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Mississippi now has country's highest rate for COVID deaths

Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs on Aug. 19, 2021.

Mississippi has surpassed New Jersey as the state with the highest rate of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said the numbers of new cases are still “far more than we’d like to see,” and that more deaths will follow.

Posted: Sep 17, 2021 9:33 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi has surpassed New Jersey as the state with the highest rate of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., with roughly 1 of every 320 Mississippians having succumbed to the coronavirus.

The state's top health official said Thursday that the numbers of new virus cases are still “far more than we'd like to see,” and warned that more deaths will follow.

“We’re recording well over 2,500 (cases) a day, in recent days, far more than we’d like to see,” said State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. "A lot of that’s going to translate into the tragedy."

Since the start of the pandemic, at least 9,165 people in Mississippi have died of the virus. The state has a population of roughly 3 million and has had one of the worst vaccination rates in the country.

New Jersey was throttled in the spring of 2020 at the start of the pandemic, long before vaccines were available.

Of specific concern during the delta variant surge in Mississippi have been pregnant mothers, Dobbs said. Over the course of the pandemic, 15 pregnant women in Mississippi have died of coronavirus, according to the Department of Health. Eight of those deaths occurred between July 25 and Sept. 16.

The age range of the mothers who died was between 23 and 40, with the median age being 30. Dobbs said 60% were Black. None of the women were fully vaccinated. One woman had received her first shot.

As for health conditions, “some were overweight, but so are the majority of Mississippians, so I don’t think that that’s much of a surprise,” Dobbs said. Mississippi had the highest rate of adult obesity in 2020, at 39.7%, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dobbs said babies are also at risk.

“We have had late pregnancy loss after 20 weeks among 72 COVID patients in the state of Mississippi — that’s far higher than the background rate for stillbirths that we’ve seen,” Dobbs. “To protect the moms and also to protect our babies, we need to prevent COVID infection.”

Dr. J. Martin Tucker, chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, said Thursday, "unequivocally, the vaccine should be offered or recommended during pregnancy."

Since the pandemic began, the University of Mississippi Medical Center — the state's only level one trauma center — has had 372 admissions related to COVID-19 and pregnancy, 30 of whom have ended up in the ICU. He said 16 of those moms have been on ventilators. Two babies have tested positive for COVID-19 in the neonatal care unit.

“Those are frightening statistics,” Tucker said.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said 2% of people with COVID-19 in Mississippi will die. The mortality rate for those who are hospitalized in Mississippi increases to around 14.8% and 37% if a patient is in the ICU.

“What we want to avoid is number one, folks getting into the hospital," Byers said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 497379

Reported Deaths: 9907
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34085530
DeSoto31806398
Hinds31796621
Jackson24303377
Rankin21852387
Lee15413233
Madison14513278
Jones13770241
Forrest13401250
Lauderdale11936314
Lowndes10908184
Lamar10461135
Pearl River9428237
Lafayette8450137
Hancock7690126
Washington7361156
Oktibbeha7110129
Monroe6713173
Warren6635175
Neshoba6606204
Pontotoc6603101
Panola6458131
Marshall6378132
Bolivar6264145
Union595194
Pike5780152
Alcorn5630100
Lincoln5416134
George490479
Scott470698
Tippah464981
Prentiss464181
Leflore4626143
Itawamba4590104
Adams4570119
Tate4539109
Copiah444691
Simpson4419116
Wayne438572
Yazoo437586
Covington427194
Sunflower4215104
Marion4206107
Coahoma4114104
Leake407287
Newton380879
Grenada3691108
Stone358264
Tishomingo355991
Attala330189
Jasper328065
Winston312891
Clay305875
Chickasaw296567
Clarke290294
Calhoun277645
Holmes266587
Smith262550
Yalobusha232347
Tallahatchie225251
Walthall217663
Greene215448
Lawrence211140
Perry204555
Amite203454
Webster201645
Noxubee184940
Montgomery178956
Jefferson Davis170642
Carroll167338
Tunica158539
Benton147038
Kemper141241
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131037
Humphreys128838
Franklin119128
Quitman106227
Wilkinson104339
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 811551

Reported Deaths: 15101
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1138721885
Mobile720161315
Madison51829685
Shelby37203339
Baldwin37018538
Tuscaloosa34853599
Montgomery33879718
Lee23097239
Calhoun22095468
Morgan20584368
Etowah19727496
Marshall18224298
Houston17270405
St. Clair15884337
Cullman15257289
Limestone15177197
Elmore14944283
Lauderdale14060294
Talladega13653270
DeKalb12530258
Walker11055363
Blount10071174
Autauga9874146
Jackson9760177
Coffee9171188
Dale8850180
Colbert8768200
Tallapoosa7028194
Escambia6714127
Covington6661179
Chilton6571160
Russell623458
Franklin5926105
Chambers5553142
Marion4942126
Dallas4848199
Clarke472681
Pike4713105
Geneva4557126
Winston4456101
Lawrence4247116
Bibb421186
Barbour355274
Marengo333889
Monroe329062
Randolph324663
Butler323694
Pickens313479
Henry310365
Hale308586
Cherokee299257
Fayette289779
Washington250850
Cleburne245758
Crenshaw243075
Clay238867
Macon229862
Lamar214846
Conecuh185051
Coosa177338
Lowndes173061
Wilcox166738
Bullock151744
Perry137940
Sumter130738
Greene125344
Choctaw86527
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Columbus
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This afternoon and into our evening we will see a cold front move into our area. This cold front will bring some good chances for some showers and thunderstorms into our weather forecast during that time period.
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