January 16, 2021

Christmas Eve report shows Mississippi coronavirus spread still growing

On Christmas Eve, Mississippi reported high numbers of new COVID-19 coronavirus cases as state health officials warn that Christmas dinner could be deadly.

Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs urged Mississippians to limit Christmas and New Year’s gatherings to minimize virus spread.

“Please beware of the SILENT-SUPERSPREADER at your holiday table,” Dobbs wrote on social media Wednesday morning. “We catch COVID from people we love, people we know. It could be your cousin, your best friend, your nephew. It could even be you!

“MOST PEOPLE WHO SPREAD COVID DON’T KNOW THEY HAVE IT. Keep it small this holiday.”

The state reported on Thursday 24 new deaths attributed to the virus. A total of 4,556 Mississippians have died from the virus, the state reported.

The average number of deaths reported per day during December is currently averaging 31.3, for a total of 750 deaths reported so far during the month, making December second only to August when the state reported 813 deaths. Note: Some deaths reported on a given day or in a given month may have occurred earlier, but were delayed in reporting.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported 2,326 new cases on Thursday. The latest numbers bring the total cases since the pandemic began in March to 202,651.

Approximately 49,381 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) 49,381

Of the total cases, the state believes approximately 154,669 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 Tuesday’s statistics, the state reported 1,312 confirmed COVID-19 patients were hospitalized with another 65 suspected, but not confirmed by test yet COVID patients also hospitalized.

The state reported that across the state only 89 ICU beds were available, meaning that 90 percent of all ICU beds were filled. Of the ICU beds in use, approximately 42 percent were filled with confirmed COVID-19 patients.

“And this is before holiday celebrations,” Dobbs wrote on social media Tuesday morning.

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 2,107 with Thursday’s update.

The 14-day, daily average of new cases rose to 2,121 on Thursday.

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 1742 57 72 15
Alcorn 2028 39 120 17
Amite 817 20 53 6
Attala 1626 44 166 29
Benton 638 20 45 10
Bolivar 3202 95 223 30
Calhoun 1074 16 25 4
Carroll 904 17 46 9
Chickasaw 1507 35 49 14
Choctaw 468 10 1 0
Claiborne 672 18 43 9
Clarke 1146 57 108 27
Clay 1235 30 20 3
Coahoma 1884 51 127 11
Copiah 2100 43 73 9
Covington 1748 66 133 39
De Soto 13674 129 107 20
Forrest 4966 94 205 42
Franklin 550 7 40 1
George 1646 34 48 7
Greene 952 25 51 6
Grenada 1900 60 146 29
Hancock 1832 53 68 14
Harrison 9974 139 461 51
Hinds 13255 248 672 94
Holmes 1539 64 103 20
Humphreys 697 22 33 8
Issaquena 144 4 0 0
Itawamba 2143 49 123 22
Jackson 8290 151 215 25
Jasper 1288 25 13 1
Jefferson 458 14 21 3
Jefferson Davis 727 22 8 1
Jones 4881 95 202 39
Kemper 638 19 43 9
Lafayette 3997 76 182 45
Lamar 3862 55 45 12
Lauderdale 4664 168 370 87
Lawrence 898 16 27 2
Leake 1883 49 81 9
Lee 7188 111 205 40
Leflore 2512 98 * 204 48
Lincoln 2417 74 166 36
Lowndes 4008 85 187 40
Madison 6733 128 304 58
Marion 1672 59 151 20
Marshall 2778 62 62 15
Monroe 2799 84 179 53
Montgomery 946 30 54 9
Neshoba 2852 137 183 55
Newton 1506 32 74 11
Noxubee 879 20 22 4
Oktibbeha 3190 70 204 32
Panola 2998 68 103 13
Pearl River 2354 79 143 30
Perry 820 30 20 7
Pike 2080 65 106 27
Pontotoc 2969 37 20 3
Prentiss 1961 41 99 15
Quitman 586 7 0 0
Rankin 8197 156 299 45
Scott 2029 38 35 4
Sharkey 377 17 43 8
Simpson 1892 60 151 19
Smith 956 18 55 8
Stone 1095 18 63 9
Sunflower 2309 59 90 15
Tallahatchie 1163 29 41 7
Tate 2283 56 79 19
Tippah 1858 40 78 5
Tishomingo 1486 51 101 26
Tunica 712 19 15 2
Union 2604 34 106 15
Walthall 942 33 67 13
Warren 2443 74 163 37
Washington 3971 112 187 39
Wayne 1577 25 68 10
Webster 682 17 56 11
Wilkinson 511 22 24 5
Winston 1739 44 105 27
Yalobusha 931 31 81 22
Yazoo 1997 50 138 17
Total 202,651 4,556 9,099 1,658

* Note: One death previously reported in Leflore County was counted twice, and has been corrected.