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|