State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs displayed cautious optimism at yesterday’s coronavirus presser, based on a slackening in hospitalizations statewide. Photo courtesy State of Mississippi.
State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs displayed cautious optimism at yesterday’s coronavirus presser, based on a slackening in hospitalizations statewide. “We have seen a gradual decrease in our overall hospitalization rate, which is consistent with expanding testing to people who are less severe,” Dobbs said.
Mississippi State Department of Health reports from May 11, the day of the presser, show 234 new cases of COVID-19 statewide, for a total of 9,908, which was a slight uptick from the downward trend shown in recent days. No new information is available on hospitalization trends today—yesterday’s data dump showed the most promising decline in hospitalizations and suspected cases in hospitals seen thus far.
MSDH reported 22 new deaths from COVID-19, 15 from Monday and seven from investigations into fatalities from between April 25 and May 3. Since the beginning of the crisis, 457 Mississippians have died from complications related to COVID-19.
At yesterday’s presser, Gov. Tate Reeves acknowledged that a little less than half of the coronavirus deaths in Mississippi come from the state’s long-term care facilities.
“If you look at the total number of deaths out of long-term care facilities as a percentage of total deaths over the last seven or eight weeks of this, I think Dr. Dobbs said it was 43% ... that number has actually inched higher,” Reeves said.
Reeves says he hopes for a testing protocol for care facilities aggressive enough to cut off the spread. “We're going to work towards, with the new capacity that we have from a testing standpoint, to … attempt to test in every long-term care facility in our state, whether they have an outbreak or not,” the governor said.
MSDH’s new testing data show Mississippi approaching 100,000 total tests. At yesterday’s press event, State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs warned that not all private labs are reporting the full number of tests completed.
“We have identified several out-of-state labs that are not reporting their negative results,” Dobbs said, clarifying that “We have been getting all the positives, but we haven't been getting all the negatives.”
Numbers from today’s reports show 96,426 tests, with the vast majority of testing in Mississippi attributed to private labs. Dobbs suggested better “accounting” would give a more complete perspective of Mississippi’s testing regime moving forward.
Correction: Originally, this reporter listed the total number of cases in Mississippi as 9,674, and the total number of deaths at 435. These are yesterday's totals. We have updated the article to reflect the correct numbers, and apologize for the error.
State intern Julian Mills contributed to this report.
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