/COVID-19 cases continue to decrease, but testing hits a three-month low

COVID-19 cases continue to decrease, but testing hits a three-month low

The average number administered tests has fallen to a three month low. This means that Mississippi may be having difficulty identifying and isolating active cases. The state had 276 cases on Monday, its lowest daily number in more than a month. Weekend reporting tends reflect lower numbers due to reporting lags from previous weeks. Even so, Monday’s daily report was very low for weekend numbers. Monday case numbers for the past three weeks were 476, 572 and 653 respectively. On Tuesday, however, the numbers rose to 795 cases. Although the number of new cases is still higher than the average for the week, it’s the lowest Tuesday since June. Officials from the state point out that masking and social distancing have helped to reduce case numbers, but they warn Mississippians not to lose heart. Reeves praises the decreasing case trends and says that the concerted effort has paid off. Reeves stated, “This did not happen.” “The virus spreads until there are little things we can do to prevent further spread. That’s what is happening in Mississippi.” However, the daily average COVID-19 testing across the state has fallen to its lowest level since mid-May. Although the average daily number tested was slightly higher Monday at just over 3,000, it was still below its three-month high as of Sunday. As daily new cases were approaching their peak, Mississippi had an average of 6,000 tests per day a month ago. The state’s net positive rate, which is still high, has been declining in both new cases as well as new tests. This is based on the week’s worth total positive tests. It currently averages 22%. Mississippi still has the fourth highest number of daily new cases per capita after Texas, Florida, and Georgia. Reeves disagrees with the test positivity rates and states that not all clinics report all test results, which could falsely increase the test positivity rate. The White House Coronavirus Task Force methodology analyzes the test positivity rate using a consistent number clinics that consistently report both positive and negative test results. It shows previous weeks as ranging from 13 to 15%. According to Reeves’ spokesperson, the White House task force updated Mississippi with a new positivity rate at 12%. Although they only represent about 25% of the state’s tests, the Monday update from the White House task force showed that the weekly test positivity rates at the University of Mississippi Medical Centre’s and state health department’s in-house laboratories were about 11 and 15%, which is more consistent with previous White House reports. Reeves stated Monday that test positivity is important when viewed in the context of all the data we receive. However, if you consider it an all-important number, it is flawed. Test positivity is relevant in the context of all the data points. Mississippi’s “lagging indicators”, which show that previous weeks’ cases have not yet been reported, are still high. Mississippi’s hospital system is among the most stressed in the United States. New deaths per capita are only equaled by Florida. When looking at the deaths from the pandemic, Mississippi ranks eighth overall for most deaths per head. This is mostly because it trails states like New Jersey and New York that experienced early spikes in deaths, but have since stabilized, while Mississippi’s deaths have just recently increased. Despite only eight months of U.S. activities, COVID-19 has now become the third leading cause of death in the country. Long-term care residents in Mississippi used to dominate deaths. They accounted for more than half the deaths in spring and account for just 40% of all deaths. Although COVID-19 hospitalizations, which include confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patient, fell to their lowest point in a single month on Sunday, and intensive care units experienced their lowest COVID use over the past three weeks of the last month, Thomas Dobbs, State Health Officer, said Monday that the state’s health system is still too stretched. The state’s COVID-care centers at the highest levels are especially stressed according to the new hospitalization tracker of the state health department. The 16 state hospitals that are designated the highest level in COVID care (levels 1, and 2) have 555 ICU beds, which is about one-third of the total. The state’s 903 ICU beds have an 83% occupancy rate with the same COVID patients. The state’s ICU capacity was about two-thirds full before COVID. Jackson still had two ICU beds as of Sunday._x000D