The Mississippi State Department of Health is reporting the highest weekend toll for new COVID-19 cases since the pandemic’s deadly winter surge. Today, public-health officials identified 4,991 cases over the three-day weekend, or about 1,664 per day.
That figure is up significantly since last weekend, when MSDH reported 3,608 cases, or about 1,203 per day. Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs will join Kimberly Griffin and Donna Ladd on a special MFP Live edition today at 4 p.m. to discuss the ongoing crisis and answer questions viewers submitted via an online form, which is still taking questions.
Delta surge accelerating quickly – please be safe and protect your family. Expect a large number of new cases to be reported today. pic.twitter.com/qci0K6jKIu
— thomas dobbs (@TCBPubHealth) August 2, 2021
COVID-19 deaths are also rising, with 13 more Mississippians confirmed dead from the virus today. The far more contagious delta variant, combined with the fact that Mississippi trails every state but Alabama in vaccinations, is driving the surge. Cases are swamping hospitals, and only 13% of ICUs remain available statewide.
“Delta surge accelerating quickly—please be safe and protect your family,” Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said in a tweet this morning.
He attached a chart showing that the daily average for hospital admissions is now up to 121. A month ago, on July 2, only 130 patients with confirmed COVID-19 infections were in Mississippi’s hospitals regardless of date admitted.
The Gulf Coast’s Singing River Hospital system, which includes three hospitals, reported 86 patients on July 31, with 23 in ICU beds and 15 on ventilators. The hospital said unvaccinated individuals make up 98% of its patients. Two vaccinated patients had “underlying health conditions,” the hospital reported.
With students returning to schools in Mississippi, Gov. Tate Reeves has refused to issue a mask mandate for schools this year. But after two high schools in the Lamar County School District had to go all-virtual due to outbreaks in their first full week, other school districts across the state that had been set to make masks optional have begun rethinking their position. Dr. Dobbs and MSDH have urged schools to mandate masks for students and teachers this year.