108 New Cases of COVID-19, Largest Increase So Far | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

108 New Cases of COVID-19, Largest Increase So Far

The Mississippi State Department of Health announced 108 additional cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi as of March 26, bringing the statewide total to 485. Six Mississippians have now died as a result of COVID-19. Photo courtesy MSDH

The Mississippi State Department of Health announced 108 additional cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi as of March 26, bringing the statewide total to 485. Six Mississippians have now died as a result of COVID-19. Photo courtesy MSDH

As controversy swirls in Mississippi over Gov. Tate Reeves’ refusal to issue a “Shelter in Place” order, the state has 108 additional cases of COVID-19 as of yesterday, March 25, at 6 p.m. That brings the statewide total to 485, again breaking the record for most new cases reported in a single day. That is a 506.25% since the 80 cases reported less than a week ago on Friday.

The Mississippi State Department of Health released the updated COVID-19 case numbers this morning, which indicated that an additional Mississippian has died as a result of the novel coronavirus. Shortly before this story went live, MSDH announced another death, a Rankin County man between 80-85 years of age with underlying conditions, who died in the hospital. The current death toll from the virus is now six.

Yesterday’s fatalities include a Wilkinson County man between the ages of 85-90 with underlying conditions who passed in a hospital facility, and a Tunica County woman aged 75-80, who died in long-term care.

MSDH cautioned today that patients listed by county may change as the agency investigates individual cases to determine their origin. Benton, Lauderdale, Quitman and Yalobusha joined the list of counties with reported cases of COVID-19.

DeSoto County, part of the Memphis metro area, now has the highest number of cases in Mississippi at 49. Hinds County in central Mississippi follows with 43, and Harrison County along the Gulf Coast follows at 31.

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Most of Mississippi's 82 counties have now reported the presence of COVID-19. Pockets with no known cases of the novel coronavirus remain in the state's western border, from the southern tip of the Delta down to Jefferson County, as well as in the eastern and northeast reaches of the state.

Mississippi’s testing capacity continues to increase as the week goes on. Yesterday, MSDH reported 1,945 COVID-19 tests since the beginning of the crisis. Today, that number is 2,776. While reported detections of COVID-19 from private labs are included in the total case count, the total number of tests from private sources is not, meaning that the actual number of tested Mississippians is higher.

The increased pace of testing at the Public Health Lab is likely due in part to the drive-thru testing center at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds, which began operation this week.

This afternoon, Gov. Reeves is hosting a press conference in Jackson to address controversy in his Monday-evening executive order that did not include a shelter-in-place order as many states, including Louisiana, have done. The executive order includes language that overrides efforts by mayors and local authorities that go further to require social distancing in their areas.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said that yesterday was March 26th. This was an editing mistake. We regret the error. (Hey -- we're still getting used to working from home.)

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.

Email information about closings and other vital related logistical details to [email protected].

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.

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