713 new COVID-19 cases confirmed as MSDH warns of rising indicators

The Mississippi State Department of Health is reporting 713 new cases of COVID-19. 

Today’s report brings the state’s total number of cases up to 105,941. With the confirmation of *14 additional deaths, 3,115 Mississippians have now passed away from the virus. 

*MSDH Note: 1 COVID-19 related death occurred on September 25, identified from a death certificate report.

Overall hospital data has not been updated since Friday, however, during a Monday press conference, State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs stated that six major hospitals have zero available ICU beds. 

Dobbs also warned that several of Mississippi’s indicators are trending in the “wrong direction” and that the state could be entering a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I’m actually very concerned that we are going into a phase,” Dr. Dobbs said.  “It’s kind of like reading the stock market sometimes. You don’t really know what’s going to happen, but we do have some indicators and all of the indicators are moving in the wrong direction. We have hospitalizations up, cases are up, deaths are not really up so much, but we always know that lags and we know that our COVID-like illness indicators are up. The last time we saw that was before the summer surge.”

Dr. Dobbs did mention that we can still turn things around by practicing patience and limiting large gatherings, wearing a mask and social distancing. 

While the statewide mask mandate was allowed to expire, Dr. Dobbs continued to stress the effectiveness of face coverings. 

“It’s such an easy thing, and it adds benefit to our safety. It allows us to keep schools open, allows us to keep hospitals from overflowing and it allows us to visit people in nursing homes,” he said. 

Also, you will not be mandated to wear a mask at the polls on election day but it is highly recommended. For those who are considered “high risk” (65 & older or those with an underlying health condition), the MSDH will be distributing masks and face shields at mobile testing sites to be worn when you go vote. 

Mobile testing sites will now also be offering free rapid tests in addition to the traditional PCR test.