Locations of Mississippi’s highest coronavirus infection rates may surprise you. Check out our county-by-county list

Published 1:49 pm Thursday, March 26, 2020

The highest COVID-19 infection rates in Mississippi may not be where you think.

Although counties in the state’s metropolitan areas may have some of the highest numbers of confirmed cases of the virus, some of the state’s most rural counties have the highest infection rates.

As of Thursday morning, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 485 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus.

Of the state’s 82 counties Desoto County, in the Memphis metro area, leads the state with 49 cases. Hinds County, in the Jackson metro area, follows closely behind with 43 cases. Harrison County on the Gulf Coast comes in third with 31 cases.

But do the high numbers in the state’s biggest metropolitan areas tell the complete story?

If county numbers are compared to their total populations, rural counties like Wilkinson County, Coahoma County and Tippah County may be suffering the most.

As of Thursday morning, 8 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported for Wilkinson County, a rural county in Southwest Mississippi with a population of a little less than 9,000 people.

Looking at the number of cases per 10,000 residents, Wilkinson County tops the state with 8.9 cases/per 10,000 people.

Coahoma County in the Delta with 23,154 residents and 17 COVID-19 cases has an infection rate of 7.1 cases/per 10,000 people.

With a population of 21,969 people and 14 cases, Tippah County in the northeast corner of the state has an infection rate of 6.4 cases/per 10,000 people.

The five counties with the highest infection rates are:

  • Wilkinson County –  8.9
  • Coahoma County – 7.1
  • Tippah County – 6.4
  • Tunica County – 4.9
  • Choctaw County – 4.8

Because of their large populations, metro counties have a smaller infection rate. For example, Desoto County with 178,751 people has an infection rate of 2.8 cases/per 10,000 people.

Hinds County with 239,497 people has an infection rate of 1.8 cases per 10,000 people.

 

Infection rates by county with confirmed cases 

(using data provided by the Mississippi State Department of Health/Mississippi Today)

County Cases infection rate (Per 10,000 people)
Wilkinson 8 8.9
Coahoma 17 7.1
Tippah 14 6.4
Tunica 5 4.9
Choctaw 4 4.8
Leflore 13 4.4
Chickasaw 7 4.1
Lawrence 5 4.0
Holmes 7 3.9
Montgomery 4 3.9
Attala 7 3.8
Pike 12 3.0
Pearl River 16 2.9
Copiah 8 2.8
Desoto 49 2.8
Quitman 2 2.7
Walthall 4 2.7
Franklin 2 2.6
Yalobusha 3 2.4
Calhoun 3 2.1
Forrest 16 2.1
Tate 6 2.1
Madison 21 2.0
Marshall 7 2.0
Oktibbeha 10 2.0
Webster 2 2.0
Lafayette 10 1.9
Washington 9 1.9
Bolivar 6 1.8
Hinds 43 1.8
Lee 15 1.8
Leake 4 1.7
Lincoln 6 1.7
Winston 3 1.6
Harrison 31 1.5
Rankin 23 1.5
Sunflower 4 1.5
Scott 4 1.4
Tallahatchie 2 1.4
Yazoo 4 1.4
Hancock 6 1.3
Itawamba 3 1.3
Lowndes 8 1.3
Benton 1 1.2
Humphreys 1 1.2
Panola 4 1.2
Jackson 16 1.1
Adams 3 1.0
Pontotoc 3 1.0
Grenada 2 0.9
Noxubee 1 0.9
Monroe 3 0.8
Perry 1 0.8
Lamar 4 0.7
Union 2 0.7
Smith 1 0.6
Clay 1 0.5
Newton 1 0.5
George 1 0.4
Lauderdale 3 0.4
Marion 1 0.4
Prentiss 1 0.4
Simpson 1 0.4
Jones 1 0.1