The Mississippi Department of Health reported 20 new coronavirus deaths and 1,505 new cases Wednesday, bringing the state total to 55,804 cases and 1,563 deaths.
Wednesday’s 1,500-plus cases marks the third day this week of more than 1,000 cases of COVID-19 in the state.
Last week was a record-breaker for new cases. The state surpassed 50,000 total cases Saturday. The department reported more than 1,000 confirmed cases on all but one day of the week. Thursday was the only day below 1,000, with a reported 982 cases.
On July 21, the department reported a new record-high 1,635 coronavirus cases.
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Outbreaks at long-term care facilities, which care for the state’s most vulnerable, have seen a steady increase. The number climbed to 197 Wednesday.
As of Wednesday, 3,482 Mississippians in long-term care have been diagnosed with coronavirus and 708 have died in those facilities.
The highest concentration of cases has been in the Jackson metro area and in North Mississippi, near Memphis.
Hinds County, with the largest population in the state, has the highest number of cases with 4,838 followed by DeSoto County with 2,970 confirmed cases. Madison County ranks third with 2,167 confirmed cases.
Mississippians in the 60 to 69 age bracket make up the largest number of hospitalizations to date with 934. Those in the 70 to 79 age bracket make up the largest number of deaths with 413.
By far, those in the 18 to 29 age group have the highest number of confirmed cases in the state with 12,159. Ten people in that age bracket have died of the virus.
State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said positive cases of the virus have surged in recent weeks in that demographic, up to five times what has been previously recorded. Most will recover from the virus, but run the risk of exposing those in older age groups and those who are most vulnerable.
The number of cases in children in Mississippi under the age of 18 continues to rise, with 5,573 confirmed cases, and 54 children have been hospitalized due to the virus. The under 18 age bracket is the only group that has not had a coronavirus death.
Mississippi does not have a statewide mask mandate, but 29 counties are currently under a mask mandate from the state: Bolivar, Calhoun, Claiborne, Covington, DeSoto, Forrest, Grenada, Harrison, Hinds, Holmes, Humphreys, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Madison, Montgomery, Panola, Quitman, Rankin, Sharkey, Simpson, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Walthall, Washington, Wayne, Winston and Yalobusha counties.
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Jackson metro area cases, deaths
Daily number of new deaths: 1
Daily number of new cases: 101
Total deaths: 94
Total cases: 4,838
Daily number of new deaths: 0
Daily number of new cases: 28
Total deaths: 50
Total cases: 2,167
Daily number of new deaths: 2
Daily number of new cases: 68
Total deaths: 27
Total cases: 1,988
An estimated 35,071 people are presumed recovered from COVID-19, the Health Department said. A person is presumed recovered if it’s been 14 days since he or she tested positive and was not hospitalized or 21 days if hospitalization was involved. The estimated number of recoveries is updated weekly.
Mississippi reported its first confirmed case of coronavirus March 11. One week later, the state reported its first coronavirus death on March 19.
This story will update.