3,323 new COVID cases, 67 more MS deaths

Published 5:00 pm Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Mississippi has the third-highest COVID-related mortality rate per capita in the country, according to State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs.

In a month of continuing high numbers of positive COVID-19 cases, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 3,323 new cases Tuesday and 67 deaths.

Only New Jersey and Massachusetts have higher per-capita deaths than Mississippi, according to CDC COVID tracking data.

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The fourth-highest one-day total for the state brings Mississippi numbers to 392,309 cases. The state’s top four days of cases have all occurred Aug. 10-17.

All newly-reported deaths have occurred within the month, as well — 29 during Aug. 11-16 and 38 identified from Aug. 2-13 death certificate reports.

Mississippi is seventh in fastest growth of new cases over the previous 14 days, according to DataUSA, growing by 82%, with 40,490 new positive test results in that time.

Across the nation, cases have grown by 38.6% with 1.76 million new cases over the two-week period.

Seven new cases have been reported in Lincoln County, elevating totals to 4,438, with deaths remaining at 119. MSDH has received reports of 7,880 COVID-related deaths in total.

As of Monday, 1,539 people were hospitalized statewide with confirmed infections and 49 more with suspected infections; 431 were in Intensive Care Units with 291 of those on ventilators. It’s the most cases Mississippi hospitals have had at one time since the pandemic began in early 2020.

“The COVID-19 situation is worsening in our state,” said Dr. LouAnn Woodward, University of Mississippi Medical Center’s vice chancellor for health affairs, via statement.

UMMC began setting up a second emergency field hospital in a parking garage Sunday that will handle some of the sickest patients. Christian relief charity Samaritan’s Purse will set up the mobile intensive care unit with a medical team in a garage near Children’s Hospital of Mississippi. This is the sixth emergency hospital set up worldwide by the charity.

With assistance from the federal government, UMMC set up its first emergency field hospital last week. The second field hospital is expected to be ready for patients by midweek.

In the coming days, an additional tent will be set up where COVID-positive patients can receive monoclonal antibody treatments, Woodward said.

Twenty COVID-positive patients were being treated at King’s Daughters Medical Center as of 10:30 a.m. Monday. Eighteen were unvaccinated. Twelve of the patients are in the ICU and eight are on ventilators.

KDMC emergency room staff had seen 34 patients in the previous 24 hours for COVID-related issues.

Reid said a big contributing factor to the rapid spread of the virus is lack of vaccinations.

“It’s spreading through people are not vaccinated,” he said. “You can still get it if you’re vaccinated but the symptoms are not as bad. There are still some deaths and hospitalizations, but vaccinations seem to be keeping most of these folks out of the hospital.”