Leake 790 25 4 0
Lee 1479 41 83 15
Leflore 947 65 184 44
Lincoln 832 41 124 28
Lowndes 1085 38 76 21
Madison 2443 68 192 36
Marion 684 20 47 5
Marshall 701 9 16 1
Monroe 801 55 146 44
Montgomery 326 5 0 0
Neshoba 1286 92 108 35
Newton 543 11 7 1
Noxubee 459 12 17 4
Oktibbeha 1127 39 177 26
Panola 1062 14 7 1
Pearl River 554 39 57 15
Perry 243 7 0 0
Pike 938 36 73 17
Pontotoc 830 8 5 1
Prentiss 417 10 25 3
Quitman 270 1 0 0
Rankin 2292 35 96 10
Scott 1003 20 15 3
Sharkey 199 5 42 4
Simpson 803 30 37 14
Smith 406 13 54 8
Stone 205 5 23 2
Sunflower 1054 25 15 3
Tallahatchie 530 11 7 2
Tate 736 29 33 12
Tippah 367 13 1 0
Tishomingo 421 6 33 0
Tunica 351 7 12 2
Union 643 16 33 8
Walthall 501 20 64 10
Warren 1095 33 94 16
Washington 1689 42 56 13
Wayne 774 21 57 10
Webster 235 12 52 11
Wilkinson 211 13 8 3
Winston 623 16 40 11
Yalobusha 315 10 35 7
Yazoo 833 12 27 2
Total 67,649 1,912 4,067 832