Today’s coronavirus numbers are in for Mississippi, leaving very few white counties on the list, denoting which of our 82 counties do not yet have an official confirmed case. Today, MSDH added 84 cases to bring the total to 663 with 13 deaths. Of 82 counties, 71 now are reporting at least one case of COVID-19. Map by MSDH
Today’s coronavirus numbers are in for Mississippi, leaving very few untouched counties. Today, MSDH added 84 cases to bring the total to 663 with 13 deaths. Of 82 counties, 71 now are reporting at least one case of COVID-19.
Tippah County, in far north Mississippi, now has two deaths reported, with MSDH reporting one each for DeSoto, Hancock, Harrison, Holmes, Lee, Perry, Rankin, Sunflower, Tunica, Webster and Wilkerson counties. Those counties are spread around Mississippi in both populous and more rural areas.
The deceased are all over age 60, with nine of them age 70 or older. Fifty-seven percent of the reported cases (not deaths) to date are women, which trends against typical death rates from COVID-19 by gender. Men are more like to die from the disease. One pandemic expert called the Jackson Free Press to say the gender breakdown in the state may indicate that men are under-tested and undiagnosed to date.
The more populous DeSoto and Hinds counties lead in raw numbers of cases, with 55 and 68 respectively, and the Gulf Coast—perhaps due to its proximity to the outbreak in New Orleans and participation in Mardi Gras festivities—has a high number of cases.
The coronavirus has now moved in on east-central Mississippi, one of the slowest areas to start showing cases. Now, MSDH reports 12 cases total in Lauderdale County (Meridian); four cases in Leake County to date; three cases in Neshoba County (at least one is likely the case the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians reported on March 25); one each in Newton and Kemper counties.
Read breaking coverage of COVID-19 in Mississippi, plus safety tips, cancellations, more in the JFP's archive.
College towns in Mississippi show heightened numbers as well. In addition to the Hinds numbers, Forrest County (University of Southern Mississippi) has 18 cases; Leflore County (Mississippi Valley State University) has 15; Oktibbeha (Mississippi State) has 14 cases; Lowndes County (Mississippi University for Women) has 10 cases; Lafayette (the University of Mississippi) reports 11, as does Boliver County (Delta State University). Claiborne County, the home of Alcorn State, is not yet showing cases on the MSDH map.
MSDH has not yet reported cases for Carroll, Claiborne, Greene, Issaquena, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Stone, Tishomingo, Warren and Wayne counties.
Lee County (county seat Tupelo) has 17 cases and one death. Jason Shelton, the mayor of Tupelo, had to roll back some local COVID-19 protections due to a recent executive order from Gov. Tate Reeves, he said.
Reeves’ executive order, issued Tuesday, March 24, is causing strong controversy in the state with its long list of exempt “essential” businesses that must stay open and require employees to come into work.
A petition launched in recent days calling for Reeves to replace his executive order with a stronger "Shelter in Place" order.
Email editor-in-chief Donna Ladd at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @donnerkay. Read the JFP’s full coverage of the COVID-19 crisis in Mississippi at jacksonfreepress.com/covid19.