Saturday, July 4, 2020
Mississippians have witnessed a rapid increase in the number of positive COVID-19 results in the two weeks since Memorial Day weekend.
The Mississippi State Department of Health today reported that the total number of cases passed 30,000 on Friday, with that day's total at a near-record 990 reported newly infected Mississippians. Four people died from complications related to the virus yesterday.
After relatively flat seven-day averages for the first half of June, the past two weeks have seen a dramatic escalation in cases. Last Saturday, we reported a seven-day average of 550 cases per day; today that average stands at 683 cases per day.
The average number of people who have died on a daily basis from COVID-19 related illness has actually declined in those same two weeks, although it's worth noting that the reporting of serious illness and deaths from COVID-19 tends to trail behind the reported number of infections.
People who were in the hospital on Friday with COVID-19 infections also reached a new high: 647, while 225 are suspected of having the virus. MSDH reports that 175 people are in ICU, which also appears to be a high since counting began.
Hinds County tops the "High Case" list for the week of June 22-28, which it often is given its high population relative to most counties in the state; however, it's also on the "High Incidence" list, meaning the county is in the top-10 for high per-capital numbers of infected residents.
Neither Gov. Tates Reeves nor State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs has said anything on social media since July 2 about the significant uptick in numbers.
On Thursday, Reeves announced that he was "pausing" the reopening of the state—which has already almost fully reopened—while Dr. Dobbs said most cases arose from people attending large gatherings and not following safety recommendations.
“It's very simple. If we can't maintain the simple things—6 feet, a mask and small groups only—we wouldn't be having this conversation,” Dobbs said. “The virus would actually be petering out on its own. The draconian measures that we had to implement early on are not necessary if people will follow the simple rules.”
On Tuesday, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba signed an amended "stay at home" order that requires face masks in commercial buildings and outdoors when 6 feet of social distancing is not possible.