‘Mississippi, we have failed,’ doctor says as coronavirus cases continue to climb and hospitals struggle to care for patients

Published 9:41 am Thursday, August 19, 2021

New cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus continue to stack up new records while state hospital systems struggle to care for patients previously diagnosed who have become extremely ill.

Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) officials reported Thursday that 4,807 new coronavirus cases were found in the last 24 hours, as the state reports new records in almost any category related to COVID-19

The additional cases reported Thursday brings the total number of cases found in the state since the pandemic began to 401,201. The total number of cases indicates approximately 13 percent of all Mississippians have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began.

Through Tuesday, Mississippi hospitals were caring for a record 1,633 positive COVID cases with another 56 suspected cases in state hospital beds. A record 486 people were in ICU beds with 319 on ventilators.

Mississippi has seen a steep rise in cases since early July.

Since the beginning of August, Mississippi has already reported more new cases than any month this year began except January.

Here’s how the monthly numbers break down for each month of 2021:

January ’21         59,185
February ’21         19,794
March ’21         10,351
April ’21           6,754
May ’21           5,931
June ’21           4,051
July ’21         21,741
August ’21 (MTD)         57,696

The high number of cases so far in August means, statistically,  means more than 1.9 out of every 100 Mississippi residents has contracted the virus this month.

MSDH reported 21 new deaths on Thursday, bringing the total death toll to 7,937.

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.

“Mississippi, we have failed,” wrote Dr. Alan Jones Thursday morning on social media. Jones is the associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs at Mississippi’s large hospital, the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Jones’ post came along with a shared graphic that showed Mississippi now leads the world — not just the U.S. but the world — in the most new COVID cases per capita in the last week.

The recent spikes in cases and deaths have prompted more people to get vaccinated. More than 71,000 were vaccinated last week, up significantly from the low week in early July when less than 20,000 were vaccinated.

“Most of these folks that we’re losing could have made it if they had been vaccinated beforehand,” Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said Wednesday.

Only 36 percent of the total population has been fully vaccinated, nearly the worst in the nation and well below the U.S. average of 50 percent.

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 rose to 3,582 on Thursday, another record high since the pandemic began.

The 14-day, daily average of new cases jumped to another new record to 3,225 with Thursday’s update.

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 3840 94 83 17
Alcorn 4190 77 130 20
Amite 1599 45 57 9
Attala 2728 77 187 36
Benton 1197 25 47 10
Bolivar 5384 138 237 33
Calhoun 2126 34 36 6
Carroll 1409 32 51 10
Chickasaw 2448 60 61 15
Choctaw 990 21 11 0
Claiborne 1157 32 46 9
Clarke 2260 81 123 31
Clay 2369 56 41 5
Coahoma 3366 86 132 12
Copiah 3615 71 100 12
Covington 3510 86 142 39
De Soto 25456 295 118 26
Forrest 11057 179 276 57
Franklin 968 26 41 5
George 3597 57 61 9
Greene 1711 39 57 6
Grenada 3009 91 154 32
Hancock 5562 91 71 15
Harrison 26270 351 509 72
Hinds 27164 499 830 137
Holmes 2247 77 106 20
Humphreys 1102 34 34 9
Issaquena 180 6 0 0
Itawamba 3565 83 135 24
Jackson 19114 273 265 37
Jasper 2716 49 44 2
Jefferson 794 29 41 7
Jefferson Davis 1405 35 9 1
Jones 10864 179 227 43
Kemper 1201 31 46 9
Lafayette 7154 128 190 55
Lamar 8794 95 54 12
Lauderdale 9735 254 458 102
Lawrence 1703 27 27 2
Leake 3372 77 92 16
Lee 12268 185 223 43
Leflore 4014 127 239 55
Lincoln 4527 120 198 40
Lowndes 8439 156 266 64
Madison 12335 241 405 70
Marion 3362 85 160 24
Marshall 5129 107 65 15
Monroe 5127 139 191 55
Montgomery 1461 47 54 9
Neshoba 5627 183 209 59
Newton 3148 65 87 15
Noxubee 1538 36 36 6
Oktibbeha 5797 102 227 36
Panola 5213 112 104 15
Pearl River 6642 167 204 40
Perry 1556 41 23 9
Pike 4342 117 136 37
Pontotoc 4988 78 86 13
Prentiss 3543 64 100 15
Quitman 924 20 0 0
Rankin 18022 311 472 65
Scott 3876 82 116 19
Sharkey 563 20 45 8
Simpson 3664 97 160 20
Smith 2099 40 68 8
Stone 2913 39 85 14
Sunflower 3784 97 124 20
Tallahatchie 1969 45 50 7
Tate 3706 89 80 19
Tippah 3634 74 120 14
Tishomingo 2628 71 102 27
Tunica 1263 29 18 2
Union 4895 80 132 23
Walthall 1713 52 69 13
Warren 5484 130 171 38
Washington 6043 142 193 41
Wayne 3415 53 79 12
Webster 1499 32 62 12
Wilkinson 892 33 25 5
Winston 2583 86 130 39
Yalobusha 1913 43 82 22
Yazoo 3735 80 149 20
Total 401,201 7,937 10,874 2,030