The Mississippi Department of Health reports a large spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths today amid hopes of a flattening plateau. Photo courtesy MSDH
In spite of hopes for a plateau preceding a decline of new COVID-19 cases, the Mississippi Department of Health reported a record 397 new cases of coronavirus disease today, a sharp spike from previous weeks, during which the average daily increase hovered around 200.
The ominous new heights of viral growth come on the same day as the Legislature returns to reassert its control over the appropriations of CARES Act relief funds—while a protest in favor of the right to bear arms rages outside the Capitol.
MSDH’s reports of 397 new detections of COVID-19 bring the statewide total to 7,212. Twenty new deaths accompany the report, though MSDH stated in its update that 11 of those deaths occurred in previous weeks, with postmortem investigations determining the cause of death. Mississippians hospitalized due to COVID-19 have also risen—the current total is now 454.
After multiple requests by the Jackson Free Press and other new outlets, MSDH has released racial breakdowns of COVID-19 by gender, as well as separating Hispanic and Asian Mississippians out from the “other” category. The data reveal what many observers had already anticipated—Mississippi’s odd gender disparities, in which women suffered more from COVID-19 than men, are intrinsically tied up in its racial disparities.
Of the 5,000-plus fully investigated cases of COVID-19, more than 2,000 reports come from black women alone, making COVID-19 detections in that demographic twice as likely as in any other single group. There is no data yet available for gendered breakdowns of deaths by race.
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.
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Email state reporter Nick Judin, who is covering COVID-19 in Mississippi, at firstname.lastname@example.org 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@example.com and follow her on Twitter at @seymabayram0.
Email state intern Julian Mills at firstname.lastname@example.org.