Mississippi health officials warn of ‘rough’ January ahead as virus spread quickens

Published 10:33 am Friday, December 18, 2020

Mississippi’s growing spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to worsen as cases and deaths grow by the day with December setting a new case record with each new day.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported 2,507 new cases on Friday. The latest numbers bring the total cases since the pandemic began in March to 190,411.

More than 37,140 new cases have been confirmed in December, a new record and perhaps an ominous sign for health care workers and hospital administrators already struggling with capacity problems.

Here’s a monthly new case breakdown:

Month New cases
June 11,746
July 31,496
August 24,203
September 15,240
October 21,970
November 33,111
December (month to date) 37,141

Of the total cases, the state believes approximately 148,466 have recovered and while many people who are infected with the virus may only have moderate or even no visible symptoms, others can get gravely ill and can die as a result.

Through Wednesday’s statistics, the state reported 1,219 confirmed COVID-19 patients hospitalized with another 74 suspected, but not confirmed by test yet COVID patients also hospitalized.

Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs wrote Friday on social media that the rising numbers of cases combined with the already high hospitalization are a bad combination.

“Be ready. January will be rough,” Dobbs wrote on Twitter. “We can mitigate if we restrain our holiday events, but likely to be extremely difficult regardless.”

The state reported 34 new deaths Friday. A total of 4,354 Mississippians have died from the virus, the state reported.

The average number of deaths reported per day during December is currently averaging 30.4, for a total of 547 so far during the month, making December already the third deadliest month on record. The deadliest month on record was August when the state reported 813 deaths. The second deadliest was July with 593 reported deaths.

If December’s pace of new cases and deaths continues evenly through the remainder of the month, the state may see as many as 60,000 cases or more, nearly double any prior month, and as many as 900 deaths.

The 7-day, daily average of new cases rose to 2,161 with Friday’s update.

The 14-day, daily average of new cases rose to 2,064 on Friday, tying the previous record high set earlier in the week.

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 1669 53 72 14
Alcorn 1915 37 119 17
Amite 777 19 52 6
Attala 1509 43 162 28
Benton 590 20 45 10
Bolivar 2993 91 224 30
Calhoun 972 16 25 4
Carroll 883 17 46 9
Chickasaw 1381 35 48 14
Choctaw 445 10 1 0
Claiborne 640 18 43 9
Clarke 1096 55 104 27
Clay 1158 29 20 3
Coahoma 1795 48 127 11
Copiah 2024 42 72 9
Covington 1656 63 115 36
De Soto 12746 121 103 20
Forrest 4712 93 199 42
Franklin 501 6 8 1
George 1557 32 47 7
Greene 904 25 50 6
Grenada 1807 53 143 25
Hancock 1644 49 68 13
Harrison 9262 133 434 49
Hinds 12498 233 618 90
Holmes 1505 63 103 20
Humphreys 657 21 33 8
Issaquena 140 4 0 0
Itawamba 1960 46 119 22
Jackson 7779 145 215 23
Jasper 1156 24 11 0
Jefferson 445 12 17 3
Jefferson Davis 701 21 8 1
Jones 4602 92 198 38
Kemper 621 19 43 9
Lafayette 3798 70 174 42
Lamar 3646 52 44 12
Lauderdale 4409 161 353 85
Lawrence 866 15 27 2
Leake 1737 45 68 7
Lee 6675 106 204 40
Leflore 2408 98 197 48
Lincoln 2291 73 166 36
Lowndes 3603 76 158 37
Madison 6327 126 303 58
Marion 1543 55 144 18
Marshall 2610 59 61 15
Monroe 2613 83 176 53
Montgomery 916 30 54 9
Neshoba 2698 133 177 54
Newton 1395 32 66 11
Noxubee 848 17 21 4
Oktibbeha 3018 67 202 32
Panola 2824 67 99 13
Pearl River 2177 75 143 27
Perry 769 30 20 7
Pike 1964 65 104 27
Pontotoc 2717 34 20 3
Prentiss 1846 40 98 15
Quitman 561 7 0 0
Rankin 7741 142 297 42
Scott 1892 34 35 4
Sharkey 368 17 43 8
Simpson 1796 57 149 19
Smith 913 17 55 8
Stone 1023 18 63 9
Sunflower 2190 57 89 15
Tallahatchie 1121 29 39 7
Tate 2174 53 75 18
Tippah 1732 37 78 4
Tishomingo 1389 49 97 26
Tunica 684 19 15 2
Union 2390 27 99 11
Walthall 904 32 67 13
Warren 2269 68 159 31
Washington 3778 111 187 39
Wayne 1522 25 66 10
Webster 642 17 55 11
Wilkinson 494 22 21 5
Winston 1628 44 96 27
Yalobusha 866 30 81 22
Yazoo 1936 45 139 17
Total 190,411 4,354 8,776 1,607

* Note: Yazoo County recorded a large increase in cases today due to an outbreak in a congregate (group living) setting.