COVID cases, deaths decline but state has only reached winter’s peak

Published 11:27 am Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Mississippi’s COVID-19 cases and death rates are declining, but officials warn that numbers are only reaching the peaks seen during the winter.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported 1,098 more cases of COVID-19, 50 deaths, and 85 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care facilities. The state has a total of 487,293 cases and 9,588 deaths, and 1,310,134 persons have been fully vaccinated.

Lafayette County has 4 new cases of COVID-19. There have been no deaths or LTC outbreaks reported. The county has a total of 8,302 cases, 137 deaths, 199 long-term care facility outbreaks and 57 long-term care facility deaths.

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During a weekly Mississippi State Medical Association meeting, State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said the state’s numbers are continuing to decline, but cases have only decreased to the numbers witnessed during the peaks in December 2020 and January 2021.

“All of those cases are still translating into a lot of deaths,” said Byers. “We had over 1,000 deaths in Mississippi in August and we’re certainly on pace for that [in September].”

There is also a concern about the increase in cases and deaths in younger age groups. As of Sept. 28, COVID-19 cases in children from infancy to age 4 are steadily increasing in Mississippi. Although cases in the 5 to 17 age group are declining, the rate is still at 20%.

However, Mississippi is making progress in the fight against COVID-19. Hospitals across the state are seeing an increased capacity as hospitalizations and the ICU patient numbers decline.

“It’s been a relief, but we still have a long way to go,” said Byers.