The Mississippi Department of Health updates the public daily on the spread of COVID-19 in the state, noting the daily new cases and deaths, as well as providing a running total of confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic back in the spring.

According to Monday’s number reported from MSDH, 87,379 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Mississippi.  That is the number most see continuing to rise, along with the total deaths.  Tuesday’s total deaths reported were 2,585.

It is not unusual for reporting days on Sundays and Mondays to be far below the other days in a given week.  But clearly, the 7-day average of new cases and deaths resulting from new cases has diminished substantially from mid-summer levels.  That trend seems to be bearing out nationwide with Americans adapting as national infection numbers and death rates steadily decline.

But one number that does not receive much attention is the data on those persons who have recovered from the virus.  MSDH does list the number of the Estimated or Presumed Recovered near the bottom of their COVID-19 Overview page.  On Tuesday, that number was 74,098.  Using that data, that means Mississippi has just over 13,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.  That reality in reporting tells quite a different story than the total case numbers Mississippians see rolled out on a daily basis.

Image

Using the difference between the total cases and the presumed recovered, that means, on average, there are 162 cases per county in Mississippi, or 0.44% of the general population of the state is confirmed to have COVID-19.

A positive test rate is 13.16% based on the number of tests (663,993) given across the state.

Digging deeper, 5,567, or 6.4%, of cases were reported from long term or residential care facilities.

The total deaths in Mississippi attributed to COVID-19 are 2,585.  However, 42%, or 1,084, of the deaths reported are identified from long term or residential care facilities.  This means 1,501 COVID-19 related deaths occurred within the general population in Mississippi.

A general population death percentage as compared to cases not listed as occurring long term or residential care facilities would be approximately 1.84% of those confirmed to have COVID-19.

A similar line of thought should be applied when analyzing school COVID-19 reporting, in that, as Governor Tate Reeves has noted, it is a rolling number of students and teachers who either contract the virus or are in quarantine and those who recover from the virus or return to school.  The overall total confirmed cases and total on quarantine in schools does not paint an accurate point-in-time picture.