On Saturday, March 21, the Mississippi State Department of Health announced 40 new cases of coronavirus in the state, with the most new cases in Hinds and Desoto counties. MSDH also released demographics showing that, so far, most of the known cases are women, the virus is spread across adult age groups at similar percentages. Graph: MSDH
IMPORTANT UPDATE, Sunday, March 22, 2020: Today, MSDH's current list of COVID-19 cases in Mississippi jumped to 207 cases, up 159% in two days since Friday. Please read this current story instead for up-to-date information. Follow full COVID-19 coverage at jacksonfreepress.com/covid19.
The Mississippi State Department of Health announced 60 new cases of COVID-19 this morning, March 21, bringing the statewide total to 140. The new cases are in a number of new counties spread around the state, including Attlala, Clay, George, Grenada, Leake, Lincoln, Panola, Simpson, Tunica, Union and Washington counties. Lowndes County in northeast Mississippi showed up for the first time today with four cases.
Hinds County shows seven new cases since yesterday, returning to the top of the list with a total of 14 affected residents, followed by DeSoto county in north Mississippi, just below Memphis, with 13 and Harrison County on the Gulf Coast in south Mississippi with 10.
Today’s MSDH alerts include demographic breakdowns of the currently detected cases. Exactly 50% of all reported cases are in individuals over the age of 50, likely due to the virus’ tendency to hospitalize older individuals with greater comorbidities, such as diabetes, lung disease or heart disease.
Read breaking coverage of COVID-19 in Mississippi, plus safety tips, cancellations, more in the JFP's archive.
However, almost as many current Mississippi cases are in people under age 49, with almost as many among those age 18 to 29 (24 cases) as in those over age 70 (26). The bracket with the highest number to date is age 40 to 49 with 27 cases to date. This tracks with infections in other places such as France with high numbers of people with severe COVID-19 infections under age 50.
Mississippi’s current data show two out of three reported cases are women. Elsewhere, such as in Italy, men were more likely to suffer infection and serious complications from the illness, including death.
Twenty-four percent of reported cases in Mississippi are currently hospitalized, while 67% are convalescing outside the hospital. MSDH reported that is “unknown” whether 8% of the infected Mississippians are hospitalized.
Yesterday, both the City of Jackson and the University of Mississippi Medical Center announced new testing options in the capital-city region.
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 [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.