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Mississippi sees jump in virus cases after improving numbers

JACKSON (AP) — Mississippi reported one of its highest single-day increases in coronavirus-related deaths Wednesday, after a few days of improving numbers.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported 1,081 new confirmed cases and 45 deaths on Wednesday, one of the top five single-day death tolls in the state since the start of the pandemic. The state reported 48 deaths on July 30, 52 deaths on July 31 and 51 on Aug. 5.

Adams County’s numbers increased to 642 total confirmed COVID-19 cases and the county’s death toll remains at 26. Adams County had 86 active COVID-19 cases on Monday, according to the Adams County Emergency Operations Center.

The increase comes after a few days of decreasing numbers of new cases and deaths, which Gov. Tate Reeves said made him feel cautiously optimistic. Before Wednesday, the state reported 644 new cases and 33 deaths on Tuesday, 476 cases and 16 deaths on Monday and 527 cases and 22 deaths on Sunday.

The governor has said not to get discouraged by numbers and that the new cases and deaths that Mississippians are seeing reported now represent individuals who were exposed weeks ago. In the last several weeks, he said he’s seen people taking the virus more seriously, something that gives him hope for the road ahead.

Reeves said Tuesday during a press briefing that Mississippi may be “starting to turn a corner” in the pandemic.

“Too often it is hard to see the progress that is being made with this global pandemic,” Reeves said. “Too often we focus only on that which scares us.”

Anecdotally, Reeves said he is seeing more people wearing masks, especially since he instituted a statewide mask mandate on Aug. 4.

“The trends will only continue if we do the right things,” he said. “We cannot rest easy and we cannot start to ignore the risks that are out there, but we can be hopeful and confident in our path forward.”

The Health Department said Wednesday that Mississippi, with a population of about 3 million, has had at least 69,374 reported cases and at least 1,989 deaths from COVID-19 as of Tuesday evening.

The true number of virus infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested and studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick. For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and those with existing health problems, it can cause more severe or fatal illness.

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 642 26 46 12
Alcorn 439 5 8 1
Amite 240 6 14 2
Attala 533 25 89 20
Benton 154 1 2 0
Bolivar 1156 36 48 9
Calhoun 426 9 23 4
Carroll 262 11 45 9
Chickasaw 488 19 35 11
Choctaw 138 4 0 0
Claiborne 409 14 43 9
Clarke 343 28 27 9
Clay 404 14 2 1
Coahoma 789 13 43 2
Copiah 971 28 30 4
Covington 637 15 5 1
De Soto 3753 31 45 7
Forrest 1858 57 101 32
Franklin 135 2 3 1
George 603 8 5 1
Greene 262 13 35 6
Grenada 856 26 76 15
Hancock 409 15 8 4
Harrison 2651 36 148 15
Hinds 5768 121 273 54
Holmes 923 49 97 20
Humphreys 299 12 20 6
Issaquena 27 2 0 0
Itawamba 395 10 40 7
Jackson 2391 45 68 7
Jasper 408 9 1 0
Jefferson 196 7 8 2
Jefferson Davis 240 6 3 1
Jones 1947 62 171 35
Kemper 240 14 38 9
Lafayette 1018 20 90 15
Lamar 1241 15 8 3
Lauderdale 1439 93 210 56
Lawrence 329 8 13 1
Leake 799 27 4 0
Lee 1563 42 83 15
Leflore 959 68 184 44
Lincoln 846 43 124 28
Lowndes 1102 40 84 24
Madison 2489 72 206 37
Marion 689 21 47 6
Marshall 729 9 17 2
Monroe 831 55 146 44
Montgomery 345 6 1 1
Neshoba 1306 94 108 35
Newton 555 11 7 1
Noxubee 463 12 17 4
Oktibbeha 1136 39 177 26
Panola 1091 17 8 1
Pearl River 567 40 57 16
Perry 248 8 0 0
Pike 951 37 73 18
Pontotoc 857 9 5 1
Prentiss 441 10 26 3
Quitman 275 1 0 0
Rankin 2322 38 100 10
Scott 1017 20 15 3
Sharkey 206 5 42 4
Simpson 821 31 56 15
Smith 412 13 54 8
Stone 224 5 23 2
Sunflower 1071 27 15 3
Tallahatchie 547 11 7 2
Tate 746 30 33 12
Tippah 388 14 1 0
Tishomingo 444 9 34 2
Tunica 365 7 12 2
Union 700 17 35 8
Walthall 511 21 64 10
Warren 1137 35 95 18
Washington 1722 44 57 13
Wayne 789 21 58 10
Webster 248 13 52 11
Wilkinson 220 13 8 3
Winston 635 16 40 11
Yalobusha 318 10 35 7
Yazoo 870 13 28 3
Total 69,374 1,989 4,159 854