Saturday, April 18, 2020
Mississippi State Department of Health is reporting 181 new cases of COVID-19 for the period ending Friday, March 17, at 6:00 p.m. Twelve people died on Friday from the virus.
In total, MSDH has reported nearly 4,000 cases of COVID-19 since March 11, 2020. Hinds County, where the capital city is located, has recorded the most cases, 325, with five deaths and five long-term care facilities reporting infections. Desoto County, a suburb of Memphis, has the second-highest total of cases at 220, with 3 deaths and one long-term care facility affected.
Lauderdale County, where Meridian is located, has reported the most deaths at 14, with 190 total cases reported. That's a 7.4% fatality rate, much higher than fatality rates reported nationwide.
UMMC and MSDH are running mobile testing sites throughout the state, in conjunction with the Mississippi National Guard and Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
UMMC said in a press release that "hundreds of people in Mississippi communities have taken advantage of the UMMC/MSDH drive-through collection sites."
As of April 15, UMMC said, there have been 2,271 people tested at the Mississippi Fairgrounds in Jackson.
Symptoms related to COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath and/or a sore throat. UMMC directs anyone experiencing those symptoms to go through a "triage" screening using the C Spire Health app.
From the telehealth screening, one of two things happens. If the screening suggests the person is at high risk for COVID-19, they've given an appointment to visit a testing site, where they provide a sample via nose swab without getting out of their vehicle.
If the screening suggests a person is at low risk of having the virus, he or she will "receive instructions on social distancing, home isolation and self-care – and told to call back if symptoms worsen."
Read the JFP’s coverage of COVID-19 at jacksonfreepress.com/covid19. Get more details on preventive measures here. Read about announced closings and delays in Mississippi here. Read MEMA’s advice for a COVID-19 preparedness kit here.
Email information about closings and other vital related logistical details to [email protected].
Email state reporter Nick Judin, who is covering COVID-19 in Mississippi, at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @nickjudin. Seyma Bayram is covering the outbreak inside the capital city and in the criminal-justice system. Email her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @seymabayram0.