Coronavirus deaths grow in Mississippi as hospitals struggle with lack of capacity

Published 2:10 pm Saturday, December 19, 2020

Mississippi’s COVID-19 coronavirus death toll for December continued to churn higher Saturday as the state’s healthcare system strained to handle the growing number of ill patients.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported 1,700 new cases on Saturday. The latest numbers bring the total cases since the pandemic began in March to 192,111.

Approximately 38,841 new cases have been confirmed in December, which is now the month with the highest number of new cases since the pandemic began in March. The high case load is 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) 38,841

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 Friday’s statistics, the state reported 1,226 confirmed COVID-19 patients hospitalized with another 93 suspected, but not confirmed by test yet COVID patients also hospitalized. The state reported that across the state 92 percent of all ICU bed were filled with approximately 39 percent filled with confirmed COVID-19 patients.

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 36 new deaths Saturday. A total of 4,390 Mississippians have died from the virus, the state reported.

The average number of deaths reported per day during December is currently averaging 30.7, for a total of 583 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 dropped to 2,023 with Saturday’s update.

The 14-day, daily average of new cases dipped to 2,047 on Saturday.

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 1683 53 72 14
Alcorn 1930 38 119 17
Amite 783 19 53 6
Attala 1517 43 162 28
Benton 598 20 45 10
Bolivar 3001 91 224 30
Calhoun 982 16 25 4
Carroll 886 17 46 9
Chickasaw 1415 35 49 14
Choctaw 447 10 1 0
Claiborne 642 18 43 9
Clarke 1106 55 104 27
Clay 1174 29 20 3
Coahoma 1804 48 127 11
Copiah 2034 42 72 9
Covington 1664 63 115 36
De Soto 12853 127 103 20
Forrest 4735 93 200 42
Franklin 515 6 21 1
George 1578 33 47 7
Greene 910 25 50 6
Grenada 1824 54 145 26
Hancock 1667 50 68 13
Harrison 9404 134 435 50
Hinds 12678 236 622 90
Holmes 1509 63 103 20
Humphreys 664 22 33 8
Issaquena 140 4 0 0
Itawamba 1984 46 123 22
Jackson 7843 147 214 24
Jasper 1167 24 11 0
Jefferson 447 13 17 3
Jefferson Davis 704 21 8 1
Jones 4645 92 199 38
Kemper 622 19 43 9
Lafayette 3813 70 174 42
Lamar 3670 53 45 12
Lauderdale 4442 164 358 86
Lawrence 873 16 27 2
Leake 1750 45 68 7
Lee 6772 108 205 40
Leflore 2418 98 198 48
Lincoln 2299 73 166 36
Lowndes 3639 77 176 37
Madison 6379 126 303 58
Marion 1568 58 144 20
Marshall 2624 59 62 15
Monroe 2641 83 176 53
Montgomery 917 30 54 9
Neshoba 2710 133 177 54
Newton 1406 32 66 11
Noxubee 849 18 21 4
Oktibbeha 3038 67 204 32
Panola 2845 67 101 13
Pearl River 2208 75 143 27
Perry 774 30 20 7
Pike 1991 65 104 27
Pontotoc 2734 34 20 3
Prentiss 1860 40 98 15
Quitman 563 7 0 0
Rankin 7795 143 297 42
Scott 1907 35 35 4
Sharkey 369 17 43 8
Simpson 1803 57 149 19
Smith 916 17 55 8
Stone 1038 18 63 9
Sunflower 2198 57 90 15
Tallahatchie 1127 29 41 7
Tate 2189 54 77 18
Tippah 1754 37 78 4
Tishomingo 1415 50 99 26
Tunica 686 19 15 2
Union 2422 27 102 11
Walthall 909 32 67 13
Warren 2302 68 160 31
Washington 3815 111 187 39
Wayne 1536 25 66 10
Webster 646 17 55 11
Wilkinson 496 22 21 5
Winston 1638 44 96 27
Yalobusha 871 30 81 22
Yazoo 1941 47 138 17
Total 192,111 4,390 8,844