‘Unsustainable’ situation as coronavirus hospitalizations ‘skyrocketing’ in Mississippi; pace of new cases accelerates

Published 12:09 pm Thursday, July 29, 2021

A “skyrocketing” number of COVID-19 coronavirus patients has Mississippi’s health care system bracing for additional pressure, and with new cases growing rapidly, the hospital situation is likely to get worse soon, health officials said Thursday.

Mississippi State Department of Health officials reported that through Wednesday more than 800 people were hospitalized with either test-confirmed COVID-19 (776 patients) or suspected, but not yet test-confirmed COVID-19 (35 patients). Early in July, that combined number was less than 200 patients.

The state’s online tracking tools showed that in the Jackson area approximately 10 ICU beds remained available through Wednesday.

Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs wrote on social media the problem is getting worse as numbers of hospital admissions with COVID-19 are spiking.

“Hospitalizations skyrocketing (and younger age groups),” Dobbs wrote. “(I) spoke with a large hospital yesterday with (approximately) 20 COVID in ICU. Age range 26-64.”

Hattiesburg pediatrician Dr. Anita Henderson, president of the Mississippi Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, also wrote on social media urging Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves to enact a plan to help curb the spread of the virus.

“Mississippi is averaging 64 more in the hospital/day, 14 more in the ICU/day and 10 more on the ventilator/day over the last 5 days,” Henderson wrote. “This is unsustainable @tatereeves. We need a plan help all Mississippians.”

Reeves has said he would not mandate face mask usage and other mitigation means again, in spite of growing warnings from the CDC and his own health department.

Mississippi State Department of Health officials reported Thursday that 1,908 new coronavirus cases were found in the last 24 hours.

Thursday’s report was the highest number of cases found in a 24-hour period since late January.

The additional cases reported Thursday brings the total number of cases found in the state since the pandemic began to 341,862.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported four new deaths on Thursday, bringing the total death toll to 7,533.

Mississippi health leaders have said that a combination of a low overall vaccination rate among Mississippians along with a rapidly spreading Delta variant is causing the recent surge in cases.

Through Wednesday morning, approximately 36% of all Mississippians have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccines available.

And approximately 32% of Mississippi’s population are fully vaccinated, the state reported.

For more detailed county-by-county vaccination results visit: https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/resources/12130.pdf

The 7-day, daily average of new cases jumped to 1,428 on Thursday, the highest level since February 1. By comparison, the rate was 193 on July 1, meaning in approximately four weeks the average number of new cases has increased 641 percent since the start of July.

The 14-day, daily average of new cases rose to 1,114 with Thursday’s update. It was the highest level since February 9.

Cumulative Cases and Deaths by County

Totals of all reported COVID-19 cases, including those in long-term care (LTC) facilities.

The numbers in this table are provisional. County case and deaths totals may change as investigation finds new or additional information.

County Total Cases Total Deaths Total LTC Facility Cases Total LTC Facility Deaths
Adams 3405 88 83 17
Alcorn 3495 74 130 20
Amite 1369 43 57 9
Attala 2259 73 178 36
Benton 1062 25 46 10
Bolivar 4949 134 236 33
Calhoun 1812 32 36 6
Carroll 1259 31 51 10
Chickasaw 2187 60 60 15
Choctaw 823 19 2 0
Claiborne 1050 31 45 9
Clarke 1862 80 123 31
Clay 1967 54 39 5
Coahoma 3133 85 129 12
Copiah 3234 68 90 11
Covington 2918 83 139 39
De Soto 23180 283 113 24
Forrest 8621 159 252 53
Franklin 877 23 40 4
George 2705 51 59 8
Greene 1397 34 53 6
Grenada 2688 88 154 32
Hancock 4237 88 70 14
Harrison 20365 329 494 72
Hinds 23783 441 813 132
Holmes 1992 74 104 20
Humphreys 1001 33 34 9
Issaquena 173 6 0 0
Itawamba 3141 80 135 24
Jackson 15087 251 244 35
Jasper 2295 48 44 2
Jefferson 711 28 41 7
Jefferson Davis 1162 34 9 1
Jones 8969 169 223 42
Kemper 1023 29 44 9
Lafayette 6535 124 187 55
Lamar 6962 89 54 12
Lauderdale 7839 243 452 101
Lawrence 1416 26 27 2
Leake 2846 75 92 16
Lee 10674 179 222 42
Leflore 3619 125 236 52
Lincoln 4171 116 198 40
Lowndes 7016 151 260 63
Madison 10917 227 393 70
Marion 2836 81 158 24
Marshall 4691 106 65 15
Monroe 4322 137 190 55
Montgomery 1322 44 54 9
Neshoba 4268 181 207 59
Newton 2615 64 87 15
Noxubee 1348 35 35 6
Oktibbeha 4916 98 222 36
Panola 4766 112 104 15
Pearl River 5141 152 193 39
Perry 1332 38 22 8
Pike 3650 113 135 37
Pontotoc 4462 73 86 13
Prentiss 2978 63 99 15
Quitman 846 19 0 0
Rankin 15307 290 436 63
Scott 3401 76 114 18
Sharkey 516 18 45 8
Simpson 3220 90 160 20
Smith 1789 35 68 8
Stone 2253 37 85 14
Sunflower 3471 94 123 20
Tallahatchie 1837 42 50 7
Tate 3528 88 80 19
Tippah 3047 68 119 13
Tishomingo 2393 70 102 27
Tunica 1134 27 18 2
Union 4325 79 131 23
Walthall 1453 48 69 13
Warren 4709 127 168 37
Washington 5589 139 190 39
Wayne 2761 43 72 11
Webster 1210 32 61 12
Wilkinson 777 32 25 5
Winston 2365 84 130 39
Yalobusha 1713 40 82 22
Yazoo 3385 75 149 20
Total 341,862 7,533 10,625 1,996